VASARELY GO HOME, 2011
The project investigates a double event that took place in Budapest on Saturday, October 18, 1969. Opening that day, Victor Vasarely, the internationally renowned artist of Hungarian origin, had a large retrospective exhibition at Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest. This was his largest exhibition to date and the first exhibition of abstract art of its size in Hungary. In a time of slow political “normalization,” cultural policy was actively reestablishing contact with artists living abroad. While the show was an “import” of international art, it was also a reclaiming of Vasarely as Hungarian, so that it could also be seen as a cultural “export.” While the Hungarian avant-garde art (comprising abstract art) of that time was at best tolerated, Vasarely’s exhibition was an immense public event attracting almost 90,000 visitors. The show met with high expectations as well as criticism from the local artistic scene.
The second event taking place that evening during the exhibition opening at Mücsarnok was a one-person protest by artist János Major, who had a small sign in his pocket reading “Vasarely go home,” which he showed only to friends and acquaintances when no one else was watching.
The video “Vasarely Go Home” consists of interviews with artists and other participants the cultural scene active at that time in Budapest. They talk about the importance of the exhibition and work of Victor Vasarely for their practice and the Hungarian art scene as well as about János Major and his action. Some of them witnessed that very evening, and they also talk in more general terms about this import / export of a former avant-garde practice and its political background and relevance in 1969.
Andreas Fogarasi (born 1977 in Vienna) uses forms of display that are reminiscent of minimalism and conceptual art to explore questions of space and representation. Between a documentary and a sculptural practice he critically analyses the aesthetisation and economisation of urban space and the role of architecture and the cultural field in contemporary society. Incorporating video, sculpture and installation in wide-sweeping discursive webs, Fogarasi confronts the viewer with fault lines in historiography, imagineering, and cultural identities.
He has had solo exhibitions among others at Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna; Galéria Mesta Bratislava (2017); Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City; LAMOA, Los Angeles (2016); Tranzit, Iași (2015); Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo; GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2014); Trafó Gallery, Budapest; Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2012); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; CAAC – Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Sevilla (2011); Ludwig Forum, Aachen (2010); MAK, Vienna; Ernst Museum, Budapest; Lombard Freid-Projects, New York; Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2008) and at the Hungarian Pavilion at the 52. Biennale di Venezia (2007), where he was awarded the Golden Lion Prize for best national participation.
His work was included in numerous group shows in institutions like the Museo Tamaya, Mexico City; Mücsarnok, Budapest; New Museum, New York; Kunstverein Düsseldorf; MAK Center, Los Angeles; European Kunsthalle, Cologne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; CAC, Vilnius; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Palais de Toyko, Paris;