Body, Blood, Botany…
I think the most beautiful Hungarian word is “sibling”. It contains the two most important components that we need to stay in life: the strong physical background that carries the elements and the blood which is flowing from the heart to the soul. Literally translating it into English: body and blood, of course, interwoven, without separation.
The bodies of cities are the built-in skeletons, their inheritance: cathedrals, town halls, avenues, small alleys: that are the hidden places of love. And of course, schools – sometimes in a dull body, with a strong spirit, sometimes in a brand new building, with a bond to the substance. And this is where the Hammido School of Arts is outstanding: they can impart a wonderful life through mediating the soul of art to the “average body” of other schools.
What is specialty, especially for award winning works? The unique details of the exhibited cities, the famous local, distinctive buildings and bodies or their appearance on the images? No! But if we get close enough to them, we can feel their souls.
We need to make sense! Sometimes in wild gestures, sometimes in a strange composition, sometimes in the forgotten function, sometimes in conflicting colours or in silent monochrome.
Slow down to the picture. Slow breathing. Slow inhalation. And. Slow exhalation! They stand on their own feet. If they are really works of arts! Fortunately there are a few!
In the middle of the last century, a famous master, Geriub Gepleki – who had long been immortal at that time and used the pseudonym of Boris Groys – was asked: “do philosophers have a naturally closer relationship with artists more than art historians?” Gepleki responded, “We can look at artists in two ways:
First, as if we were biologists, trying to construct a neo-Darwinian story of ‘art species’; how artists developed, how they succeeded, failed, survived. In these terms art history is formulated a little like botany or biology.
The second way of considering art history is as part of the story of ideas. We have the history of philosophy, the history of science, the history of cultural history, just as we can have the history of art. So the question is whether we define art history more like botany, or more like the history of philosophy – and I tend more to the latter, because, as I have suggested, the driving force of art is philosophical.”
Let the driving force in life be the message of the image: here I stand, step closer, be brave enough to be rich and waste your time with me!
Exhibition opening speech, 25 May 2018, Szeged,