The underlying thesis of the exhibition entitled Birds of Cool, opened at Q Contemporary, is that digitality and virtuality have now become an indispensable part of cultural consumption and creation. In light of this, the exhibiting young artists make a collective attempt to accept the phenomenon as a fact, rejecting dystopian and nostalgic approaches. Instead, optimism, pulsating colors, and the funky attitude permeate the works. The exhibition is open until April 2.
“It was definitely important for us to have a light and energetic humor that is far away from irony and sarcasm. We didn’t want to outline another dystopia where technology is dark and scary. Of course, this does not mean that the exhibition would propagate naive futurism, we just wanted to draw attention to the positives of our present, showing existing possibilities,” Tímea Fülöp, curator of the exhibition, shared with us. “There can always be cause for concern, but now we are calling on everyone to celebrate the image storm and the dumping of information with us, even if there is a potential for deception.”
The exhibiting artists: Márton Gresa, Dániel Kármán, LA.CA (Laca Németh), Levente Radvánszki and Norbert Porkoláb do not form a specific group of artists: the pilot project presented at Birds of Cool was inspired by their long-standing friendship. Initially, they created a common email address where they started collecting all kinds of visual content from the internet. From the common set, a private selection was then created, and then a system of motifs was collected, which was processed using different cooperative creative methods. In the exhibition we can find paintings that the four painters painted together, there are works made in pairs, as well as independent works that reflect the common motifs. In this way, individual artistic personas mix with a common style, while classical painting traditions blur with machine visuality.
An important element of the exhibition is the attitude towards music. Visual references to different styles of music appear on the works: neon colors, pixels, symbols and logos can be discovered on the images.“The directing itself has a rhythm, some of the paintings are duets, but there are some that involve work by four people. During the design, each other’s ideas were remixed, but the end result is strongly determined by the improvisation and the way the lead voice is passed between them: as if we were listening to jazz. The title of the show also refers to an album by Miles Davis, the Birth of the Cool. The first buzzword was funky, then techno and rap were added to the joint playlist,” said Timea. The birds in the title carry on the name of the studio shared by Márton Gresa and Dániel Kármán, where the joint works were made. Their studio, named Birdhouse, used to be the office of the Pigeon Breeders Association in Hungary for nearly fifty years. “As a symbol, the bird carries the ideal of freedom, and the aviary is the safe environment that provides a home for a young artistic community,” stated the creators, who were essentially exploring the possibilities of free creation and a safe base.