290609: Knoll Galerie Wien: Csaba Nemes – Every day is 1956

Knoll Galerie Wien: Csaba Nemes – Every day is 1956 Revolution - every day The video “Puhányok” (softies), by the Hungarian artist Csaba Nemes, born 1966, is definitely nothing for softies. The 17-minute video, shown next to his paintings in the Knoll Gallery, is set in Budapest and features the fictitious assault of two men (Tenkes and Kenó) on a Jewish student, who, in front of the camera, is forced to swear a National Socialist oath. The brutality is demonstrated less by physical but much more by psychological violence. The framework plot is the interview of Tenkes by a team of journalists. Flashbacks reconstruct the progression of events. The roles of the victim and the offenders are distinctively distributed. But the attempt to describe the guys represented here, their aims and values, ends in contradictions. According to Nemes, all those in the video are softies. Their weakness does not exclusively refer to their character properties, but to the expansibility of certain (political) terms. Tenkes offers no clear answers to any questions. He does not allow himself to be pinpointed by any motif or political attitude. This mental vacuum is additionally supported by the venue at which the interview takes place – the apartment does not belong to Tenkes, it’s an undefined place where he is currently staying. In the otherwise empty room, a bicycle leans against the wall. For the protagonists, standing in for “Hungarian values” and at the same time taking part in “critical mass” demonstrations for a greener Budapest, do not rule each other out. Anti-Semitism and hostility against homosexuals, but also the complex relationship of publicity and representation, taking over roles and their medial processing are important topics of this multi-layered work. Csaba Nemes creates art, which is strongly characterized by the current local socio-political conflicts, but has a chronological as well as geographical overarching relevance. In Hungary’s current situation, he continuously discovers new conflicts and points of friction. By Katja Melzer Knoll Galerie Wien 1060 Vienna, Gumpendorfer Strasse 18, until 31.07.09 www.kunstnet.at/knoll

Knoll Galerie Wien
1060 Wien, Gumpendorfer Straße 18
Tel: +43 1 587 50 52, Fax: +43 1 587 59 66
Email: office@knollgalerie.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr 14-18, Sa 13-16h

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