The new works made for this exhibition are topographic reconstructions of memory, showing “experienced landscapes” and natural or built environments, that were altered by time. They are outputs and carriers of memory at once.
Lavoyers’ and Nemes’ interest goes beyond the memento mori: by losing their earlier functions the illustrated places and objects also become free, liberated from their function. How Lavoyer puts it, “places, which don’t have to do - but are free to do.” They may remind us of their earlier function, but also of the lack of this function. Their existence archives time and compresses new meanings.
The similar approach of the two artists is even more surprising, considering that the process of creation and the channels and ways of discovery couldn’t be more different.
Lavoyer’s work is intellectually and materially rooted in his travels. Also the actual exhibition is also part of a journey: Lavoyer (like famous ancestors) arrives through the Alps - from Berne to Budapest. By riding a bike, his trip has a human rhythm and speed, but also demands a superhuman effort.
“The train kills the space and all it’s left is time” - said Heinrich Heine in 1843, when confronted with a new train connection (Paris - Orleans). In the age of cheap flights, space is more and more shrinking and a travel is compressed to a journey without movement.
Berne to Budapest, 1000 km by bike in around two weeks changes this place-and-time relation. In his installations Lavoyer gives us back all these lost and overseen places. The installation is a composition of different media, the artists consciously uses regarding to their relation to time. On the road, one the one hand he draws, since drawing is a “mobile” medium that fits into a sketchbook and allows direct recording of spontaneous encounters. On the other hand Lavoyer uses photography, the medium with the well known capacity of a most direct and objective witness.
Drawings and photos but also found objects are raw materials and form a rich archive that after arriving the artists uses to create the final artworks. This elaborated process is based on the media of screen prints and stop-motion video. The precise and time consuming techniques allow Lavoyer to re-compose his materials, translating his memories and findings and filling the motive with new meaning.
The final installation at the Chimera-Project space creates a new temporary place that unveils the audience overseen places with density, heterogenity and history between Berne and Budapest.
Nemes work is based in his studio and built on internet based research, leaded by previous urban discoveries. As the results of an interaction with Lavoyer’s work, the object of Nemes’ new series are train wagons. Nemes chooses a frontal view and extracts the object by putting it in front of an abstract background. This reminds us of the way the famous photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher are putting their motives (old industrial buildings) into scene - always frontal view and always with a monochrome (whitish) background. Through their specific way of photographing and by exhibiting their photos in so called tableaus (that allows to compare shapes and forms), the Bechers obviously also show interest in a aesthetical examination of the given subject that goes beyond the aim of mere documentation.
Nemes follows this aesthetical approach: next to shapes, forms and functions he shows great interest in discovering the past of the motives by examining and painting their surfaces, layers, structures, materials. Rusty or translucent surfaces that unveil old layers or colors, stickers of logos that were removed long time ago, all this traces of time that tell the history of the object are crucial for Nemes examination and gain great importance in the process and the final state of painting.
Confronting the different creation of Nemes and Lavoyer the exhibition raises questions about artistic creation, and the nature of painting and cognition. Researching the processes of remembering, the individual and subjective reconstructions of memories, the attitude of searching for traces couldn’t be more actual. Todays turbulences change the mechanisms of remembering drastically.This appears as an abstract topic, but mirrors contemporary dilemmas:
The collective processes of remembering are losing their relevance, we live in times of “small histories”. The increasing mobility and nomadism and the shrinking of space results in universal distancelessness, which alienates us from place and time. Due to the information overload our brain is under pressure of adaptation. We outsource step by step our cognitive, communicative and information storing capacities to our smart devices.
The goal of the exhibition is to thematize the possibilities of “memory after memory”. The exhibition is a memento of the endangered memory. The theme also raises the dilemmas of the “individual mythologies” and throughout this the possible roles of art.