Converging Paths: Yves Lavoyer and Nemes Márton at Chimera

In 1993, 22 year old English photo journalist and artist Dan Eldon and three colleagues died at the hands of a mob in Mogodishu. Posthumously his family published a book of his art journals titled, The Journey is the Destination. The exhibition When Time Speaks at Chimera Space offers a similar concept as the respective journeys of the two artists are the focal point of the joint show.

Lavoyer who is no stranger to Budapest with several past exhibitions as well as the impressive work on the wall of Brody Studios that he did several years ago under his street artist name Tüfujeger, once again has taken his bike on a journey from Switzerland to Budapest.  En route, his impressions, images, and mementos were gathered to make up his installation.  Lavoyer gathered objects, recorded deceptive landscapes, created new landscapes, and literally distilled portions of his experience.  Objects are contained in test tubes and the blue rectangle on the gallery wall is in fact produced by berries that he accumulated on the way.

While Lavoyer’s naturalist approach of both directly experiencing and interacting with nature along the lines of  Henry David Thoreau or John Ruskin, Nemes appears to take his cues from the opposite end of the spectrum.  In 1884 French writer J.K. Huysmans wrote the novel À rebours (Against Nature) which would be somewhat prescient of our current internet age.  His protagonist, a young debauched French aristocrat named Jean Des Esseintes argued that in many ways humans had ruined nature and that it would be impossible to travel the world completely and experience its wonders within the time alotted.  He opted to retreat to his country house with maps, novels, and art to experience the world in a more passive, but more complete manner.  Both the subject matter and process of Nemes seem to espouse this path.  Nemes painstakingly renders individual railway cars, detached and at rest in the railway yard.  These vessels have traveled thousands of kilometers at a metered speed, rarely wavering from their fixed path.  Similar to Des Esseintes’s books and maps, these railway cars are simply vessels bringing the wonders of the world to your doorstep: mp3 players from China, tea from Ceylon.   The experience is the treaures within rather than the detritus experienced along the way as was the case of Lavoyer.  Adding to the disparity is my understanding that Nemes bases his paintings on images pulled from the internet rather than direct observation at the railyard.  His entire process can take place within the sanctity of his own studio.

Chimera-Project should be applauded for the collision of these two disparate journeys into a unified show.

Yves Lavoyer and Nemes Márton When Time Speaks a2013 September 6 – October 5 at Chimera-Project

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