Eastern European Collectors
Knoll Galria Budapest


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Christian Mittermayr - Silke Grabinger: Budapest Rules, board game - object, 2005

Is this town a distant planet?(Ez a város egy távoli bolygó?)

Gõbölyös Luca, Silke Grabinger-Christian Mittermayr, Nemes Csaba, Almut Rink, Szentesi Csaba

31. January- 22. March 2008.
Knoll Galéria, Budapest

Is Budapest a simple sight in contemporary artworks? Does the city space function purely as a background or also as a scene of social happenings?
Maybe works which reflect on actual social events in the context of the city, are not unique anymore? Are there more and more work of arts, which do not see or make you see the city space indifferently, as from a ‘distant planet’? Do these works reveal something new, something significant about the local communities who live here – although somehow hidden from the public eye?  Can we grasp the meaning easier, can we explain something from an almost historical distance better, with the help of these works?
We can make an attempt to think over these questions during an exhibition which was named after the song of a former cultic band of Budapest: ‘Is this town a distant planet?’
Previously mostly foreign artists noticed the typical local phenomena. Almut Rink recorded the popular ‘Hammer and sickle’ sightseeing tour at the beginning of the 90’s. Silke Grabinger and Christian Mittermayr outlined the ironic life model of the -at that time just settled- Chinese community, with the object of “Budapest Rules” board game.
In the first case there is a wish to arbitrarily pick out a segment of reality and present it as an exotica. So this will cause and also result in a process which mirrors a cliché-like view according to the needs of the mass tourism. In the second case however, it is an exotic lifestyle indeed, which becomes part of the everyday life for the locals. Still there are some mystic aspects of this once exotic now partly normal lifestyle.
From the beginning of the 90’s Csaba Nemes is making photo series about the changes of the social sphere based on the observation of the city. With his photo installation he is calling our attention to a still on going long process. Unlike on his earlier pictures, he uses texts here to complete the work. On his new paintings he reflects on the effects and on the unveiling of some erected objects: religious symbols as the result of a consensus or other monuments erected without any consensus.
On his paintings Csaba Szentesi analyses the actual role of the significant public statues, by taking them out of their original environment.  He also studies this question by representing a special sign system on the statues, which mirrors the publicly used visual practice of the youngest generation.
The pervading lenticular texts and photos of Luca Göbölyös describe a childhood journey between a village and the capital and also the happenings of the following two weeks. The work shows the everyday life of this newly arrived family and their neighbors influence on them. The attitude of these power conscious neighbors is rooted in their public position and results in a role confusion: they spread out their public behavior to personal life as well.
During the presentation of the Beyond Budapest project by Gyuri Baglyas and Manó Domján the cultural and social values of the 8.district can be seen. The 8.district in Budapest is rather considered as a ‘distant planet’ from the viewpoint of the local Budapest people.

Curator: Erzsébet Pilinger