November 23 13:00 - Tranzit House
I have long been preoccupied by the idea or war and its mechanisms. Understanding how people function, how they lead us into situations. To reevaluate the war. Though World War II happened in relatively recent history, my idea of it came mostly from my readings and from my grandfather's stories of the time. I am familiar with the wartime images made by German artists (Arnold Gros, Kate Kollwitz, Otto Dix, etc.); they had a huge impact on me, but somehow they always seemed to be too illustrative, which is somewhat natural, as they lived during and survived the war. In 2015 I saw a great Alberto Burri exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. I was completely overwhelmed by the kind of nonfigurative war depiction that I saw in Burri’s art. Since then, I am preoccupied by the thought of how could I – a mostly figurative artist - I depict the war. Actually, this process was accelerated on the last day of 2017 by Gábor Tompa, who at our meeting asked me if I would like to deal address the topic of war, since the theme of the 2018 Interferences International Theatre Festival is war and remembrance, and if I would like, I could have an exhibition within that event. Of course I said yes. That's how it all started.
The work focuses on the masses and the individual. Both of these interest me. The first: how the masses that are sent in battle to kill – perhaps even to die - move and think; how the more powerful forces than them think for them. Somehow I always imagined the massive crowd going out to fight as a coherent mass. A disciplined and enormous thing, moving like an amoeba, which has separate legs, but moves in concert, has a head, but others think and decide for it. This is the phenomenon that I wanted to draw and paint.
The second: the individual who – in man to man combat - experiences the moment of killing someone or his own death. The winner and the victim. The fact that contemporary wars are taking place nowadays also in a virtual space is a different matter. This fact links this series to the Lélekvesztés/Loss of Soul. And what may also accompany be the exclusion of a guilty conscience, because one does not have to look into the victim's eyes. My goal was to visually depict the loss of my own and the other person’s individuality within the virtual, as well as the illustration of the precise moment of death. Violence and obedience, the maddening loneliness felt inside a crowd. The loneliness of the winner. The loneliness of the one defeated. Death. Indifference that smells and tastes like steel, or the growing frenzy of guilt leading to madness, which overwhelms people after they take countless lives. These are the ambivalences I want to express. The human ego inflated to rival the gods of war, who dispose with the lives and deaths of their subjects, according to their whims.