R. THINKING / DREAMING ABOUT OVERPOPULATION
Concept proposal for the exhibition R. Thinking/Dreaming About Overpopulation
JULY 2006, MUýCSARNOK
The visual core of the proposed exhibition is a group of works by R—za El Hassan , R. Thinking/Dreaming About Overpopulation, and the display itself concerns the aesthetic precedents and social aspects of the works.
The narrative of the exhibition interprets an intellectual shift within the artist's creative activity, one from the impersonality of conceptual objects towards the individualism of humanistic contents, whose common denominator is grasping meanings by means of paradoxes, as well as associated peculiar contents , as serenity , humour or self-irony. The Stretched and Gleaming Objects and other early objects (Stretched Tangle ; Stone with Pins; Nine-hole Creature; Gleaming Fruits; Impatient Gardener; Wall Object) would be presented to bring into relief the aesthetic precedents of the autobiographical works.
Another viewpoint of great relevance for the interpretation of R. Thinking /Dreaming About Overpopulation is the analysis of contemporary reception as context. This on the one hand allows an insight into the political history (radicalization) of the artist, pointing out the limitations of the local discourse (as the social context which led to a ban in Budapest), and emphasizes, on the other, the essential difference between the representations of political activism and the politics of the personal. A possible interpretation of political contents would be allowed by an overview of the cooperation between El-Hassan and Toma S’k (1939Ð2004), Hungarian -born peace activist of Gush Shalom. This would also create a Òspace of remembrance,Ó wherein the political messages S’k represents can be highlighted. The contents of political activism (necessary to interpret El-Hassan's works) would also become subjects of the exhibition Ð in a strictly non- objectified form , but as political actions and other related events outside Òthe white cube,Ó effected by civil activist organizations. (An anti-war issue of local activist periodical AKCIî!; cooperation with the Hungarian Indymedia through a workgroup created from the activists of Zšfi, RŸgyecskŽk, IgEN, BŽkejel, Utca Embere and Food not bombs.) The analysis of local reception includes a look at the history of the work's presentations, its road to appearance in a mainstream Budapest institution. (El-Hassan and Toma S’k's joint presentation in Liget GalŽria; the beginnings of cooperation with aesthetician PŽter Gyšrgy; the first exhibition in a series that presents drawing, housed by FŽszek Klub and curated by D—ra Hegyi.)