NOTES AND SKETCHES

Opening : 25 July 2006

On view till: 12 August 2006

The SUITCASE, the exclusive Hungarian distributor of MOLESKINE and the Studio of Young Artists Association kindly invites you to the opening of the Notes and Sketches exhibition
Opening speech: Gergely NAGY, writer

Exhibiting artists:
Sándor BARTHA – BULFONI Tiziano – Mária CHILF – Gabriella CSOSZÓ – András DÁNIEL –
Judit FISCHER – János FODOR – Tamás FÜREDI – Attila GALBOVY – Pál GERBER – Tibor GYENIS –
Péter HALÁSZ – Gábor KEREKES – Zsolt KESERUE – András KIRÁLY – Ádám KOKESCH –
Gergely KOVÁCH – Adrián KUPCSIK – Ádám LENDVAI – Anikó LORÁNT – Miklós MÉCS – Csaba NEMES – György ORBÁN – Márta RÁCZ – Gábor ROSKÓ – Attila STARK – János SUGÁR – Ágnes SZÉPFALVI – Beatrix SZÖRÉNYI – Zsolt TIBOR – Júlia VÉCSEI – Krisztián VÖRÖS

Organizers: Leó PINTÉR, Júlia VÉCSEI

The best thing in a notebook is, of course, that you can close it. And then later you can take it again and open it. So, it’s the temporality. Manual file-handling. The time that we can control. Péter Nádas writes in his book titled On Heavenly and Earthly Love – I’m not quoting him literally – that a new novel starts when you buy a new notebook, and it also matters if it’s ruled, squared, or plain. Starting a new notebook is a symbolic gesture. It is even so with those who work on computer, they start a new page in the word processor, they name a new file. If you think about it, we use such metaphors for our life, for our time: we usually open a new chapter, sketch a plan, turn the page, dot the i’s and cross the t’s. In these idioms, writing and drawing appear as a view of life pictured as a comprehensive narrative that we write and create.
It has a beginning, an end, and it has a clear, penetrable space – the clean slate – and it has a corpus that can be interlaced and aggregated, as a volume. Body. What’s the matter with it? That we know, that it isn’t so. Life doesn’t go like this. It not only you who write it, others write in it too, from the Good Lord to your relationships represented in social networking websites, from the Hungarian government in charge to the blind chance (the functioning of the latter two shows conspicuous similarities, but now I won’t elaborate this issue), those you allow and those you would never allow to write in it. And our life is being written, drawn in not only one volume, but it is written away to numerous places. In registries, data piles, memories. I was in a developed European capital and I had some problem with my public transport travel card. At the underground station a man in uniform put my card in the reader and it appeared on the screen where I’d traveled so far. Which bus I took at which stop, where I got off, at which underground stop I went underneath – for how long – and where I broke the surface again. It is not to be surprised at, still I was amazed. This was somehow the documentation of my life. The scheme traced out by my steps, a section of my line of fate, if you like. And yes, it’s hard for me to take up with the idea that now, as I’m not there any more, this documented section is still kept in that machine; they store it. Instead of me. Since I would have something to do with them, they are my lines, aren’t they; I would possibly take a hand in the storage and analysis of these documents. But back to the notebooks and the Hungarian writers. The famous sentence of Péter Hajnóczy could also be the motto of this exhibition: “Here’s the horrible, blank, white paper on which I have to write.” Still, I don’t suggest painting this above the entrance. Not because it wouldn’t be a nice sentence. But because there are friendly white papers too – just look around -, pages that are helpful. White, ivory material, that slicks under your hand and calls forth the lines from it. After touching the paper, turning the pages, feeling the surface you start to feel like. Writing, drawing, making something. This is probably the capacity that fine artists own and non-fine-artists envy the most. The tactile, sensuous relationship with the material. The transitions between touch, perception, and thought. The material can be anything – in our case mostly paper that is good to touch and draw a line on. Of course, from this point on there is still an ample chance to be mistaken, but the outcome will always be somehow personal. And what is personal can’t be so much of a failure. What do we do when we make a sketch? Everything is indefinite, undecided, the process is open. Anything may come. A sketch is just a tryout of something, a possibility, which is only materialized later in the finished work. Life as a sum of tryout-situations, as a sketch, a process of preparation. What’s the matter with it? That we know that it’s not so. Life is not like this. It’s not a tryout situation. I have to pin down: the most important is what kind of line you draw, but it also matters where you draw that line or write that letter. To quote the most famous – if it weren’t unfortunate I would say the greatest – notebook of the Hungarian literature, the one that was hiding in the pocket of Miklós Radnóti. As long as there’s a notebook there’s always some … what exactly? Hope? There’s not much, there weren’t any even before the notebook. Chance? There isn’t much either. The game has, for sure, two possible endings, but rather only one. Then what is it? There’s a space. An empty space, square or rectangular, an even surface, adjacent to the air. However small is the space it still gives you the possibility of unlimited freedom. In the Avala 5 notebook a flyer lurked, the advertisement of a cod-liver oil medication. Probably the most famous, the fourth Razglednica(1.) was written on the back of this (“Shot in the back of the neck. – That’s how you too will end, – I whispered to myself; – just lie quietly.”) Seven lines, we can’t really say that it is a draft. No corrections, no cross outs. No need for such fussiness, perhaps no time either. But we can still say that it’s a note. Somehow it’s a note on the margin of a moment. It happens to be in the last notebook, as a perfect closure of the composition that started at the beginning of the book with the text addressed to the unknown finder. You can never know which of our notes will be the last one. So mind the composition.

Gergely Nagy

1.(Miklos Radnoti (1909-1944) A Hungarian poet of Jewish origin, who was deported and killed during the World War II. He wrote his last poems in a notebook that was found in a mass grave. In this book, a series of four short poems describing momentary scenes during his forced march are ironically titled “Razglednica” (‘postcard’ in Serbian).)

Budapest, 25/07/2006

Main Sponsor: SUITCASE CONCEPT STORE (1052 Budapest, Zrínyi u. 12.)
Sponsors: National Cultural Fund, Ministry of Culture, HUNGART, the Cultural Committee of the Municipality of Budapest.