Unstitch in Time 2: Mánia at 2B Galéria

Mánia at 2B Galéria is one of the most cohesive group shows that I have seen in a while.  The works by the five female artists fits together seamlessly to pack a punch.  Originally a show at Magma at the end of 2015 which included artists Szira Henrietta and Szíj Kamilla, artists Benczur Emese, Imre Mariann, and Tarr Hajnalka were brought into the fold for the current show.  The thread that holds the show together is an obsessive attention to detail which brutally depicts frailty, ephemerality, and permanence: an incredibly difficult task.

While each work has the appearance of a cohesive whole or woven fabric, the artists’ illusions are actually many individual parts held together by what can be construed as loose bonds.

Szíj while presenting her extremely detailed pencil work on paper, abandons continuous lines for individual hash marks to create her mesmerizing thumbprint whorlled piece.  Tarr moves away from delicate paper butterflies creates a box from the violence of staples being driven into a piece of plywood  for a more brutal play on the late Szikora Tamás’s collage boxes.

Benczur’s work is comprised of hundreds of beer and soda tabs that have been violently ripped from their vessels after fulfilling their purpose.  They are then hung like trophies with pins in a similar fashion to Tarr’s earlier butterfly work.  Her bold “Open Your Mind” statement though made of aluminum and steel, upon a closer look could fall to pieces at the slightest disturbance.

Imre’s hanging garment made of what looks like tissue paper (I was afraid to touch it lest it fall apart) as well as a wall covered with sheets of the same material,  is obsessively covered with name Sütő Istvánné (Mrs. István Sütő) .  I am unsure of the exact reference, however the overall effect is fairly disturbing as it conveys a woman struggling with her own identity through the name of her husband conjuring up images of Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance in The Shining.

The work in the inner room by Szira is also a little unsettling as the walled screen implies a calming interior of a Japanese shōji, however a closer look shows hundreds of little score marks often used by prisoners to count the days.  Peeking around to the other side of the screen, the viewer will see that each of the little marks is in fact made by individual pine needles which does little to calm the viewer as it implies that its maker appears to have access to the outside world and yet remains a prisoner just the same.

Overall the works in this show offer a subversive view to the concept of freedom and domestic bliss.  Boxed cages whether real or imagined stand out as well as the inherent frailty of many of these structures.  This is a fantastic show as much as it is unsettling to see such talented artists working together so cohesively to present a vision marked by frailty and captivity.

Mánia (Benczúr Emese, Imre Mariann, Szíj Kamilla, Szira Henrietta, Tarr Hajnalka) at 2B Galéria 2016 mar 23 –  2016 apr 15

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