October 4 - November 15, 2019
CENTRUL DE INTERES, Fabricii de Chibrituri 9/A, 4th floor, Cluj-Napoca
Erik Mátrai (1977) graduated the Hungarian Arts University in 2004 as a painter, but – being a multimedia artist - he is creating in other domains as video, photography or installations as well. Living and working in Budapest Erik Mátrai is well known on international arts scene, his name being tightly linked to Lumino-kinetic art and to large scale installations. However the pictorial approach remained determinant in all his works, we can observe that not only through the constant connection between light and color or through the attention accorded to issues of color theory, but also by theming the basic characteristics of illustrative and spatial arts and by reflections about the tradition of sacred arts. The works of Erik Mátrai are directly focused on the human experiences, on connections that are and can be created between human and transcendent, all this related to eternal dilemma of correlation between perception and representation.
The artist`s most recent installation Moving Wall is based on previous works of him, such as the Spot Gate installation from 2011 (as well as two other installation inspired by this work: Spectrum Wall from 2018 and Spectrum Corridor from 2019), or the work Porticus from 2012. These light installations are challenging the space-perception of the viewers through their special architecture formed by piles of light being materialized by the use of artificial smoke, but at the same time the installations tend to create a connection between a sensorial and a spiritual-meditative experience. The light installations of the artist are using complex and universal symbols – the Spot Gate is symbolizing the gate that connects dimensions and the corridor of light that leads to the gate, the work Porticus uses a peristyle which traditionally is the symbol of connection between earth and sky in sacred arts. These architectural elements are not related to a specific geographical region or to a specific religion, but are definitely related to any transcendental experiences.
The Moving Wall installation, as a new stop in Erik Mátrai`s artistic endeavor is continuing and enlarging the inquiry of specific questions about space, perception and passage. With the help of artificial smoke the light strip is modifying the perception of space creating a new space-experience, as changing of location becomes possible without any actual movement required from the viewer. The artist is broadening the meaning of space as a meditational medium, and at the same time is giving a new perspective on the notion of movement.
Kata Balázs, art historian