Participating at OFF-Biennale Budapest

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 | Exhibitions, News

Exhibition: Order and Dreams, OFF-Biennale Budapest: INHALE!
Venue: Online (Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives)
Date: 23 April – 30 May 2021

Artists: Damir Očko, Daniel Baker, Kata Szivós–Dominika Trapp–Noémi Varga, Krisztián Kristóf, Tamás Páll, Vesna Bukovec

Curator: Katalin Székely
Research: researchers of Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives

Exhibition Order and Dreams is one of the OFF-Biennale’s 14 programs. It presents the context of the poem “A Breath of Air!” which inspired the whole edition of the biennale.

The poem “A Breath of Air!” by Attila József was written in November 1935. Apparently, it was a time of peace and plenty: Europe—and Hungary—had overcome the crisis of the Great Depression; the order was restored. But what kind of order was it that the poet “didn’t dream of”? The research and exhibition project presents the political and social context of the poem through archival materials, while contemporary artworks offer its possible 21st-century reading.

More about the exhibition
Direct link to the exhibition

About the biennale

The third edition of the largest independent contemporary art event in Hungary, OFF-Biennale Budapest is titled INHALE! OFF-Biennale in 2021 premiers 14 projects that look at ecology, Eastern European nationalisms, and political imagination; with a focus on artistic propositions that do more than just point to these complex, entangled problems.
The 14 projects, specifically created for this occasion, will be accompanied by public programs as part of the Living Room project. Living Room is a preliminary event of documenta fifteen at OFF-Biennale Budapest, which will take place in conjunction with OFF’s invitation to documenta fifteen as a lumbung member.

OFF-Biennale Budapest is the largest independent contemporary art event in Hungary. It started in 2014 as a grassroots initiative, a “garage” biennale set up by a small group of art professionals in order to create a platform for exchange between art practitioners and other members of society, to strengthen the local independent art scene. OFF has never applied for Hungarian public funding and steered clear of state-run art institutions. This is a political statement as much as a practical solution to protect freedom of artistic expression and professional integrity.
fb: offbiennalebudapest

I am participating with the series of drawings In vendar me briga / And yet I do bother (2019) presented for online exhibition in a video form. My work is included in the chapter 5 My Homeland.

Curator Katalin Székely’s text about my work:

The utopian impetus of the avant-garde was broken by the realities of the 1930s. Many avant-garde artists were chased away or crushed by the various regimes of the 20th century. In this moment of crisis, some artists retreated to their ivory towers, focusing on the matters of their own métier. Others decided to join forces with the political powers they still believed in, often at the cost of losing their artistic integrity. And some continued to believe that the world can be changed through their words and works. And what can be said about the impetus of the socially-engaged art of the 21st century? In our moment of crisis, do artists decide to stay out of socio-political issues that—as individuals—they do not have any major influence over? Or do they still believe that art can have a say in these matters? Do they still bother?

During the last decade, the drawings and videos by Vesna Bukovec gained her recognition in and outside of Slovenia as an artist dealing with the burning issues of today’s society: the consequences of neoliberal ideology, the socio-political reality in Slovenia, the refugee crisis, and the role of women in contemporary society. The title of the series of drawings And yet I do bother, now presented in a form of video produced for the OFF-Biennale Budapest, is a response to her previous series of drawings with the ironic title I can’t be bothered … [Briga me …, 2018], in which she exposed the passivity of people who only care about personal matters, completely neglecting the wider socio-political issues. The drawings of And yet I do bother takes widely circulated media images of brave women from the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, who, in the words of curator and art historian Nataša Kovšca, “fought and are still fighting for social change as well as against social, political and sexual inequalities, from the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to the Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg, along with some unknown names. No matter whether known or anonymous women protesters are involved, images that according to the artist became ‘a symbol of the fight against oppression’ create hope that the world can be changed.”



Slovensko | English

Vesna Bukovec is a contemporary visual artist based in Slovenia.

She is a member of the art group KOLEKTIVA