Ani Molnár Gallery: Andreas FOGARASI: Kiosk (Buda) – Park Gallery (MOM Park)

Andreas FOGARASI: Kiosk (Buda) – Park Gallery (MOM Park)

Curator: Annamária MOLNÁR 

Opening: 23 January 2013, Wednesday, 7 pm

Greeting by: Jane Petrie, Head of Retail Asset Management Central Europe at AEW Europe, AEW Europe is the owner of MOM Park 

The exhibition is opened by: Hajnalka SOMOGYI, independent curator

Address: Park Galllery, MOM Park (1123 Budapest, Alkotás utca 53.), 1st Floor, entrance from Fórum tér 

Park Gallery project began 5 years ago from an extraordinary cooperation between Ani Molnár Gallery and MOM Park shopping centre. The exhibition series founded in 2007 – whose curator is Annamária Molnár – was initiated with the clear aim to introduce the less wide spread genres of art than painting among the broader public, such as installation and sculpture. It is an exceptional case in the Hungarian art scene that a public space related art project can function in such a long-term. It proves the success of the project that it was awarded Summa Artium Prize in 2009. In Park Gallery visitors could see exhibitions from the most acknowledged contemporary Hungarian artists – among others Tamás Körösényi, Balázs Kicsiny, Ottó Vincze, Emese Benczúr, Gyula Várnai, Imre Bukta and Szilárd Cseke. 

For the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Park Gallery Andreas Fogarasi was invited – the Hungarian origin artist living and working in Vienna, who won the Golden Lion for the Hungarian Pavilion of the 2007 Venice Biennial. In the center of his interest stands the role of art in society and the creation of visual culture with the contribution of political, economic and social factors, among which he focuses on architecture and design.

The artist sets up a kiosk inside the shopping centre, an irregular commercial unit, which doesn’t sell anything, but serves as a surface for a photo exhibition. This site-specific installation reflects to the place of the exhibition by drawing a schematic map about certain districts of Buda (I., II., XI., XII.) in which MOM Park shopping centre – formerly cultural institute of a factory – is located. On the kiosk, which could also function as an advertising pillar we can see photos of some public spaces of Buda representing the history of the local consumer culture. These districts in Buda are exceptional parts which play a special role in the circulation of the city. They differ from the average living and working sectors of the middle class. These districts have been fields of several utopist architectural experiments during the last century. 

These initiatives were aiming to provide model for the inhabitants in terms of the right way of living, such as in the case of the Hungarian Bauhaus projects during the 1930s. The modernist intentions considered the well being and cohabitation of the people based on equality and democracy as the main aim of architecture, whereas architectural ambient can function as benefactor influencing psychical a physical living conditions. The glory of these ideas is in contradiction with the real living situation of the inhabitants. On the photographs of Fogarasi we can see buildings which are functionally important concerning commerce, consumption and transportation, which were built using the design of Bauhaus connected to leftist ideas. Although the buildings and public spaces on the photos can be related to various architectural epochs it is obvious that they concentrate to those inherited from the Kádár era whose legitimacy lay in the maintenance of the quasi welfare of the citizens.

From the 60s a special Eastern European hybrid of consumer society emerged in Hungary, which intended to suppress the rebellion attitude by the satisfaction of consumer desires. The photos on Fogarasi’s kiosk regarding these antagonisms warn about the manipulative forces working in the background of the visual.

Gábor Döme

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