BODY, FETISH, DEATH
—Gábor Kerekes, Géza Szöllősi—
The exhibition was realized with the collaboration
of the Gábor Kerekes Archive and
Zsolt Péter Barta, estate administrator.
Exhibition: 24 March, 2016—23 April, 2016
Art+Text Budapest’s exhibition, focusing on the conceptual threefold of body-fetish-death, displays a unique section of the rich and wide-ranging oeuvre of the photographer Gábor Kerekes, who passed away two years ago, aged 69. Bizarre accessories, scientific evidences, eerie focuses and strange toys evoke the ephemeral nature of human existence and bodily desires, and the experience of the closeness of death – both in the archaizing photographs of Kerekes and in the synthetic resin hommages of Géza Szöllősi inspired by Kerekes’s works.
The chosen motifs and the historical techniques (gelatine silver print, albumin paper, anthracotic, etc.) form a dramatic unit in Kerekes’s works. The exhibition presents pieces from the photographer’s different periods – but most importantly from his last one – that are dominated by a “historical bizarre” atmosphere. This further gets strengthened in the pictures where he creates “death-portraits” using his own body, in the alchemist-like scientific macro-photos, in the vintage beauty of sex toys, and in the frivol accessories of the fetishes of madness. The detailed examination, technical experimenting, and the sometimes obscure choice of themes unite Kerekes’s oeuvre. The difficult procedures of the 19th century anarcotics raise the artistic actions to a higher level; Kerekes carried out all working processes himself, with the accuracy of a surgeon.
Géza Szöllősi’s experimenting character and sensitivity to Kerekes’s pictures further enhances the specific atmosphere of the exhibition that resembles to an alchemist’s workshop. Szöllősi represents young artists’ generation and makes contact with the photographs in a fresh and provocative tone, using his synthetic resin sculptures and his own creative language. Each vintage-like object, casted in mystic and shiny plastic cubes, is connected to the photographs of Kerekes, converting the gloomy, archaic images into 3D reality. Differently shaped glass dildos, feathers, aircraft cemeteries, frog skeletons, octopuses, and transparent globes sparkle in the synthetic resin cubes, and represent the paradox of preservation and passing away.
The simple, clear settings of the photographs have transcendental power. Szöllősi uses these still lives with great respect, converts them and extends them in space. One of the main objects of his work – using his own words – is to reach a certain “turning point” from the everydays into an ethereal, esoteric dimension. Gábor Kerekes is the perfect partner for this, since both artists search for the invisible exit from the ephemeral and pulverizing vale of tears using the threefold of body-fetish-death.