October 21 - December 9, 2011

contemporary art space

F.D.P. - Fabrica de Pensule, 59-61 H. Barbusse st., 1st floor
Cluj Napoca

The Art of Self-justification
artists: Kicsiny Balazs

Kicsiny Balázs is one the most prominent Hungarian artists today. He is probably mainly renown for his Venice Biennale pavilion from 2005, where he was chosen to represent Hungary, which was truly on of the best of that edition. But his career and oeuvre are far too complex to be reduced to this single, albeit quite spectacular endeavour, spanning more that twenty-five years of significant presence both on the Hungarian and on the international art scene.
At a first glance, the best term to describe Kicsiny’s artistic production  might appear to be “installation art”. But, with him, just as an anthropomorphic shape is never simply a sculpture, in the classical meaning of the word (namely, a three-dimensional art object that is to be admired), an installation is never simply an ensemble of shapes that come together to produce meaning. Thus, his installations address the viewer in a very engaging manner, sometimes looking like frozen performances, other times like uncanny props from a theatre show of a director with a passion for surrealism. In a way, most of his major works, from Winterreise to Migrating Interpretation, from Permanent Landing to Exact Time, relate to the notion of performative utterance, in the very direct meaning of the concept. Thus, they are present and they act by the very act of their presence, they do something in the world, rather then saying something about it to the viewer. They tend to generate experience, rather than meaning.
For his first solo show in Romania, Kicsiny Balázs proposes, at Bázis from the Paintbrushes Factory in Cluj, a project that reveals precisely the above mentioned characteristics of his art. Titled The Art of Self-justification, the show at Bázis touches on topics such as the relationship between signs and interdictions, the conventional character of communication and the oppressive nature of power, manifested in standardization. An immersive installation, Kicsiny’s project is at the same time an open invitation to reflection on such issues and it challenges the spectator to go beyond visual pleasure or fascination to take a glimpse at the menaces it alludes to.

Bogdan Iacob, art critic