Ištvan Išt Huzjan / Debris
Ištvan Išt Huzjan is an artist whose works create relations between opposing elements: historical narratives and contemporaneity, public and private, material and immaterial. The artist’s private narrative grounds his exploration of media’s boundaries, while also revealing Huzjan’s need to be constantly on the move. The consequence of this horizontal and vertical interweaving can be often seen as a polyphony of historical innuendoes, memory and surroundings. This „mode“ of work directly brings out Huzjan's capacity to create within a work a multilayered structure that carefully balances not just local and global specifics of the topics tackled, but also his personal relation to them.
In his second exhibition at gaep, Huzjan presents different layers of his artistic engagement by bringing together his performative actions, objects made in the studio and a site-specific intervention. On the first floor, he introduces a selection of performances whose basic conceptual premise is his consideration of the distances between people, places and how this echoes in various movements through space. Projects that deal with the act of walking are a constant in the artist's observation of society, geopolitical narratives and relationships between individuals. Such projects reflect his way of life — since his student years, Huzjan has been constantly on the move, relocating from one city to another. Huzjan carefully "translates" the ephemeral performative act into photographic documentation with text, which consequently becomes a material "proof" of the distances measured by the artist. In the context of the actual exhibition, the performative aspect is directly juxtaposed with objects that the artist created in his studio. This juxtaposition can be seen, on one hand, as tension between material and immaterial aspects of his artistic practice, while on the other hand it can signify a symbolical transition of Huzjan's work from public context to a private one. Generally, objects made in the studio act as subtle interconnections of the basic elements, physical assets and covenants that are inscribed in the object. Once installed in the exhibition space, their joint „alliance“ creates a playful narrative that discloses the artist's perspective on the mundane. The conceptual objects selected for this particular exhibition are from the artists's recent series Debris, which combine found generic construction materials with their sculptural copies, sort of "echoes" in plaster. The “paired” objects seem to create a poetic narrative that reflects the artist’s toying with different formats, materials and functions, which directly reexamines the origin of the found object and redirects attention to its sculptural potential.
The exhibition continues in the basement; here Huzjan is introducing the project Unnamed light, which in a very subtle way reflects the artist's engagement related to movement, while also addressing the very particular spatial situation. The starting point and conceptual premise for this particular project are defined in the specifics of the ground plan. The complex "choreography" of rooms, the variety of unusual architectural elements and the specific conditions of the basement as exhibition space without daylight prompted Huzjan to create an artwork that symbolically redefines the space. The artist's intervention with rope in the colors of the whole visible spectrum of light symbolically brings the element of light into a strictly encoded architectural space. Ephemerality — in this case light — has always marked Huzjan's thoughts on art, since it encompasses the possibility of being completely ephemeral and entirely physical at the same time.
The juxtaposition of elements on the first floor, alongside the site-specific intervention in the basement, presents without a doubt Huzjan's key formal and content-directed threads that are woven in his artistic practice. Throughout the exhibition both elements are connected through poetics, which sets Huzjan’s artistic practice apart from the hermetic discourses of contemporary art and opens it outwards — especially in the sense of reflection of the artworks that are not reduced to an imposing apprehension of form and content, but that create an interdependence between them.
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