Centres of Gravity | Éva Farkas-Pap: Taming Dystopia

Taming Dystopia

Of course, the nomen is not necessarily an omen, but in this case it is worth mentioning, because the profane and the sacred are naturally linked here in thought and substance.

Éva Farkas-Pap is one of those artists who can treat things in their right place, or, if they feel it necessary, they can set them right. She can turn what is thought of as being small into something big and what is big, distant or seemingly unknown into something human and familiar. She can imagine harmony, live it and make room for peace.

But all this does not exclude intensity: experimentation, summarising experiences, new impulses, commitments, lack of time, concentration of adrenaline and passion shape her works. The intertwined existence of intellectual, spiritual and material treasures and the perspective that results from them are natural to the artist in every way.

Accordingly, the material and form of her works, as well as the meanings they convey, are imbued with a precise firmness and a gentle permissiveness - a wonderful combination of intelligence and emotion that is particularly unusual for relatively small works such as hers. The explanation probably lies in the fact that, despite the processing of our experiences and their massive volume being both unsettling and a source of certainty, her outstanding capacity for attention is sufficient to express the essence of these things. Moreover, she treats the missing links - the gaps - as an inherent quality of completeness, a quality necessary for understanding and accepting completeness. She also sees the pain caused by both existing and acquired gaps as part of the whole, often as a point of reference, but, in any case, as an indispensable element of the coordinate system necessary for returning from imbalance.

In her early works jointly titled Hiatus (2004) she encloses the symbolic place of absence, embracing it and respecting existence-in-waiting. However, her first Common Horse series, created a decade later, perhaps as an objectified version of the experience of the lack of solitude, is already a material and colourful articulation of community, and the sight of Mihály Schéner’s public works of horses in public spaces, an important but long-forgotten and captivating detail of childhood, is also incorporated into the character featured in the works. The Common Horse (#Schéner100) sculptures, archaic even in their greyness, also contain the possibility of a wise equilibrium following the acceptance of occasional uncertainty. The swing-based, two-way common body can also be interpreted as a symbol of the very existence of trust and, at the same time, of the process of growing trust.

Absence takes on physical form in Hiatus of the Common Horse, a fictitious memorial, monumental despite its small size, which the artist completed twenty years later, i.e. last year. The Common Horse concrete graphic works, executed in natural finish and in colour, are reflections of this spirit and a continuation of the discovery of becoming space: winking towards completeness, wishing to see and able to see everything, the rocking horse motif is embedded in a regular square, suggesting security: in this form movement inherent in a static state, memories and processing are combined with hope.

The Dystopia series (from 2019), also on display here, are a solid yet impressive visual approach to the possible causes and consequences of moving away from utopias, while also representing a desired convergence towards them. These works are made of a combination of concrete, porcelain, dental resin and silicone. The combined use of a structure in the shape of an ever-expanding wasps’ nest and materials that can replace parts of the human body has resulted in an assembly that is unusual at first sight but in fact logical and humane: a symbiosis of different qualities that benefits all living things.

Not surprisingly, the Dystopia Landscapes (from 2022) already hold up a mirror to utopias: in the reliefs, the expanse of which suggests the spatial embeddedness of the plane, the encounter between the elegant facture of grey, natural concrete and porcelain, and the softness of pink and resin is already a winning combination, with gold acting as a catalyst to bring the intangible closer, and it turns out that the constant presence of the sublime is not a burden. The smoothness of the concrete, tamed with wax, reveals a landscape that embraces our existence beyond the known living space. The perfection of the volume and structure of the reddish, the off-white and of gold reinforces our belief in the consubstantiality of known and unknown dimensions - the works collide the end of the world with infinity, holding the promise of becoming utopia.

The brotherhood of the holy and the profane is also manifested in the 2019 series of concrete sculptures titled What-To-Build. Not only the imprint of the plastic Lego pieces, but where appropriate, the coloured cubes themselves appear in these quasi-environmental studies of -despite the playfulness of the cubes - understandably Phalanstery effect. The contents of one of our strongest memories are being transferred to the present, and many of the preferred values of adulthood are being questioned. The flow of play wrestles with an often-destructive architecture that cannot tolerate gaps.

The exhibitor’s artistic-sculptural sensibility is complemented by a distinct social sensitivity, which is also manifested in the silent-strong collaborations with fellow artists and in the activities of Misija Design, which she founded in 2013: all the concrete and ceramic figures are produced in domestic manufactures employing people with disabilities. Indirectly linked to helping each other are the Award Objects, also on display, which were created in recognition of the activities of Disability-Friendly Workplaces. These objects are also statuesque and have a surprising quality: they bear solutions that can only spring from empathy, imagination and a willingness to give, whose depths and heights reside in Eva Farkas-Pap.

Szilvia Reischl, curator of the exhibition

Centres of Gravity | The Limits of Representation in Contemporary Sculpture

Éva Farkas-Pap 

Békéscsaba, 1980

She lives and works in Győr.

She studied Egyptology at ELTE for two years. Then, in 2001, she began her studies at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, where she studied sculpture under Ádám Farkas but was also influenced by the art of György Jovánovics, Zoltán Karmó and Tamás Körösényi. She graduated in 2006.

Taking the opportunities offered by experimentation seriously while also allowing room for carefree playfulness, she puts everyday objects and phenomena in a new light through surprising combinations of materials and ideas in such a way that the result is still characterised by an infinite naturalness. The necessity of the process of creation is accompanied in her works by evident lightness. She is inspired by literature and language, as well as by everyday life that she experiences as a colourful adventure. She also draws inspiration from the anomalies of familiar surroundings as well as from the unusual contrasts and associations that arise from them.

She is also active in the field of object design, having created a birthing chair and designed decorative objects, among other pieces. In 2013 she founded Misija Design, characterised by a fundamentally sculptural approach to design and development. The portrait relief of Albert Szent-Györgyi in the central building of SOTE is considered as one of her classic works.

Since 2004 she has been participating in various solo and group exhibitions. She is a member of the National Association of Hungarian Artists and the Studio of Young Artists Association. She was awarded a Reinhold and Carmen Würth Foundation grant in 2006, a Lajos Kozma grant in 2015 and 2017, and NKA grants in 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In the run-up to the exhibition she took up residence in one of the studios in the TORULA Art Space in Győr.


2023. March 24. - June 25.
2023. February 10. - March 26.
Previous exhibition

Suede | Exhibition of Erzsébet Katona Szabó

2023. April 1. - May 28.
Next exhibition

Jan Saudek's Provocative World | opening exhibition of the Budapest Photo Festival