Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó worked on the exhibition Patterns of Counterknowledge during his residency at the Brno House of Arts.
Áron KÚTVÖLGYI-SZABÓ: PATTERNS OF COUNTERKNOWLEDGE
Curated by Marta Fišerová Cwiklinski
13 September – 14 October, 2018
G99 Gallery, The House of the Lords of Kunštát, Brno, CZ
Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó’s artistic practice addresses the characteristics of human thinking and the personal mindsets in which they are embedded. He examines the structure and mechanisms of cognitive processes, as well as subliminal impact of misleading phenomena, mechanisms of cognition and factors leading to distorted perception.
This interest logically led him to the study of conspiracy theories and the posttruth phenomenon, lately so frequently mentioned; he also engaged with it during his scholarship at the Open Society Archives of the Central European University in Budapest. His latest works, created for the exhibition Patterns of Counterknowledge in the G99 Gallery, also react to the parallel existence of alternative facts. Both formally and in terms of content, it is a multi-layered installation with a clearly deﬁned, inherent logic.
The background of the artist’s reﬂection is revealed in the last, so-called reference room. Ten basic narratives represent the classics of conspiracy theories, such as the JFK assassination, Chemtrails, the Flat Earth Society, moon landing deniers, or the more recent QAnon theory. However, the narrative layer is obscured beneath several others – sheets of tracing paper frame or obstruct the view of the information layer, while transparent slides provide complementary information (misleading to greater or lesser extents). The visual noise made by these layers then evidently refers to one imperceptible, yet key image source, which is present among all the other ones. After you ﬁrst notice the shape of a dog on the black & white spotted image, you will see it every time. The Dalmatian plays the role of a metaphor – if you start tracking alternative narratives and post-factual argumentations, it is possible that you will never again see the mere spotted background.
A change of scale (zooming in) occurs in the ﬁrst room (the so-called simulation). The installation situated in that space is a generalized association of the above-mentioned issues. A 3-D object illustrates three diﬀerent viewpoints using a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a standard one. Three standpoints, each with its own potential evidential value, yet none of them are objective. A typographic play with the word TRUTH is a recurring motif in the entire installation: the ﬁve letters serve as the base for the simulation of various representations – various forms of truth.
Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó was born in 1985 in Budapest, Hungary. After studying Humanities (Art History and Philosophy) for four years, he also graduated from the University of Pécs, Faculty of Music and Visual Arts, Sculpture Department. He lives and works in Budapest. He spent the summer 2018 in Brno through the Brno House of Arts programme “Brno Artists in Residence”.
The Brno House of Arts is a contributory organisation funded by the Statutory City of Brno. The artist’s residency is ﬁnancially supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture.
Photos: Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó + Michaela Dvořáková