Mónika Üveges graduated as a painter from the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts,
however other mediums such as sculpture and photography get an equally important
role in her artistic practice. We asked her about her current works, the quarantine and
about the importance of belonging to a community.
What are the topics that you focus on currently? What is your interest in regard to the
use of materials?
It’s been a while that I’m interested in Anthropocene as a geological borderline, the
disappearance and series of catastrophes, powers that are liberated by destructive human
activity and that are placing everyone and everything on a crossroad. In fact, this is not an
interest, it is our present. Nature and the human body are present in my work metaphorically,
as a shard of a feeling. I think my work can be characterized as a mixture of equal amount of
melancholy and playfulness. I’m exploring the borderline between the natural and artificial in
my works that imitate nature, that can be described as objectified images. I combine painting,
sculpting and the medium of photography.
I BELIEVE IN CONTINUOUS PICTORIAL RENAISSANCE.
I avoid the self-repetition and the routine; therefore, I oftentimes benefit from the
coincidence. For instance, amorphe trees gathered from the nature determine the character of
my future images. At the same time, the organic and inorganic materials that I use are equally
important: silicone, resin, latex, emulsion, bitumen, debris, ash, wood, canvas, chia seed, fur,
pig’s bladder and the intestines. These materials become symbolic signs, vibrating with the
circulating energy of decay and fermentation.
The use of ephemerous materials in my works represents the human life.
What do you think about the opportunities that your contemporaries have in Hungary?
I think that after leaving the art universities many of us decide to quit, probably the first two
years are the most critical. If an artist doesn’t sacrifice time and energy into his future during
this time, applying for residencies and open calls, curating his website and insta page, build
community and receives no feedback on his work it can easily become just a hobby.
THE SELF-MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL.
There are way more talented artists leaving universities that the world needs, or rather more
than can get recognized in Hungary. Therefore, the role of non-profit, independent galleries
and artist-run spaces became outstanding, as they are representing an extremely vibrant
viewpoint. Luckily there has been some initiatives that are meant to help the emerging artists.
If a local or international gallery commits to work with an artist it is a huge recognition,
security and it unburdens the artist greatly.
Can you tell us about SKURC?
The joint use of a studio has always been inspiring to me, the artistic discourse, the
atmosphere of an art studio and the sense of community where we work towards a common
goal. SKURC, located on Népsziget is primarily an open studio that can host various projects
serving as both community and exhibition space. We rented the place last year in June, the
exhibition plan and our stay are both temporary at the moment.
Our main mission is the cooperation between the Hungarian and the international
contemporary artists. For our next event, that is planned for August 1 we wish to involve all
the artists working on the island.
How did the quarantine affect you?
The first few weeks were mentally overwhelming, we even had to suspend our work at
SKURC. We attempted to create a temporary studio in an abandoned attic with Dávid
Németh and continue what we’ve already started. We didn’t know what to expect, what will
the time span be and of course on top of that all the events were cancelled. The studio work is
foremost a process of contemplation and self-awareness, so it didn’t affect me greatly.
What projects are you working on recently? Are you going to exhibit in near future?
I will have a solo show on September 3rd at Kahan Art Space titled Hyperobject.
I’m currently working on the series that you can see here and on the installation that will
accompany it, this is where my focus is now. I’m also teaching, but I’m continuously
brainstorming about the opportunities and events for SKURC.
Punkt, FFS, 2020
News from “by anxious image” exhibition 2019
News from “összajáték” exhibition 2019