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- Author Little Warsaw (András Gálik, Bálint Havas)
- Date of production 2015
- Dimensions height: variable, width: variable
- Author's designation none
- ID no. BS/1094
- Availability in stock
- Acquired date 2015
- Object copyright Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digital images copyright CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Attribution – NonCommercial – NoDerivatives 4.0
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
As part of the project implemented in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, the Little Warsaw collective initiated a two-day public situation held inside the Gallery. For the performance, Gálik and Havas invited a group of over a dozen previously selected participants, with whom they commenced an artistic and research process. The latter referred to the titular Yellow House, which was the name locally assigned to the Lipótmező hospital, founded in 1868 in Budapest.more
The name, Little Warsaw, suggests the interests of András Gálik and Bálint Havas, who form the duo. The choice of this name was the result of the enchantment of the Hungarian artists with the capital of Poland, explored during their scholarship in the mid-1990s. The city, discovered at the time of the recently initiated political and economic transformation, aroused ambivalent emotions in the artists. The chaotically and dynamically changing face of Warsaw, which was co-created by its fateful post-war history, sensitized them to the social context of creating artistic presentations and visual forms of ideology. The artists vigilantly observe the processes of expressing collective identity, the removal of irrelevant symbolic figures present in the urban fabric, their adaptations, “housing”, and the creation of new formulas of commemoration. In this respect, Warsaw is a guiding inspiration for the Little Warsaw collective and an emblematic case testifying to the turbulent history and the specific situation of Central Europe. The term “small” in the name of the group refers to the popular terms of districts inhabited by cultural minorities in big cities (such as, for example, Little Italy in New York). For Little Warsaw, working under this banner means opting for a creative method, which is distinguished by independence from institutions and distance to both the analysed phenomena and its own position, determined by the national-historical background. The creators use common symbols, commemorative monuments, and recognizable achievements of the leading art figures in an ironic manner. Acting directly in the public sphere, they include provocative reactions and impulses in their own works, making them integral components thereof.
As part of the project implemented in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, the Little Warsaw collective initiated a two-day public situation held inside the Gallery. For the performance, Gálik and Havas invited a group of over a dozen previously selected participants, with whom they commenced an artistic and research process. The latter referred to the titular Yellow House, which was the name locally assigned to the Lipótmező hospital, founded in 1868 in Budapest. For decades, it has become entangled in a network of metaphorical and disturbing meanings, transforming the building into a mythical object. The mysterious aura of an abandoned historic building became a starting point for the joint exploration of memory and awareness and the study of the ways in which emotions shape the mechanisms of remembering and forgetting. To the Budapest Yellow House proposed by the group, the participants added more magical places, which appear in urban legends and linger on in their memory, such as the railway station in Kraków. The subjective character was also imparted by the untypical documentation of the performance, for which the artists used fragments of decorative wallpaper, used jointly with the participants, to illustrate the memories. They were transformed into two pictorial artefacts, combining recordings — created during the performance—with the later artistic intervention of the collective. By the authors’decision, the audiovisual recording of the course of action was excluded from the public project presentation, which highlights the element of mystery embedded in it and makes the artefacts the main carrier of collective memory.
Dimensions: 177 x 155 cm, 41 x 138 x 3 cm
Elaborated by Kinga Olesiejuk (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
Little Warsaw (Kis Varsó) is a collective founded in the mid-1990s by two Hungarian artists: András Gálik (born 1970) and Bálint Havas (born 1971), graduates of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. Their field of interest includes primarily history, collective and individual awareness, and processes of symbolizing and illustrating ideologies. In their projects, developed in the artistic and social field, they deconstruct the icons of universal memory and monuments. Their work is distinguished by an ironic commentary on ambiguous symbols and testing the status of socialist heritage. They are the authors of individual exhibitions, including: Little Warsaw 2004–2006 (Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2007), Spiel der Wandlungen (Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, 2009), Kampf um die innere Wahrheit (Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, 2012), Enter (BWA Warsaw, 2013), Fightlessness (MeetFactory, Prague, 2016). They have also taken part in numerous group exhibitions, including: Who if not we / Time and Again (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2004), Patriotyzm jutra [Patriotism of tomorrow] (Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk, 2006), Joy and Disaster (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków and SMAK, Ghent, 2011), Galicia, mon amour. Madness, fantasy and phantasm (BWA Sokół, Nowy Sącz, 2012), Tea with Nefertiti (Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2013), Private Nationalism (Kunsthalle, Košice, 2014), Pure language (Arsenał Gallery, Białystok, 2015). In 2003, they presented a project at the Venice Biennale (Venetian Pavilion), The Body of Nefertiti. Their works are to be found in the following collections: MUDAM in Luxembourg, Ludwig Museum in Budapest, the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest, Erste Bank Collection in Vienna, L’Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, Secession in Vienna and the Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw. They live and work in Budapest.