Exercises in Autonomy
Tamás Kaszás featuring Anikó Loránt (ex-artists’ collective)
June 3–September 25, 2016
Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi (MS)
Wieckowskiego 36 St.
Exercises in Autonomy seek to imagine future collective life forms on Earth after an ecological and economic collapse, which resulted in the destruction of current civilization.
The exhibition designed by Tamás Kaszás resembles presentations of ethnographic collections.Exercises in Autonomy includes individual works of the artist, as well as works produced with Anikó Loránt (ex-artists’ collective) since the beginning of the 21st century, and work prepared especially for the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. The exhibition consists of two parts, titled “Archeology of the Future” and “Auto-anthropology.” In the first section, works of art are displayed as archeological findings, speculative traces of a (future) community, which managed to survive the destruction of modern civilization. The recycled remains of the past exist among objects produced as a result of new architectural, technological, and farming practices, which have developed in the wake of the disappearance of mass industrial production, consumption and modern public infrastructure. Auto-anthropology touches upon these issues on a smaller social scale: by displaying exercises in the autonomy of living and ecology of art through building a familial artistic collective (ex-artists’ collective). The collective’s working methods include the use of easily accessible materials and technologies, as well as learning self-sufficiency. The expected result is an integration of the formal, productional and theoretical aspects of their work.
Tamás Kaszás and the ex-artists’ collective perceive art as a laboratory of designing practices, knowledge and aesthetics, which could become useful in thinking about the future. The artists encourage us to imagine the unknown future by drawing on alternative practices, ones which already exist, but—within the dominant model of capitalist economy—are pushed to a marginal and peripheral position. In their work, the artists use a myriad of sources, ranging from premodern, folk and popular knowledge through permaculture and grassroots social movements to progressive elements of modernist utopias. They examine practices, which could potentially become helpful in the process of acquiring autonomy from technocratic state organizations and an economy based on uneven capital accumulation and predatory exploitation of natural resources. By combining diverse modes of knowledge, Kaszás and Loránt seek to develop an ecological imagination for the future inhabitants of the Earth.
Curator: Joanna Sokołowska
Coordinators: Monika Wesołowska, Beata Bocian
Tamás Kaszás (born 1976 in Dunaújváros) and Anikó Loránt (born 1977 in Székesfehérvár) studied at the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. In 2002, they established the ex-artists’ collective. They live and work in Horány, on Szentendre Island. Their work was presented, among others, at the S.M.A.K. Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent, the Ludwig Museum and the Kunsthalle in Budapest, the ICA Dunaújváros, the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Muzeum Sztuki in Łodź and as part of the 12th Istanbul Biennial.