Andreas Fogarasi - Vasarely go home

Vasarely Go Home

Andreas Fogarasi

05/07/2012 - 16/09/2012


The installation and the documentary ‘Vasarely go home’ recalls two events, which happened on the same day in Budapest on the 18th October 1969.

On that day, Victor Vasarely, internationally recognised artist from Hungary, launched an extensive retrospective at the MUCSARNOK, Budapest’s Museum of Modern Art. It was one of the first and most important official appearances of abstract art in Hungary.

At that time, the Hungarian avant-garde (including abstract painters) was barely tolerated by the official cultural police. However, at the same time, the government was trying to contact influential artists from Hungary living abroad.

For this reason, the Vasarely Exhibition was welcomed, on the one hand, with curiosity, and on the other, critically by the local scene.

The second event was held during the exhibition private view, when Janos Major, one of the most interesting and mysterious artists of the Hungarian avant-garde, protested in a peculiar way. The artist hid a small cardboard sign on which was written ‘Vasarely Go Home’ and which he showed from time to time to the people invited.

Andreas Fogarasi’s video consisted of an interview with actors from the 1969 local scene, who were trying to comprehend the politico-cultural context at that time and to comment on this action.

The marble pieces are, at the same time, architectural elements that suggest a way to navigate, frames on which we find photographs, dressing screens or dividers which don’t quite work, defensive shields, obstacles for the viewer. Their external surfaces, smooth and clean, evoke the fascia of modern buildings. The rear side shows the rough, unfinished and dirty marble annotated by the marble workers.

The three sets are linked:

The first, ‘Vasarely go home’, reappropriates the extracted or rediscovered images by Andreas Fogarasi from Vasarely’s exhibition private view. The black and white photographs were taken by two photographers who attended the private view and the colour images are extracted from a TV documentary.

The second work takes architectural points of views as an analogy, again using modern and universal shapes that could be found in the work of artists such as Vasarely. Andreas Fogarasi created these photographs at different locations, which all have in common a repertoire of shapes and conceptual similarities. Precisely, the set title ‘La cité polychrome du bonheur’ evokes his preoccupations from the 60’s and 70’s, when Vasarely wished for his simple, formal vocabulary and his bright colours to be found in the wider society.

Finally, the third piece ‘Circles and Squares’ shows how current pictograms use this simplification to look for a sort of visual efficiency, understandable by all, evoking Vasarely’s concept of ‘global folklore’. The project gathers several logos of different national cultural organisations such as the British Council and the Goethe Institute. Modelled after the Hungarian governmental agency, which had invited Vasarely in Budapest, these different structures, in favour of artistic exchanges, try to enforce their nation as a shinning homeland. They gather here without hierarchy or specificity.

"Vasarely Go Home" project has been produced by the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2011.