press release

The first exhibition in the framework of How to Do Things? – In the Middle of (No)where… features partly new projects and partly older work by Andreas Fogarasi (AT), Lise Harlev (DK), Michal Moravcik (SK), Julita Wójcik (PL) and Société Réaliste (HU/F). Thus, beyond the artworks presented in the exhibition, during their one month stay, the artists will develop a truly new project as a reaction to their experiences gained in Budapest. As a local artist mediator, Miklós Erhardt will be in dialogue with the artists throughout the realization of the projects. Although these works might take place in public spaces and therefore won't be incorporated in the exhibition, the artists will present their thoughts and the process of their work to the audience with a presentation at Trafó Gallery on February 18, 2006 at 4 pm.

In the exhibition Julita Wójcik shows one of her video-performances: Pust wsjegda budjet solnce (May always be sunshine) (2004), a title taken from a soviet pioneer song. In the video Wójcik refers to the motto of the song by simply having a kite with the symbol of the sun flying in the bright sky. Her Budapest project Weather Forecast (2006) invites the public to vote for tomorrow ’s weather, that is, the weather one would like to have on the coming day; with this project the artist is reacting to a situation in Budapest that is strongly shaped by the Hungarian 2006 election campaign.

Among the themes in the elections campaign is the question of the nation and its borders, Michal Moravcik's works comment upon nationalism as well as on problems of political power, society and the individual in general. During his residency he will work on the issue of minorities and their representation.

Lise Harlev's artworks relate to the phenomena of advertising in public space – applied for commercial purposes just as for political campaigns – and invite the viewer to reflect upon the consumption of these messages; for her posters the artist playfully appropriates simple and colourful images and typefaces from advertisements and billboards. Harlev's Budapest project examines the emotional implications of travelling abroad and the resulting problems of identification and self-understanding.

In his works Andreas Fogarasi deals with the question of how economic models interfere and produce images and concepts of space. Displaying a left (2001), on show at Trafó,evolves around the headquarters of the communist party in Paris built by Oscar Niemeyer. The artist uses this exemplary modernist building to reflect upon questions of linking aesthetics to political commitment and of constantly changing modes of interpretation. Fogarasi will investigate the transformation that the "Mûvelõdési Házak" (cultural centers) in Budapest went through since their construction in the 1950s.

The artist group Société Réaliste for the first time; the title refers to a type of illegal pyramid scheme named after Charles Ponzi and the installation comments on the specific form of wild capitalism in ex-socialist Europe. Ponzi's will travel to all five exhibition venues in a locally-adapted form, showing the very heterogeneous views not only on economic models, but also on the art market in all five countries. Société Réaliste will give a talk on the opening evening, February 1, 2006. All the artists will be present for the opening.

Artists Andreas Fogarasi (AT), Lise Harlev (DK), Michal Moravcik (SK), Julita Wójcik (PL), Société Réaliste (HU/F)

Curators Dorothee Bienert, Hajnalka Somogyi, Antje Weitzel