Kriszta Dékei:

Sack, Sack Full of Sack…
Report on the Surprise Event Series


The first Surprise was the joint exhibition of Gyula Várnai and Heike Baranowsky in the Studio Gallery (7-30 November 2001). Pure, solid enjoyment, without any raw confusion.

In Baranowsky’s videos, such elements that could be considered trivial or genuine appear — like the Moon or a swimming figure. The latter untiringly ploughs through the water with the strokes of his arms. Ostensibly, everything appears to be completely normal, and the superficial viewer would be just about to continue on her/his way, when s/he feels a strange disturbance. At first glance, it seems that the swimmer, though he is “working” incessantly, does not move forward even an inch. It takes a bit more time to recognise that meanwhile, he does not even take a breath! The projected image of the full moon, meanwhile, pulsates and rollicks before the back wall of the Studio Gallery like a big, soft ball. The celestial body, which we generally regard as an entity that functions according to its own laws, independent of us, since with scientific arguments, we can take its cyclical changes and movement about the Earth as a given and a supportable constant – in the boxlike, contained space of the gallery, it now sets off on an unexpected and peculiar dance.

Gyula Várnai’s projected still images also recall some elements of a visibly authentic, unmanipulable objective world: a shelf with various objects, and a breadbasket. Utterly, up until the point when the exhibition viewer — split from her/his customary conditioning — gives up the classic art appreciator-viewer position, and walks in front of the projectors. At this moment, that is, the individual components of the shelf and the breadbasket disappear, or rather, wander to another part of the image. Another visual reality, of equal rank, is created. It is, naturally, children who recognise first the playfulness concealed in the artwork — they have been trained namely on the “Holy Trinity” of the “Kinder-Surprise” (egg, chocolate and surprise, all in one); i.e., they are not fooled by theoretical semblances of reality.