There are three possible ways to view this exhibition:
Upon entering, you go past the reception desk and turn left.
Upon entering you go past the reception desk and turn right.
Upon entering you go neither left nor right, but read this instead. You are standing here.
We will take some of your time – but it is up to you to how much, and how. Possibly only a few minutes:
You immediately stop reading, exit the gallery, and go somewhere else.
Possibly your entire life: one never knows how something may affect someone in a way that s/he hopes never to forget. This effect cannot be influenced.
This could take place here, but one would have to look around.
Everything here is about mediums and art, in other words about you, a willing medium of this exhibition: if you continue here you consent to observe and be observed. The latter is not as important if you take into consideration the fact that it can take place anytime without your knowledge.
Your attention is crucial: the works only exist when they are observed. Without an audience (listener, reader), art does not exist.
What you can see here is not too much – but maybe not too little either: if we take into account all the lengths of all the time-based works included in this exhibition it adds up to nearly four and a half hours of viewing time. Of course rarely, if ever, do we spend this much time at an exhibition. Maybe we shouldn’t even watch everything: after all, we can’t see everything. But at an exhibition this too is an option: in such instances it is worthwhile to return – in this instance the entrance ticket allows you to enter twice.
This information board was placed here to aid you, the visitor, the most important element here, as everything was done for you.
If you have reached this point in this text we recommend that, of the three approaches listed below, you chose the second, didactic version, skipping the first and disregarding the third.
The first approach: cognitive
Every exhibition has a (better or worse) concept, which in the eyes of those who organized
it was for some reason regarded at the time of conception and construction as optimal.
The present exhibition imagines a viewer who chooses the cognitive approach, the ideal
viewer on three different levels:
(1) S/he is fundamentally aware why s/he came here, and possibly knows many of the works, maybe even all of them. What interests her/him is the present orchestration. And of course it is nice to see some things again, to observe them more attentively, to refresh one’s memory, not to mention that the context is new. For a cognitive approach, preliminary information is indispensable, since our observations are determined by this information: in such cases, the goal of cognition is always the testing of the given interface placed between the “self” and the “world”, in this case it takes form in an exhibition. We have anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half, and an opportunity that will not come again.
(2) Visitors who chose the cognitive approach usually don’t take advantage of the chance to use their ticket for repeated entry: they don’t return, they are the seekers or captives of single occasions. Therefore for them we offer as a meditative mantra a passage from Cusanus (written a long time ago and in a different context): “In like manner, the present, or the now, enfolds time. The past was present, and the future will become the present: Therefore, nothing except an ordered present is found in time. Hence, the past and the future are the unfolding of the present.” – and why? Because during the preparations for the exhibition, the question of how the “Now” of the past and the “Present” of now can meet in this moment was inspirational.
(3) After reading these lines, some visitors who chose the cognitive approach may not even be interested in the exhibition.
Second approach: didactic
We offer you the following instructions: walk around in the exhibition space, look at everything, but don’t spend too much time anywhere. Then come back here, leave the exhibition space, have a coffee or something, or go outside the building, get some fresh air and decide which of the works included in the exhibition you would like to ponder and examine properly. It is not possible to appreciate time-based works if one does not devote the necessary time to them and observe them properly. A quick scan, hastily snatched moments devoid of context do not help. An appropriate amount of time, taken from one’s available time, must be devoted to the works. The information provided regarding the individual works can help one decide, for example, which of two works s/he would like to ponder: if you happen to have plenty of time, you should choose the longer of the two, if you have less, chose the shorter, and next time come so that you can include the longer works.
Third approach: pragmatic
You either misunderstood our suggestion or skipped over the – for an exhibition space unusually lengthy – text looking for the word pragmatic. This was the right thing for you to do: if this is your approach, we will reveal to you that the majority of the works here can be found on the internet. In order for you to find them quickly, there is a QR code beside each work. If you save them on your telephone you can create your own screening at home. There are, of course, a few things you won’t be able to access in this way, but we sum up for you below and thus, with the aid of a map, you can easily identify them and watch them here, leaving the rest for a more convenient time. After all why should you look at something here if you can do it somewhere else, at some other time?
And now, as we promised (the list): Hajnal Németh’s operatic film cannot be downloaded from the web. Only once has it been screened in Hungary, at the Uránia Movie Theatre, but even then it wasn’t this version. This is a newer, shorter, more current version by the artist. It is 72 minutes long. The installations, of course, also cannot be downloaded: their very nature demands an actual space. There are not many of them – some were quite complicated to install, for example the stereo Promenade, which in this form has never been exhibited in Budapest. If there will ever come a time that one can download a 3D installation from the internet the 40-50 sqm empty space essential to the work will not necessarily be at one’s disposal. One must enter this space. The other installations, works by Anna Barnaföldi, Loránd Szécsényi-Nagy, Csaba Vándor and others, are similarly unique. They might in the future be installed again in a similar form. If the plan for a C3 Media Museum comes to fruition a much broader array of material will be made accessible in a much larger space. If the plan is realized. There are superb empty spaces in the Bálna for such a project. Of the works projected or played on monitors, far more films are available on János Szirtes’ website, for example, than here in the gallery, of course separately, one by one, in other words not in the present compilation. Visitors might well already have come across fragments of a work by József Szolnoki, if they watched Hungarian parliamentary broadcasts on television. Here the visitor can see the one-minute (originally live) broadcasts in a synoptical manner. The work will presumably never be “downloadable” in this form. Fragments of Ferenc Gróf’s (Société Réaliste) internet-based work (A Life to See) screened here will not be repeated, at least probably not in the lifetime of the gallery visitors. In the case of works by Tamás Waliczky only fragments can be viewed outside the exhibition space, and in much smaller resolution than here and now.
Thank you for your time!