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Indepth Arts News:

"Random Utterness 2: Mara Bodis-Wollner, Andras Borocz, Andrea Dezso, Shandor Hassan, Thomas Lendvai, Anna Pasztor and Tamas Revesz"
2008-12-11 until 2009-02-06
Hungarian Cultural Center
New York, NY, USA United States of America

The Hungarian Cultural Center is pleased to present Random Utterness 2, the second installment of a group exhibition featuring the recent work of New York-based artists of Hungarian origin. The exhibition brings together photographs, videos, artist’s books, photo-based installations, and objects. Appearing in the interiors of homes, the female protagonists of Mara Bodis-Wollner’s videos reenact socially conditioned rituals of intimacy and perform the everyday rituals of domesticity. Fragments of conversation appear in moving images that are evocative of classical still-life painting and propose a cinematic reclamation of the patriarchal order of painting.

Anna Pasztor’s video, Why didn’t you trust me?, reflects her interest in dance, movement and choreography. The rhythm of New York and the pace of female bodies create a visual and physical montage, both contrasting and connecting the bodies and the urban environment they inhabit.

McSweeney’s cover, Issue 23 András Böröcz’s book, Home Sweet Home, is based on his recent series of the meticulously executed Outhouse Drawings. Böröcz uses the profane motif of the outhouse as an allegory to reflect on the collective, historical memories of Eastern Europe. Merging fiction and reality, his outhouses replace objects and humans. They appropriate images as disparate as Auschwitz or TV-watching couples, bringing together the banal and the traumatic.

As Borocz’s Eastern European fables, Andrea Dezso’s much-acclaimed embroideries, "Lessons From My Mother", also play on traditions of allegory. Her absurd texts, fusing maternal warnings, superstitions, and proverbial wisdoms, are accompanied by diagrammatical drawings and sign-like fragments. The color embroidered texts and images act as emblems of culture stereotypes, and recall the moralizing tradition of allegorical representation. Dezso’s cover design for the 23rd issue of McSweeney’s demonstrates her commitment to handmade craft as well as her interest in design and visual patterns. Using paper cutouts, embroidery, drawing, painting, collage, and calligraphy, Dezso explores the relationship between text and image, the handmade and the digitally reproduced.

Thomas Lendvai’s objects and installations use practices iof architecture and construction. Revising the agenda of Minimalism, Lendvai’s large-scale installations and serial, geometric sculptures reconfigure the spatial perception of the viewer as a constantly shifting experience. His site-specific installation, created for the space of the Hungarian Cultural Center, slants two mobile walls to construct an architectural form which appears to be in a state of collapse and disintegration.

Shandor Hassan’s photo-based installation presents a selection from his photographic project, Collection of Objects. Based on the sterile-looking studio photographs of Hassan’s personal collection of objects found on the street, the installation satirically explores the obsessive practice of collecting, the often arbitrary taxonomies of archives, and the alienating effects of object display.

The phantom-like afterimages appearing within the frames of Tamás Révész’s photographs explore the medium of photography as a screen that both exposes and conceals its subject. Révész’s most recent Colors of Spirit, a digitalized sequence of photographs of kaleidoscopic images—through its references to 19th century visual devices—historicizes his current explorations of visual spectacle and optical illusion.

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