500 N

Vernissage: 8th December 2010, at 7 pm
On view till: 4th January 2011

Curator: Sári Stenczer

Exhibiting artists: John Bock (DE), Alan Bulfin (EI), Saskia Edens (CH), Indecline (USA), Evaldas Jansas (LH), Tigran Kachatrian (AM), Florian Pugnaire (FR) With the contribution of Antimédia (HU)

The show 500 Newton is an accumulated labyrinth of violence guiding the spectator through the circles of mundane hell with a direct method, introducing a number of perspectives. The real life or interpreted and directed film-based works present human aggression, operating with the language and devices of the media – in other words, culturally; their straightforward character allows them to connect directly to the spectator.
The history and stories of humanity are completely infused with brutality and animalistic nature. Aggression is undoubtedly a polyphonic constant in all this: we relate to, disapprove of or reject it in accordance with norms and conditions set and accepted by the society – first of all because it is an unfathomable, exaggerated and tremendously disturbing act.
The present exhibition inquires where the boundary lies in the age of fluctuating images between “the viewable”, “the must-see” and “the unpresentable” on the one hand, and between the spectacular and appropriate, moral behaviour on the other. Although our vision has no doubt become “jaded”, the decontextualised space of the exhibition will perhaps create a situation in which we can leave our ethical illusions behind while keeping the problems in sight.
This international selection of video works is a representation and actualisation of violent acts. The only video that does not operate with aggression is Saskia Edens’ (1975, Geneva) video Make up, which displays the mortality of man, warning us about latently omnipresent death with a symbolic danse macabre. Tigran Kachatrian’s (1980, Yerevan) film montage Nachalo (Beginning) uses scenes from various films, turning them into an allegory of desire of chaos and destruction. In Florian Pugnaire’s (1980, Maisons-Laffitte, French) film Stunt Lab, the fight takes place between two artists – the ultimate goal being the destruction of the studio as well as their bodies.
Evaldas Jansas (1969, Kaunas, Lithuania) turns the meaningless necessity of violence on himself when pushing his own physical limits in the video Short Antology of Meaningfulness. The work of John Bock (1965, Gribbohm, Germany), Lütte mit Ruccola, is sadistic most of all due to its personal nature, as under paranormal influence, the artist performs a long and analytic torture deconstructing a human body – does the hypnotic state absolve the perpetrator? Alan Bulfin (1986, Roscrea, Ireland) imitates happy slapping, this senseless form of aggression spreading on the internet in the form of mobile phone videos. Killing Hur, this intentionally amateur-like work willingly reveals the fraud, as an example of the ridiculous yet terrifying phenomenon of internet voyeurism.
Hypercivilisation has given rise to new film forms and distribution methods, with the internet as their primary interface. Accordingly, the exhibition also presents Youtube videoclips of various musical genres that stage explicit violence. It also intends to expand the already indistinct confines of art with a film by the Indecline group who have become (in)famous for their videos spreading on the internet. The Antimédia Group is made up of young art university students, known for their provocative and revolting attitude. Thus, at this exhibition they are presenting – among others – a funzine exploring and exposing the theme of the show. It is a fact that the virtuality of the 21st century increasingly amplifies social disorder – but is there really need for destruction in order for something new to be born? Is aggression really a possible, even inevitable means of resistance?
The exhibition 500 Newton speaks about violence in the language of film – for the more the contemporary visibility of brutality without cause is increasing, the deeper these spectacle fragments penetrate our by now almost filterless consciousness, where they become cemented as mental images. Is it possible to jolt out of the apathy that is again the result of our instinctive reaction? Is this extent of amplification permissible? To shock with art, or raise aggression into the sphere of art? Does the ambivalence of our civilization and our uncivilized nature lie in the enchantment and even enjoyment of the fascinum?

The exhibition contains explicit violence; only visitors over 18 are admitted! The videos are in English!

Supported by: Nemzeti Kulturális Alap, Hungart, Enternet, Francia Intézet, Vaya Travel, Mester Print Nyomda Kft.