H.W.A.Á. – Free Your Mind – Exhibition of Heidi Wood and Ádám Albert

Vernissage: 19th May 2009, at 7 p.m.
With appearence of jazz musicians János Ávéd and Márton Fenyvesi.
On view till: 9th June 2009
Curator: Sári Stenczer

Heidi Wood and Adam Albert have been working in parallel for many years, pursuing their intentions to drive the neural identification processes into the dead end of interpretation, without any knowledge of each other. Their goal is to disturb mediated cultural information sign-systems. Both create pseudo-signs, the stimuli of which set free controlled thinking channels in accustomed directions in the cosmic signal-noise sphere of our globalized world. With the language of their work these creations find their place in the seemingly familiar world of forms within a common communication space. However, via reconstruction, they completely lose their original, indicating instrumental role.
All this undermines the rule of generally accepted signs and forms flooding our environment, learnt by our brains, which control our everyday activities. In the exhibition, the socially learnt logic of signal recognition lets the recipient down: a real decoding of these pseudo-pictograms is impossible. The artists’ imitations are mirages of graphic signs with a designation. Internet, the development of technology and our virtually shrinking world create more and more sign systems and similarly, their role is growing on the stage of visual thinking. Heidi Wood and Ádám Albert appeal to the Kantian productive imaginative force and set aside conditioned thinking: they manipulate the forms and signals found in their environment by denying their manipulative character. The context of their art is the strategic field of the consumer and post-consumer society; they criticize the compulsory following of its code-system and its effects.
The wall paintings, made in situ in the Studio Gallery, the billboard poster at Lövölde square, the pseudo spams distributed on the internet and the booklet inviting visitor participation in pseudo-signaling all allow these universal linguistic decoding creations to infiltrate somewhere between the reality and fiction of Budapest – and though only for a short time, free us from Pavlov’s conditioned reflex.

Heidi Wood (1967, London) grew up in Australia and currently lives in Paris. She has been concerned with communication and its trends right from her early works, along with the visual nature of professional and intimate spheres and the application of C Heidi Wood to industrial commissions, teaching projects or exhibitions in commercial galleries. Her paintings and digitally manipulated photographs fit into this undertaking. Most works in this exhibition come from the artist’s residency in Budapest in 2006. We are well acquainted, from the streets of Budapest and his exhibitions, with the pseudo-plates of Adam Albert (born in Veszprém, 1975). His works follow the logic of 21st century sign-systems and circulate systematically around the figures and signals known from the world of industry and technology. They attack our habits like a conceptual virus. His wall piece entitled Make a Name for Yourself refers to the free choice, to the engagement taken with a name and to the pervasive notion of branding.

Sári Stenczer