It is not unprecedented that both MOME students and the teachers themselves are active as artists. The institution fully supports the exploration of new frontiers, thus constantly inspiring the student community. Within the framework of the Foundation for Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design’s Patronage program, a tangible result of this idea has now been achieved. Although the works had previously appeared within the walls of the university, a preview event of the Mome Emotions took place in September 2021. Emese Benczúr’s Let it shine! and Szilárd Cseke’s Spaces, Phrasing, and his work Sustainable Identities were presented.
Vacant, lifeless spaces left empty by the pandemic are once again filled with students, teachers, life and contemporary art. We exist in an ever-changing and constantly moving system of relations. In this system, the two artists dreamed up and created their installations. Emese Benczúr and Szilárd Cseke, who have both participated in the Venice Biennale of Fine Arts (Emese Benczúr in 1999 at the 48th one; Szilárd Cseke in 2015 at the 56th one) and both have strong links with the University.
The creator and curator of the initiative, Kinga German, Head of Art and Design Management MA at MOME, Associate Professor, gave a guided tour at the event. The works will be on display for two years with the support of the Patronage program.
Szilárd Cseke: Spaces (2015-2017, looped video)
The Spaces video installation comes to life in a non-place, besides the entrance, inside the MOME UP building. The work, created with the help of Mihály Lukács, first appeared on the website of the Venice Biennale and became widely available. The manipulated visual unit of the displayed version shows the motion bars of black and white polystyrene spheres on a stretched canvas. Accidental clashes can be interpreted as metaphors of communication, controlled coincidences that may seem completely spontaneous, but the conscious artistic intervention is clearly visible to the trained eye.
Phrasing (2021, interactive wall discs)
On the ground floor of the MOME UP building, in front of the library, we can see another installation by Cseke. The pitch-black movable wall discs contain concepts, research principles and teaching materials associated with the identity of the university and the Bauhaus. Two of the six discs were already on display in 2015 in the inner courtyard of the Hungarian pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale of Fine Arts. In addition to the former—which revolve around sustainability—other concepts linked to education and the design process were added. A special disc pays tribute to the Hungarian members of the Bauhaus, with a wide variety of lives and destinies behind the many names. The work sums up the importance of the library’s activities, the creative attitude, and tradition—where did we come from and where are we going from here.
Sustainable Identities site-specific space installation
Even the construction of the installation required professional expertise from the creator. The kinetic creation on the floor of the MOME Master building builds around the concepts of identity construction and sustainability. The foil tubes stretched between the walls of the university square can also be interpreted as identity trajectories of different speeds.
Emese Benczúr: Let it shine (2021, site-specific installation)
On the ceiling of the Gondűző’s terrace, Emese Benczúr’s artwork appears like a golden wheat field. The installation, made up of fifty-two thousand tiny gold chains, blends in with its surroundings, the former noble mansion as if it had always been there. Benczúr was consciously looking for a location away from the central, bustling face of the university. Looking up, the silvery Let it shine inscription almost opens out of the gold. The creator is characterized by a polyphonic, sometimes ironic way of thinking. She had already addressed the audience at the Venice Biennale and is asking us to do the same now: Let it shine! But the question itself is left open. It’s up to each person to decide what they let shine.