The joint exhibition of Artpool Art Research Center and Galeria Centrális will present the “alternative (impossible) country image” Artpool project titled “HUNGARY CAN BE YOURS / International Hungary”, banned in 1984, in the context of Hungary’s “official country image”, which affected a wide audience at the time.
The project organised a year before (April 2000 / Artpool P60) can be presented again at the study exhibition since, coincidentally, these works could be read in the context of the III/III documents for the first time. The images of the exhibition virtually served as an illustration for an informer’s report. This concept has now been supplemented with the photo- and video documents of the original 1984 exhibition and those of its 1989 reconstruction.
“A country’s image can be regarded as an interesting and special image type which, through its approach and content, creates a unified framework for and impacts the products of a given country, as well as its brands, organisations, culture and enterprises, and is somewhat even more than this. Shaping a country’s image is more than a mere economic ambition. We must accept that shaping a country’s image depends not only on the financial situation of its businesses but the given country’s domestic culture, tourism, its "public hygiene", its society’s behavioural customs and many other components not necessarily tied to the economy that are also an integral part of it [...] A country’s image is also the general picture we form in our minds about the given people, country and nation, which may equally be personal experiences, opinions and news mediating positive or negative emotions, from either an objective or subjective complex psychological approach. Thus, a country’s image is the sum of information gained about the given nation/country.”
One of the most expressive pieces of Artpool’s 1984 “alternative country image” collection is Miklós Erdély’s charcoal drawing titled “TRAFFIC LIGHTS”. In the monochrome picture, the meaning of the three colours of the Hungarian flag are textually substituted by the meaning of the three colours of traffic lights. The conceptual – linguistic and visual – interpretation of the national flag is a major “poetic” invention, an interdiscipline. A textbook example of interdisciplinary thinking (INDIGO). The essence of the “invention” is that it created a unified method of reading of politics, science and art with a single move. Regarding the accurate representation of the above-mentioned report, it conveys the most real image of the “happiest barrack”.
(“ ... the work motivates motions at meta-level.” - ME)
|LOYALTY||(white / amber)||WAIT|
According to the REPORT of a secret agent with the cover name “Zoltán Pécsi”, the work is “a low-quality drawing of a tripartite flag /obviously the Hungarian tricoIour/ in black and white. The colour fields, however, contain the circles of traffic lights marking them with the words ‘stop’, ‘wait’ and ‘go’. /These were not in colour either, the whole drawing is black and white, apparently on photocopy paper. /The three-colour flag, a symbol of the state, can be easily associated with the Hungarian word for police [part of the compound word for traffic lights in Hungarian – transl.] by the least creative audiences and with traffic lights. Hence, the meaning of the work is: ‘Hungary is a police state’. /This meaning is not explicitly expressed, so Erdély can always protect himself by saying that the drawing means something completely different; however, the aforesaid meaning was absolutely clear for the given audience./”
(see also: cultural policy - 3Ts / banned, tolerated, supported)
1984 – Time in a different dimension
(Where time goes backwards)
[...] It seems that objects are accompanied by something that happens to be the opposite of what they triumphed over: time. Time extends to objects again after we are gone. Objects are exclusions of time, supersedings of time. Objects do not have to die with us.
[...] We see the authors in context. Not so much in the context of their artworks, field of work or users but in the environment of all the other areas and all the other non-affected non-users. (Jochen Gerz)
In Orwell’s metaphorical year, in the period of the “happiest barrack”, when some people spoke of a soft, velvety dictatorship, when all that is not banned is allowed, when the slogan “those who are not against me are with me” was in fashion, then the culture of silence was still watched over vigilantly by the state security’s watch-system making any other network impossible. Only a few people knew this: those who did not keep quiet about the fact that they were unable to live in a valueless society, a shortage economy, mundaneness and mediocrity. They are the ones who were unable to leave, go insane or die because they were strong enough to regard staying here as the greatest adventure. They rusted that “when time extends again to objects” the impossible will suddenly become possible again and objects will again “be supersedings of time”.