Friss 2012, up at Kogart Haz on Andrassy until October 12, is an annual show of recent graduates here in Budapest, and as the show is named “Fresh” you can imagine its idea is to introduce new artists to the scene. This year new graduates from Switzerland were also included. There were some really lovely works, and I thought very internationally engaged, which the curators selected and organized around the theme of empathy/manipulation. This theme came with a warning from the curators: that no one was innocent. I can’t speak to that, but here are some of the works I found interesting and accomplished.
Otto Szabo’s installation of an embroidered veil and photographs illustrate how Muslim head coverings became a part of traditional Hungarian folk costumes. The floating head in front of old photographs was an affecting and interesting visual object, and the research behind it fascinating. This installation lies more on the empathetic side of the continuum the curators set up.
As does Anna Gyurkovics’s photography series Papa, which has a great quality of light, intimacy, and immediacy. More of the artist’s work is up on Flikr.
Zsofia Toth’s Keretek, or Frames, are large paintings that take on some of the traditions around the presentation of art. This speaks more to the manipulation side of the continuum.
Balint Radoczy‘s video installation, What We Are, shows detritus in the confluence of a particular bend of the Tiber, floating and circulating in an endless loop. The beautiful colors of the trash belies their worthless, even dirty, state.
From the Swiss contingent, David Siepert took advertisements from magazines where flesh had been covered over. Then he hired people to remake the conservative dresses, turning Muslim attitudes toward showing flesh into real clothes that didn’t previously exist and showed them in a fashion show and with photographic evidence. His well-executed project, like Szabo’s in that it puts cultural norms in the spotlight, brings an anthropological approach to culture together with both empathy and manipulation.