The Pleasure of Waiting


The Pleasure of Waiting

When I travel abroad I always notice that works of art are very well positioned in urban surroundings. In Europe the notion of art in public space does not only include stone or bronze monuments. It may refer to memorable and various things: I myself will never forget the controllable crane-lights in Rotterdam. So I was very happy when during the Autumn Festival this genre also appeared in Budapest in the form of a project called Junction, planned and realised by Eike and Andrea Schneemeier, artist-curator, which included video works continuously projected for two weeks at three underground stations of Budapest.

Art for those who are waiting. I still remember the times when I used to travel by underground (now I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to, so I avoid using it, if I can) and how much the underground environment is lacking in stimulation, and they keep reducing the number of trains, so at first it seemed to me as a great idea. So I went under the ground with great expectations, but I was soon disappointed: the equipment was not working. The second time I tried was not successful either, but I did not give up, I was really curious, and even in fairy tales they give it a try at least three times. And on the third time I saw it.

The works follow each other in alphabetical order. Sándor Bartha’s animation is based on the synchrony of pictures and sounds, it is a nice piece generating expectations, it wound me up, but did not give a solution.

According to Balázs Beöthy mercy spreads in a circular shape. I doubted it for a few minutes while the boys shown from above in a fatherly manner were travelling around, but by the time they had got to the end, the circle closed: I had to see that they were not travelling in vain.

Monsieur Delmotte, in his etude called Dungs reflects on the basis of his own emotions to acute, unsolved international problems: in the roughly recorded, documentary video film there is a well dressed young man, or at least he is wearing nice shoes, treading on piles of dog mess as he is walking along the street, in a determined, even angry manner, one after the other, somewhere in Germany. They say that if you tread in shit, you will be lucky. But as far as I know this saying involves that you do it accidentally. Or am I wrong? Well, I think this is not the way I would like to provoke my luck.

Dominic Hislop’s serially repeated football match remix converts television broadcasting into repetitive ballet. I liked it very much, although I guess that for some of the underground visitors this delay did not result in the expected accomplishment.

The video film of the sponsor DNN does not fit in with the rest of the works, it lacks all sorts of visual invention, it is spiritless engineering work. I hope that next year they will ask a specialist, an artist to make their film sent to the second occasion of Junction.

Tamás Komoróczky OCD-bonus is a real extra, it playfully accumulates stimuli, putting finely elaborated and readily found scenes together to make a flow of images squirting small meanings.

Pál Szabolcs Ks is also playing with our senses: making use of the dynamism of movement he buoyantly rolls his spotted ball from streets into rooms, from positive into negative, amazing the viewers. Just precisely, nicely, as the ball is rolling in the picture.

Ádám Lendvai’s 2YK problem is a clear-headed review at a mythical time: in the first few seconds of 01/01/2001: hmm, the world still seems to be in one piece. Everything is the same. We cannot see anything else, we are just watching time. Well, today not everybody who uses the underground believes these video films. In secret I wish it turned out that the author had put forward the counter of his video camera weeks before, he was so sure about what he was doing.

Isabelle Lévénez is an internationally known mature artist. In this case she goes along her Hopscotch in a black space, with a mature woman’s body. Girls seem to play it everywhere, it is a global cultural treasure. In return you get the pleasure of forgetting.

Hajnal Németh’s video film suggests that the loss of innocence is due to the ability of making trips into other cultures. She is right, it is really modern experience. Here a white girl is acting a yellow girl (sic). I can see both in her: the one wearing a kimono and the assertive one. This is exactly what makes me think that her works are among the most exciting artistic accomplishments of the present.

Rudolf Pacsika recorded the serpentine dance of a shower pipe moved by the pressure of water, out of focus and (I guess) accidentally, nicely, you can even see blood in the picture. He added drama to the lyricism, and maybe this is why the cutting has come out a bit too long.

Stracke Caspar’s refined video film called Global String on the place of the window there is a huge screen which reacts to simple bodily functions such as breathing, jumping or even boxing. It is a pleasant picture of the future, I wish the relationship between people and computers were such a smooth operation.

János Sugár is a master of poetic titles. In his video film called The Illiterate’s Typewriter he connects Kalashnikovs refined morf, creating a shockingly beautiful and encyclopaedic picture flow. We are astonished to see this damned widely-spread Soviet invention in the hands of children and women, soldiers, white people and men, species of all sorts. The Coca-Cola of the Soviet Union, although it is not the cold war any more.

The Taxi Val Mentek duet is one of my secret favourites. In their works they use both subtly and brutally effective elements. Local patriots who are at home in our city’s artistic life have already been able to see their work called Yvonne at the excellent Álomgyár (Dream Factory) exhibition curated by Ildikó Petrina (but only them, because nobody wrote a word about it – no critics, no special journals, what a shame). This work belongs to the subtle category: you can see an everyday scene, and the stenker gets you when you realise that it is not a photograph that is shown to you for a long time, but models stiffened into a still picture with their breaths held back, with great effort. You can only hear the camera operator’s breathing, not mine, it is suppressed by me laughing.

The duet redoubles: From Beyond shows their brutal side elegantly: the synchronous movements of the blue-skinned joggers sound in polyphony: they are different.

It is a great hit to show Attila Till’s Média Plazapromotion in an underground context: the author, who confidently uses the language of the media, believably animates his dream into a media fact. I wish those who are responsible for Happy End also had similar nice dreams showing the future. In this case for the first time I really wanted fiction to become real. Well, intellectual capital is the most valuable, and art is the highest-ranking work.

Gyula Várnai Légellenállás (Air Resistance) has made a career virtually, it can even be seen in Zsebtévé. It shows the correlation of the forms created by people and the body. The test works, the body wins: it is aerodynamic.

In Krisztián Viktorin’s video film the parking sign visualises the thoughts of drivers and pedestrians; it is a nice future machine.

The video films of John Wood and Paul Harrison are not unknown in Hungary either. It is nice to see them again here, because they are good: this time they appear triply: in three video films they show three different sides of defencelessness. They do it with feeling, you can see it that they like to show these faces, and you do not become sad from them.

Brian Gibson’s animation is a lyrical ending to the flow of images shown by the others. As the stuff is being shown. The films are selected from the crème of the video films shown in Budapest in the recent years. And they do not only stand the test under the ground. They would not really fit in the collection of the Museum of Modern Arts, but rather the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Well, if I were a curator there, I would buy the whole thing all in one for the collection. And I would also buy a DVD player for it, so that it could run all the time without wearing the tape out

Bori Bódy