Ádám Varga's solo exhibition at FKSE - Studio of Young Artists Association in Budapest.

Ádám Varga: Technical Data Sheet
4 November – 11 November, 2022
FKSE - Studio of Young Artists Association, Budapest


In the system of production, most goods have a specific purpose and function. Both concepts constitute the reason for production and the values and dimensions required for the use of a product. However, this dimension is often far from clear and unambiguous. The question that often arises for a given product is what is considered to be its intrinsic purpose and what specific quality and form this has. In a system of concretised functions for goods, it can be observed that the objective is also expressed in a linguistic medium. This is not only concentrated in the product itself, but also communicated through an accompanying document. This document is called a Technical Data Sheet (TDS), the purpose of which is to describe and define a product precisely: to define the function of a function.

A Technical Data Sheet (TDS) lists the various information, details and comments relating to a product. It often includes the official name of the product, various industry standard specifications, composition, uses, performance requirements, common applications, warnings, and benefits. It may also include some images of the product for illustrative, advertising, or marketing purposes. Overall, we can speak of a textual system that is pervasive and point-by-point, aiming to clarify, instrumentalise, and linguistically circumscribe the product and act as an equivalent factor. Without it, a product cannot be conceptualised and standardised in terms of use.

Taking into consideration the above, the technical data sheets may be drawn up at the discretion of the manufacturer and may contain any information deemed appropriate. In contrast to other types of instructional material, which must follow a template driven by a specific industry standard, the technical data sheet covers the range between the intended purpose and free use. It includes pragmatic definitions and constraints of different practices, as well as some possibilities for deviation. But, it also contains conceptually the image of a universal entity and the prognosis of an ideal practice, as well as the contradictory nature of the aspiration for total control.

The basis of my exhibition is to understand this duality and, on the one hand, to reinterpret the formal and structural characteristics of the technical data sheet of the ORACAL Economy Cal 641 film. On the other hand, to unpack the technical possibilities of a foil cutting machine I use and present detailed variations of each solution, broken down into different object units. I both apply the classical features of the machine to create stencilworks and exploit its hidden dimension to produce various engraving works. In addition, I reinterpret the formal specificity of the plastic roll blocks that hold the rolled foils and combine them into different spatial and two-dimensional works. In this way, the whole unit can be understood as an extension and maximization of the possible solutions of the technology. Both the technical data sheet I have selected and appropriated, and the various linguistic terms I can associate with it, are descriptions of the tools I used to make my work, and the transformations of objects, materials, logos, and information that go with them. The exhibited works in question are conceived in a triad of mechanicality, reproductibility, and textuality, and also detail the problematic nature of the function or status attached to them. My aim in using this complex unit is to focus on the material parallels between painting and its autonomous concepts, which are closely linked to production. Furthermore, to interpret the discursivity of painting and the exhibition as a technically tangible abstract data sheet, an instrumental unit.

Photo: Mátyás Gyuricza