Joy and Disaster

26 Mar - 05 Jun 2011

© Szabo Dezso
Time Bomb VIII/I (a+b), 2006
C print
120x180cm each
courtesy of Vintage Gallery, Budapest
26 March - 5 June, 2011

To mark the Hungarian presidency of the European Union in 2011, S.M.A.K. is presenting a challenging dialogue between the work of contemporary Hungarian artists and works from its own collection. S.M.A.K. invited Zsolt Petrányi (Director of Múscarnok, Budapest Art Centre) to make the selection.

The basic premise for the Joy and Disaster exhibition is to revisit the issues raised thirty years ago in S.M.A.K.’s Prospect 80/1 show. In 1980, the former artistic director Jan Hoet selected six Hungarian artists for that exhibition: Miklós Erdély, Tibor Hajas, András Halász, Zsigmond Károlyi, Endre Tót and János Vetö. Hoet claimed that these artists, whom he classified as ‘Eastern European’, acted on motivations similar to those of their western peers. These included a withdrawal from society (a necessity in the East, while voluntary in the rest of Europe).

In 2011, the cultural expression of reality is validated by communication with society. Joy and Disaster seeks to interpret the social status of the Hungarian artists and attempts to show how their activity is related to a reality whose local and universal impulses have always been a mixed blessing to them.

Selection of participating artists:
Emese Benczur, Tamás Kaszás, Adam Kokesh, Adrian Kupcsik, Little Warsaw, Dezso Szabo, SZAF and Tibor Zsolt, Miklos Erdély, Tibor Hajas and Zsigmond Károlyi.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication in Hungarian and English, including a facsimile of the catalogue from 1980.

Tags: Miklós Erdély, Tibor Hajas, Jan Hoet, Tamás Kaszás’, Little Warsaw