American Hungarian Library and Historical Society, 215 East 82nd St, New York, NY 10028
April 13–20, 2022
To grapple with the unfolding crises in their micro and macro environments, Hungarian artists Tamás Ábel and Judit Kis reimagine the recently renovated American Hungarian Library as an inclusive space for rest, reading, and contemplation. The two artists fill the empty building with sculptural works, site-specific installations, and assemblages of books while actively playing with and occasionally defying its architectural structure. Their tongue-in-cheek references to brick walls and glass ceilings aim to question the existing heteropatriarchal systems of knowledge, power, and representation that dominate the cultural institutions of their motherland.
Reflecting on the political outrage that unfolded in Hungary due to the publication of Fairyland is for Everyone (Meseország Mindenkié, Labrisz, 2020)—a children’s book featuring fictional stories of marginalized queer, Roma, or disabled characters—the works of Ábel and Kis are guided by notions of tolerance, radical care, and collectivity. Their sculptural pieces playfully interact with the books featured in the show, which have been selected in collaboration with other artists, theorists, and NGOs to highlight the exhibition’s thematic concerns and present a diverse range of authors. Visitors are encouraged to read or take selected books home from the exhibition.
The program is supported by BuBu Arts, Sauska, and Agnes and Ivan Sanders.
Consultants: Agáta Gordon (poet and writer), Zachary Fabri (artist), Tímea Junghaus (The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture), Liz Nielsen (Elijah Wheat Showroom), Viktória Radványi (Budapest Pride), Ivan and Agnes Sanders, Ningyi Sol (filmmaker), Anton Svyatsky (Fragment Gallery).
To support Ukrainian artists in the midst of the ongoing war with Russia, 100% of the proceeds from selected artworks in "Strategic Stillness" will be donated to the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund.
Curated by Veronika Molnar
Photos by Zachary Fabri
Copyright © 2023 Veronika Molnar - All Rights Reserved.