September 22, 2008 - Mucsarnok Kunsthalle - Presents two new exhibitions
September 22, 2008

Presents two new exhibitions

Mircea Cantor
7 Future Gifts, detail from the installation, “Toys for children” exhibition with Ion Grigorescu, 2006, Studio Protokoll, Cluj Napoca, Romania
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Yvon Lambet, Paris.

Mircea Cantor
Future Gifts

27 September – 9 November

Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest
H – 1146 Budapest, Dózsa György út 37.
info [​at​]

Mircea Cantor: Future Gifts
Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest
27 September – 9 November
Curator: Lívia Páldi

Mircea Cantor makes his first long-awaited solo appearance with Future Gifts in Hungary. Beside the five works selected from the last few years including video- and film installations (Deeparture, 2006, Shadow for a while, 2007) the artist presents a new 7-piece sculptural installation entitled 7 Future Gifts, inspired by a small ceramic installation he exhibited at Studio Protokoll (Cluj Napoca, Romania) in 2006.

Shaped by a largely untraceable mix of simple (many times absurd) observations and intimate findings from his familial and professional environments (both in France and Romania) on the one hand and supported by an appreciation for unpredictability on the other, Cantor’s works can, at first sight, puzzle the viewer with their apparent simplicity and bluntness. Viewers soon realize, however, that they have entered unsteady terrains and the seductive sense of anonymity and simplicity unfold into a rather layered and complex set of connections and relations.

The genuine playfulness, and a certain mischievous character – with surprising twists often tinted with irony – which inform Cantor`s work help both to keep one’s distance and to give new perspective to the observed phenomena. His works are poetic layerings that do leave a few traces to intrigue the viewer about the complexity of his transformations.

The sequence of the works presented in the Kunsthalle further articulates the intertwining duality of unpretentious material presence and latency leading to the new work 7 Future Gifts, a set of gigantic to more modestly sized “air” boxes; emptiness gift wrapped into 7 precisely composed geometrical structures, which maintain their individuality, each carrying a ribbon of different fashion.

Upon entering to receive these “gifts” one will most probably feel a mixture of agitation, expectation, surprise and uncertainty. A bit of an “Alice in Wonderland”-ish feel is also smuggled in, however, to test our ability to assimilate surprise, as well as to make us remember things we may have wished for at unusual moments and/or places.

Mircea Cantor was born in Oradea (Romania). He lives and works in Paris.

Main supporters: Ministerul Culturi si Culterol, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris, CULTURESFRANCE, Institutul Cultural Roman, Budapest

Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest
27 September – 9 November
Curator: Hajnalka Somogyi

Today, the modern project seems to be in ruins.
We have had to do away with the conviction that the human intellect is powerful enough to fully cognize and comprehend the world from the micro to the macro scale. We have given up the faith in perpetual change through which we could systematically make order in our world, conquer all organic and inanimate energies of the universe, and create the most perfect of all possible worlds, a glorious empire of human intellect where truth and happiness rule.

Communism was carried out and fell to its doom like an ugly parody; the whirlwind of capitalism has been sweeping to the sideline all values not measurable in money; military aggression throughout the twentieth century has fundamentally shaken the faith in human sense and goodwill; in service of our own comfort, we are on the verge of destroying the ecosystem. What is the use of human judgement if the declared programmes of modernity are, slowly but surely, making life impossible? Is it that the principle itself is flawed or that we continue to fail at putting it into practice?

Today, there is also an abundance of mass and elite cultural production that turns toward the past. A sense of nostalgia rules. Although this turning backwards might seem like escapism, it is important to differentiate. Memory politics have been effectively used to inscribe a failure narrative that only helps one happily wallow in planless self-pity. The search for alternative histories and interpretations, on the other hand, can be enacted as a self-reflexive, critical way to counteract this tendency.

The exhibition features works by thirteen contemporary artists who investigate the relation of the present to ideals of modernism. They inquire into the ideologies, visions and great plans of the recent past through critically examining or enacting concepts and strategies for exploring or (re)arranging space, such as expeditions, architecture, urban planning and geopolitics. On the verge of canonized history and personal memory, their approach shifts between distanced irony, an intertwined sense of failure and humor, and enthusiasm for committed and grand-scale action. Until now, their work has remained mostly invisible in Hungary; the exhibition aims to present a selection of works that constitute an important tendency in contemporary art.

Main sponsor: Deloitte
Special sponsor: Banco Popolare
Main supporters: Trust for Mutual Understanding, IASPIS

Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest
H – 1146 Budapest, Dózsa György út 37.
Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00 Tuesday to Sunday,
Thursdays 12.00-20.00

Mucsarnok Kunsthalle
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