Mirror, Győr

Mirror, Győr, 2009
Public art

535 x 788 cm
Mirrors, metal construction, hardboard
Location: Honvéd Liget, Győr, Hungary
Architect: Marián Ravasz
Photos by Marián Ravasz

“In 2009 Ilona Németh, an artist of Hungarian origin living in Slovakia, declared in an interview that the question of nationalism was unavodaible. Being invited to participate in a countrywide public art project in Hungary, she installed a huge mirror next to the statue of a turul bird, erected in the main square of the Hungarian town of Győr in 1902.6 Because the mythical turul bird stands for the historical Hungary, and has become the symbol of ‘Great Hungary’ and all the mythologizing that come with it, it serves as the main symbol of extreme right-wing nationalists. With the help of the mirror, Németh made the inhabitants of the city aware of the changing message of public monuments in different political regimes, and directed attention to the tensions that are currently inherent in such symbols; she forces the passerby to confront these related problems.”

Edit András, Springerin

Middle of Europe

Middle of Europe, (2009-in progress)
Map, stone tablets
Dimension variable

Photos by Marián Ravasz

Middle of Europe, NYC/Brooklyn, 9.10.2009
Location: Alma on Dobbin Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Other locations:
Horažďovice (CZ), 3.6.2010; Moscow (RUS), 15.10.2010; Rome (ITA), 10.11.2010; Budapest (HU), 1.12.2010; Bratislava (SK), 29.6.2011

“The project Middles of Europe focuses on how statements thought to be exact and scientific in nature become relative in light of national identity. Centered around a map, it shows and ironically undermines the efforts of various nation states to “find” the geographic center of Europe on their own territory. While the geographic middle of Europe could theoretically be unambiguosly determited by science, at the moment nine European countries have got a monument demonstrating that the middle is in that particular country. It is always telling when and in what situation a country searches for and finds the center in itself. For example in 1992 Slovakia, exactly when it was getting ready for independency, erected such a monument in Kremnica hoping to testify that the new state is not a periphery, but rather a center. The map contains all the nine centers of Europe pinpointed on it, and also indicates when the claims were made.”

8 Men – Timea

8 Men – Timea, 2009
Video (15’14”)
Video, editing by Csaba Czibula

The video entitled 8 Men presents the peculiar history of part of her family. She attempts to reconstruct the tragic fate of the family in the past 25 years from the point of view of a woman named Tímea, her mother and her daughter. The location is Ekecs, a village in southern Slovakia, where her father originates from.

Sz.K., Warsaw

Sz.K., 2009

100 x 100 cm
Stucco on wall, photography
Location: Heppen Transfer Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
Photos by Marián Ravasz

“I was born in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, went to school in Czechoslovakia, married in Hungary, live in Slovakia. I have never moved out from my native village. Szabó Krisztina”

Mud Wrestling

Mud Wrestling, 2009
Performance, installation
Pool, mud, video
Location: Bratislava City Gallery, Slovakia
Photos by Marián Ravasz

“The collaboration of Martin Piaček and Ilona Németh dates back to 2009, when they held a joint exhibition at the City Gallery in Bratislava. The show was inspired by the continuous deterioration of Slovak-Hungarian relations – primarily in the field of politics and media. The Hungarian and the Slovakian artist started a conversation and a collaboration. The result of their cooperation is a statue by Martin Piaček inspired by the Benes decrees and a performance by Ilona Németh entitled Mud Wrestling and its presentation in the form of a video installation. In her work, the artist commented on contemporary political culture, introducing the notion of “political mud wrestling” to the context of the Slovak language.” [www.b2-org.hu]

Location: Prague Biennale 5, Microna, Praha, Czech Republic
Video by Peter Barényi