Group exhibition curated by Barnabás Bencsik and Laura Mudde at Glassyard Gallery in Budapest.

Unstable State of Things_Four Positions
Artists: ANCA BENERA & ARNOLD ESTEFAN|SVATOPLUK MIKYTA | PAULIEN OLTHETEN|ANNA ZILAHI|GIDEON HORVÁTH|RITA SÜVEGES/EXTRO REALM ART GROUP/
Curated by Barnabás Bencsik, Laura Mudde
12 August - 30 October 2020
Glassyard Gallery, Budapest 

 

We are in the midst of a pandemic, people worldwide demonstrate against institutional racism, and around the corner lie the threats of climate change. If things have ever been stable and predictable, that dream seems to have gone away long time ago. How to deal with these uncertainties? How to still maintain a sense of belonging to the world and in the world?

The artists that participate in the exhibition Unstable State of Things all have their own artistic position to the complex social challenges we are facing today. Their works make us, once again, aware of the fact that the irreversible consequences of the ecological crisis permeate every dimension of life. With one of its implications being increasing migration and consequently a rise in populist nationalism worldwide. Placing these developments in relation to each other we can observe that xenophobia and humanity’s destructive relationship with the environment emanate from the same mode of inhabiting the world: a dominating mode that imposes its own interest as law, subordinating others for the extraction of value, eradicating what gets in the way.

The exhibition gives voice to the conviction that social and environmental phenomena are intrinsically and deeply related. By zooming in on the local, the ambiguous and the lived experiences of individual people, the works invite us to move beyond a world view that makes us see otherness, whether human or nonhuman, as something that exists solely to be instrumentalized or ‘managed’.

The drawings of Svätopluk Mikyta take us along in different reflections and associations on the recent lockdown, the psychological burden of social deprivation in the quarantine and the remedy of the nature proximity. The artists Anna Zilahi, Gideon Horváth and Rita Süveges from the artist group xtro realm materialize the social and ecological consequences of overexploitation of natural resources and make suggestions for a non-binary world view to find a new balance with our natural environment. Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan perform the fact that writing history is always also a political act. Furthermore, they shed light on the artificial partition of the geographical continuum by state borders which are a cause for constant conflicts. Paulien Oltheten zooms in on both migrants crossing Europe in search for a better live as well as the citizens of Amsterdam that try to keep their minds sane in the situation of being forced to stay at home.

Their works don’t explain us how we should deal with the interconnected systems of climate change, the global migration crisis and raising nationalism. The works instead create a space in which everybody can find its own way to relate to these developments.