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Alumni News |
May, 2014

Erika Baglyas – Indigo Mood at Viltin Gallery

Date: MAY 7, 2014 / WED – 14 JUNE, 2014 / SAT

Place: Viltin Gallery, Budapest

’...moral dilemmas of the ethical being...’
Erika Baglyas spent the last autumn in Brooklyn, New York, participating in the Residency Unlimited programme. She was well-prepared when arriving to the Big Apple. After prior arrangements,she started working with Cordula Maria Rien Kuntari, a political refugee from the Far East living in the city, to draw with the indirect means of art a ’sociological map’ of the life path of a person who was forced to leave her mother country. She aimed at processing and visualizing the moral dilemmas of an existential choice to create a seemingly unreachable ideal state of existence. How can someone start all over again in mid-life when the pressures of everyday life force them into a rut of constantly making premature decisions?

Inspired by their collaboration during this project, Baglyas launched her drawing series titled ‘Don’t Become a Statistic!’ which became the backbone of her present exhibition. The main character of her art, initially drawn on a small black base redolent of an A4-size folder, is the individual, the fragile human being embedded into the tissue of the society and his tale of woes. The pictures that operate with the tools of pure iconography seem ironical and surreal sometimes. They reveal today’s reality of the global citizen with shocking novelty. The work she started in New York continued during her Berlin artist residency this spring.

’Individual micro-worlds in a global system’ - says the artist. Baglyas puts aside the option of discussing gender roles in her latest exhibition to concentrate on the genderless individual, the featureless, faceless person in whom we may recognize ourselves.

The figures of her drawings sometimes champion a cause, triumph, then rejoice over their reward, or they do controversial things in some grotesque set-up, manifesting dissension, being subordinate or superior, lonely and amusing. At other times, they team up but still can’t make much out of it. Despite all their efforts, they only become the heroes of their closed, modest community until they sometimes fall due to the consequences of their decisions.

The indigos of the Indigo Mood disguise, show and muddle. With their own contradiction, their picturesque, superficial beauty leaves a smudged mark. They stigmatize by mucking the individuals’ fingers, as it had been seen in Baglyas’ previous projects ‘Bunker’ and ‘Political Friendship’. The present use of indigo, an old and beautiful material, reminds us to also claim the elaboration of the historical past. Understanding our present and moving forward will only be possible after rethinking our memories, even if it seems idealistic.

Although the titles of the exhibited art works and the foreign language captions of the large objects that exceed human scale keep up the international feeling, the artist, building on her previous works, ties the other part of the exhibition to a definite geographical place: We have just arrived to Eastern Europe. Remembering the period that camouflaged the sadness of individual fates with deserved or undeserved honours. We might, at the end, say, that after an international and inter-human journey she declares the result with a huge stamp: NEVER AGAIN!

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