Fri, Apr 15|
American Hungarian Library
Open House & Walkthrough: Tamás Ábel & Judit Kis: Strategic Stillness
Guest artist: Jacob Kassay
Time & Location
Apr 15, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
American Hungarian Library, 215 E 82nd St, New York, NY 10028, USA
About the Event
Tamás Ábel & Judit Kis: STRATEGIC STILLNESS
April 13–20, 2022
my body gypsy
my body jew
my body cuman
my body holy
my body blind
my body colored
my body whore
my body Hungarian
— Agáta Gordon, “Trance-spiral” (Transz-spirál)
To grapple with the unfolding crises in their micro and macro environments, Hungarian artists Tamás Ábel and Judit Kis reimagine the recently renovated American Hungarian Library as an inclusive space for rest, reading, and contemplation. The two artists fill the empty building with sculptural works, site-specific installations, and assemblages of books while actively playing with and occasionally defying its architectural structure. Their tongue-in-cheek references to brick walls and glass ceilings aim to question the existing heteropatriarchal systems of knowledge, power, and representation that dominate the cultural institutions of their motherland.
Reflecting on the political outrage that unfolded in Hungary due to the publication of Fairyland is for Everyone (Meseország Mindenkié, Labrisz, 2020)—a children's book featuring fictional stories of marginalized queer, Roma, or disabled characters—the works of Ábel and Kis are guided by notions of tolerance, radical care, and collectivity. Their sculptural pieces playfully interact with the books featured in the show, which have been selected in collaboration with other artists, theorists, and NGOs to highlight the exhibition's thematic concerns and present a diverse range of authors. Visitors are encouraged to read or take selected books home from the exhibition.
Curated by Veronika Molnár
The program is supported by BuBu Arts, Sauska, and Agnes and Ivan Sanders.
Tamás Ábel is a Hungarian conceptual artist whose primary medium is glass. He graduated from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, where his studio is currently based. Abel’s work deals with equality, tolerance, and the intangible through geometric forms and an array of colors. His works are of various scales, from small glass sculptures and mirror wall pieces to site- specific installations. Ábel’s works have been exhibited at the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY, USA), the National Art Museum of China (Beijing, China), and Glasmuseum Lette (Coesfeld, Germany).
Judit Kis is an intermedia artist from Hungary who recently completed a studio residency at Residency Unlimited and Artist Alliance inc. in New York City. She received the ACAX – Leopold Bloom and Young Visual Art Award in 2020, and the Derkovits Art Grant in 2019, which showcased her work at the Kunsthalle Budapest. She studied fine art and curating at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest and the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Her performative videos and virtual diaries reflect on the experiences and traumas that shape our identities, personal boundaries, and behavioral patterns. Her practice combines digital content with installations of objects and often expands into participatory performances and community engagement.
Veronika Molnár is an independent curator and writer based in Budapest and Brooklyn. She received her MA in Art History from Hunter College in May 2021 as a Fulbright Fellow. During a yearlong internship in the Department of Media and Performance at The Museum of Modern Art, she assisted with organizing the exhibitions Shigeko Kubota: Liquid Reality and Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen?. Molnár has held curatorial positions at carriage trade, Edward Ressle Gallery, Faur Zsofi Gallery, and FERi Gallery. Her essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, MoMA Magazine, post, and Assemblage.
Make sure to join the other events as well:
Wednesday April 13, 4 PM to 8 PM: Opening Reception (RSVP)
Saturday, April 16, 4 PM: Performance by Judit Kis (RSVP)