Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó’s artistic practice addresses the characteristics of human thinking and the personal mindsets in which they are embedded. He examines the structure and mechanisms of cognitive processes, as well as subliminal impact of misleading phenomena, mechanisms of cognition and factors leading to distorted perception.
This interest logically led him to the study of conspiracy theories and the post- truth phenomenon, lately so frequently mentioned; he also engaged with it during his scholarship at the Open Society Archives of the Central European University in Budapest. His latest works, created for the exhibition Patterns of Counterknowledge in the G99 Gallery, also react to the parallel existence of alternative facts. Both formally and in terms of content, it is a multi-layered installation with a clearly defined, inherent logic.
The background of the artist’s reflection is revealed in the last, so-called reference room. Ten basic narratives represent the classics of conspiracy theories, such as the JFK assassination, Chemtrails, the Flat Earth Society, moon landing deniers, or the more recent QAnon theory. However, the narrative layer is obscured beneath several others – sheets of tracing paper frame or obstruct the view of the information layer, while transparent slides provide complementary information (misleading to greater or lesser extents). The visual noise made by these layers then evidently refers to one imperceptible, yet key image source, which is present among all the other ones. After you first notice the shape of a dog on the black & white spotted image, you will see it every time. The Dalmatian plays the role of a metaphor – if you start tracking alternative narratives and post-factual argumentations, it is possible that you will never again see the mere spotted background.
A change of scale (zooming in) occurs in the first room (the so-called simulation). The installation situated in that space is a generalized association of the above-mentioned issues. A 3-D object illustrates three different viewpoints using a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a standard one. Three standpoints, each with its own potential evidential value, yet none of them are objective. A typographic play with the word TRUTH is a recurring motif in the entire installation: the five letters serve as the base for the simulation of various representations – various forms of truth.
Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó worked on the exhibition Patterns of Counterknowledge during his residency at the Brno House of Arts.
|Exhibition||Patterns of Counterknowledge|
|Place / venue||The Brno House of Arts, G99 Gallery|
|Dates||September 13 - October 14, 2018|
|Curated by||Marta Fišerová Cwiklinski|
|Index||Áron Kútvölgyi-Szabó G99 Gallery Marta Fišerová Cwiklinski Michaela Dvořáková The Brno House of Arts|