Trafó Gallery, Budapest: The Rise of the Fallen Feather

The Rise of the Fallen Feather

A lecture by Szabolcs Kisspál 

17.00,  25 January 2014

Trafó Gallery Budapest

This lecture presents the partial findings of a body of research in the iconology of the Turul. The associative chain of historical references looks at how the symbolics of a totem bird affected 20th-century Hungarian history through an amnesic, yet magic collective memory from the times when the Turul Clan landed with a spaceship on Earth 400000 years ago, through the founding of the Turul Association in 1919, up to the present ideology of 'blood and motherland'. The presentation will follow the genuine structure of the Turul's iconography as something that steps out of historical time into the realm of political mysticism, while up in the sky the Saker Falcons are looking for bigger Hungaries carrying satellite tracking sensors.

Following the lecture a pilot version of the video 'The rise of the fallen feather' (KissPal, 2014, 4 min) will be screened.

This talk is an accompanying event to the exhibition:

Like a Bird: Avian Ecologies in Contemporary Art

Trafo Gallery, Budapest

12 December 2013 – 26 January 2014

Artists: Greta Alfaro (ES), Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan (RO), Tamás Kaszás / Anikó Loránt (Ex Artists Collective) (HU), Szabolcs Kisspál (HU), London Fieldworks (UK), James Prosek (USA) and Andrea Roe (UK)

Curated by: Maja and Reuben Fowkes

Like a Bird is a group exhibition with a focus on avian ecologies in contemporary art, a theme that provides a platform to investigate intricate questions around the changing human relationship to the natural world, the channelling of environmental awareness and its political dimensions. It examines the dynamic counterpoints between the anthropocentric tendency to perceive birds as metaphors and the rival post-humanist affinity for intra-species dialogue. The title of the exhibition refers to an iconic work of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde, István Haraszty’s Like a Bird from 1972, an elaborate piece combining a bird and a cage that was primarily understood at the time as a symbol for the lack of freedom under socialism. While avian encounters in the public sphere are still layered with stratum of ideology, mythology and national identity, this exhibition asks whether there is today an additional dimension to the avian imaginary, namely that of endangeredness and a shared ecological predicament.

The exhibition belongs to the River School programme of the Translocal Institute and is realised in the frame of the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) and with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

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