OPENING SPEECH BY KATALIN GELLER:
AIR/HMC, Balatonfured/Budapest, International Artists Residencies exhibition at
Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism
August 3 - September 13
When Beata Szechy's founded the Hungarian Multicultural Center in 1990, her goals were fostering culture, personal connections, and art related exchanges. At the beginning mostly American artists participated at the residencies. Now artists from all over from the world come to work here for few weeks and exhibit their art. This particular exhibition is unusual, as the artists think similarly but execute their work differently. Almost all the artists’ subjects link to the their travels or Budapest. We can feel the temporary feeling, living somewhere else for a time, a shaper view of the new.
John Shadeck using a homemade, pinhole (lensless) camera, created these images to depict the general area of each of the eleven stations on the M1 (yellow) metro line, the oldest underground railway on the European continent. These photographs are negative, reversed images exposed directly onto light-sensitive paper in the camera. No film was used.
Dolie Thompson’s photographs were taken in Varosliget. Her black and white photographs are filtered and soften the sunlight, creating a much more beautiful environment, emphasizing oppositions such as soft and sharp.
Amanda Meeks arrived from Chicago. She is interested in relationships and memories of her day-to-day, pursuits of connecting with those around her, communication, and interactions with others past and present. Her work is meant to provide viewers and participants with a sense of a very intimate conversation. For example, she drew a Yellow Fiat 500 car and wanted to meet with the car owner, but did not succeed. So she wrote a letter to him and put it under the wiper telling him if he comes to the opening he will get the drawing. Also, she has created a sound piece during her stay. “In One Day”, uses sounds that in the gallery setting evoke just a memory and could be understood as disappeared voices.
Emily DiCarlo from Toronto was inspired by time. “The Temporal Visitor” is an installation comprised of a number of performance-based photographs and objects.
“Eleven Minutes Less” is a marker of time, expressed through the daily accumulation of cigarette butts. Contrasted with “Eleven Minutes Less” is her hand, or the “life line". Walking in Budapest, she searched out the public clocks which represent the “universal time” that is meant to unite the public and also disperse a common understanding of time.
Jessica L. Smith’s jars are a celebration of smallness. She derived this concept from Budapest secessionist architecture, which is decaying over time just like our memories, buildings, bodies, and civilizations.
Douglas Gast calls himself an artist/cartographer. “The 30 Days of New Life Project” is a series of performances, each of which results in a new map. Last year he spent 30 days in Berlin with a similar project. Each point included on the map is of personal, artistic, historical or cultural interest. He does not control what gets included in the map, rather, local residents make suggestions and it is their suggestions that ultimately build it.
Jeanne Dunn created a "map" as she printed on canvas an element from the Liszt Ferenc Square, composed of part of tree trunks with circle-shaped surroundings with stones and divided by a man made sculpture.
Eveline Kotai uses a combination of sections of paintings from Australia and Hungary, cutting, sewing, and created a textural series, entitled “Mirage 1, 2, 3”.
Sarah Pedlow's "What’s Wrong With This Picture?" is a self-portrait. Hungarian folk art and embroidery inspired her work in Budapest. She has braided her hair and wrapped it with ribbons. "Raday utca, 05.24.09" is a photograph and chain stitch used in Kalotaszeg embroidery which she stretched out to suggest a network in the sky linking to architecture and referring to the cultural district in Budapest.
Amy Sacksteder arrived from Michigan. Her island paintings refer to the last moments of Amelia Earhart's life during the final flight before she was lost.
Michael Hilsman is an international traveler whose work deals with both the tragedy and the beauty of the human condition, and is influenced by such topical subjects as politics and religion.
Hsu Chiung Wen, an artist from Taiwan, created objects from artificial flowers, "The Flower Named Ever", reminds me of Huysman’s essay, where the main character likes the artificial flowers rather than the real ones...
Please look around and enjoy the exhibition. Katalin Geller opening speech 08/03/09