B A L Á Z S  K I C S I N Y  
25th May - 30th June 2007

In the shadow of grand history shaping the fate of nations, countries and empires, there are some local histories lingering humbly but exerting all the greater influence on human memory. These events are interlaced and manifold, much more so than the available black and white interpretation of events of greater politics at a given time. However, it is just as difficult to express this complexity verbally as it is to do so regarding the alterability of the visual work created. This is characteristic of the art Balázs Kicsiny makes, of his consistent artistic concept fully developed by today, the well-known figures of which is the captain, William Walker, diver-priests and airport navigators. However, it is justified to ask the question: what is the idea or consideration behind bringing together the At Home Gallery in Somorin with the Winchester Cathedral, the collection of the Russel Cotes Museum, the Hungarian Pavilion in Giardini, Venice, or the Ludwig Museum in Budapest? The events of local micro-history, or their variations in Kicsiny’s interpretation just like the locations become significant factors through their different features, however, their common denominator is „searching and the absence of finding”. In the case of Somorin, the small market-town situated in Csallóköz in  the Upper Danube region in Slovakia, absence refers to the location of the gallery, the building of the former local synagogue. With bee-hives on their heads and light signals in their hands, Balázs Kicsiny’s navigators stand in a circle showing the direction to follow in the one-time synagogue. However, there is a lack of harmony and neither do the figurativeness and way of installation of puppets support superficial narratives, rather initiate a series of questions and interpretations in the viewers: why figurativeness if there is no intention to individualise and represent? What are the navigators doing in this desacred space? William Walker saved the Winchester Cathedral all alone, why is it necessary to have four navigators this time? The attempt at domestication in this case refers to the absence of the original purpose of the synagogue, and the navigators indicate the preposterousness of local micro-history: for systems of values pointing in different, even opposite or excluding directions have led to fatal disasters not only on one instance. The Jewish population only arrived in this Hungarian settlement in the 19th century, their independent religious community was established around the turn of the century, their synagogue was completed only in 1912. Three decades later, the Hungarian majority following and adopting the „right direction” kept deep silence when the Jews were deported. Two-three years later the majority of Slovaks was convinced that they followed the „right direction”, when they silently walked the Hungarians to the very railway station from where the Jews had been sent to concentration camps. Though decreased in number, there remain the Hungarians until today, and the absence of nearly 300 Jews and their religious community. The attempt at domestication by Balázs Kicsiny in Samorin was a topical act to introduce universal human and individual responsibility that keeps distance, at any time, from the ideals suggested by politics.

Gábor Hushegyi

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