Ágnes Hamvas, Hubert Hasler, J. Nagy András, Michael Koch, Emilia Jagica, Anikó Kiss, Nemes Csaba, Esther Strauss, Szegedi Varga Zsuzsanna, Várnai Péter, Franz Wassermann
Everything about peace
7. June 2018. - 30. July
Opening: 6. June 2018 at 19:00
Curator: Denise Parizek
Peace is a fragile condition. A thin red line is the border between peace and discord. Peace is based on the values of loyalty, trust, respect, liberty and open minds. Though peace has to be adapted, refreshed, transferred all over the ages to avoid losing it at the end. The populist propaganda as well as the absence of discourse emphasizes the presence of fear. There is a kind of ignorance on the subject peace, believing it is still available when and where we need it.

Though peace is vanishing every day a bit more and we urgently need utopian counter proposals. Peace is a social construct which infects the society, economy, even the daily human conditions, no matter if it is present or absent.Peace fails when utopia is fading, peace will not be valid without utopian ideas.

The show All about peace is a trial to visualize the wide range from peace to discord and the many diverse positions in between. Artists with Hungarian and Austrian roots, meanwhile spread all over the world, are participating and using different genres of contemporary fine art.

The juxtaposition of different approaches and various positions is mirrored in the different medias and the curatorial display. The show will extend the exhibition space to the public, the video „Kiss“ by Franz Wassermann will be screened on the wall of the Knoll Gallery at the opening night.

Deer Scarer, an installation by Peter Varnai, will be the counter part outside. Varnai sets up a portrayal of the fragile and self-contained nature of social disobedience - captured from the perspective of passing time. The quintessence of the work is drawing a line between the universal motion of nature and the repetitive process of socio-political movement.

The confrontation of a quite romantic, but also sentimental kissing in Wassermanns video, created in 1998, and the disturbing machine Deer Scarer reflects the great disparity in the deeper sense of the word with its fragile constitution.

When entering the room of the Knoll Gallery again the display confronts the visitor with associative art works, from video installation to sound, from photography to performance, from utopia to reality.

Zsuzsi Szegedi explores in her video work Crisis of the Invisible, 2016, the effects of failed utopias on identity, domestic silence, invisibility as a non-effect. This piece is part of a larger series that visualizes voicelessness. She works with the requisitioning of conditions of absence and how they are affecting the human body.

In her multimedia installations she is pointing out their universal relevance. To understand the urge of working with the terminus of absence, Szegedi is speaking of, we have to dive in the political and social development in Hungary and the enclosed atmosphere till 1989. Controlled by the state with the inability for free thought the thinking is shrinking and the space for operations is narrow.

Agnes Hamvas makes in her postcard edition Jelentkezz, 2017 and her sound installation sync, 2016 the main gap between perception and reality, visible and audible. Jelentkezz shows a flying bird, connected with the title, which means „write again“. The association immediately leads to expecting a carrier pigeon. The second connotation is dove of peace, an international icon. But the truth is that the flying bird is a seagull, a bird not known for a peacefully behavior.

In her sound installation sync Agnes Hamvas´s narration is based on 3 sources, found postcards, entries from a holiday photo album, as well as diary notes. It tells about the fragile peace between the couple, which was traveling through Germany in the 70ties. The delicate hints against each other and against „the others“ mirrors the attitude of the partnership and preconceptions.

Michael Kochs Fallen Angel 1805, sculpture is a sign of the fragility of human and the relating thereto brittleness of peace. The establishment of a functioning wealthy society is closely linked to a peacefully period. The unsophisticated minimalism of Koch´s sculptures and wall reliefs are surprisingly touching.

Neues Csaba´s Man of the 21st Century is related to catholic iconography, like St. Christopher a man is caring children on his shoulders. In fact the artist has photographed a refugee with his children crossing the Hungarian border, one day before it was closed. The painting is a metaphor, bringing the children to a better world, with future and perspective, and most of all, peace.

Emilia Jagica and Anikó Kiss make the Sisyphos Myth a subject of discussion in their performance Awakening. Keeping peace sometimes shows up like the urgent need of Sisyphos to roll the immense boulder up the hill. Keeping peace means repeating the endeavour like Sisyphos was repeating the action for eternity.

Visitation by Esther Strauss is a story about bereavement. Strauss processed loss of her grandmother by slipping into her role while staying in grandmother´ s apartment during one night. The project appears like a ritual, which in the course of hours, evolves into a distinctively authentic action. The initiation transformed the grief to an inner peace.

Kiss Kiss by Hubert Hasler deals with the concept of an enemy and related attacks as well as with the obscenity of animal husbandry and nutrition industry of today. The waste of living beings on the one hand and starving millions on the other hand are deregulating every condition for a peacefully togetherness.

Andras J. Nagy was researching the homeless scene in Budapest and took photos with his smart phone. Because he himself is temporary part of this scene, he got confidence and the people trusted him and so he was able to get insights into the small peace on the margins of society. The square formate, related on Polaroids, is underlining the spontanous caught but intime moments.

While our stylish cultivated society consider ourselves to be in paradise we have forgotten being alert. Advanced technology and the smart world has created an artificial bubble of surveillance instead of safeness and humanity.

Agnes Varnai cooperates with the underground activist group „Burn your Home“ for investigating our maximized life and will help them to generate improbabilities in our system. The common objective is to gather people and encourage them to collaborate and communicate, which will bring back human dignity for sure.

The exploration and questioning of the subject „Peace“ becomes obvious in the different art works. The approach is diverse and a tendency towards dystopia becomes visible in the artistic contributions.

The conclusion of this attempt at discovery is that peace depends on many different factors and is closely linked to our well-being. There is inner and outer peace and, in truth, we are currently jeopardizing both.

Hopefully the show will stimulate debate, we must not lose sight of peace through dystopia and fear!

Let´s turn it around.

Denise Parizek