Principle of Least Time

Exhibition of Balázs Varju Tóth

Budapest Gallery

1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158. (1st floor)

15 November 2023 – 28 January 2024 (prolonged!)


Flóra Gadó

Graphic design:

Petra Zajácz


14 November 2032 (Tuesday), 6 pm

Music performance:

Áron Porteleki

The exhibition is in fact a single piece comprised of sound and moving image, both reflecting on and shifting away from the spaces of the Budapest Gallery. Living in the Netherlands for three years now, the artist conceived this work to speak abstractly about the question of seeking and finding one’s place. What points of orientation help us to find our way in our own lives? And what happens when these points become unstable? In general: can we feel at home in the world or is losing ground inevitable?

Balázs Varju Tóth began experimenting with writing literary texts in recent years. Partly autofiction, partly experimental, his text – which appears in the form of a sound installation – thematises the correlations of searching for a home, moving on/away, being confined, needing a change and being a stranger. The flashing footages can be interpreted as metaphors of different places and spaces that help us orientate ourselves and fix our attention, such as the beacon of a lighthouse or the emptiness of a room. It is important to note, however, that these short scenes are not illustrations of the soundtrack that runs through the exhibition space: it is the relationship between the text and the images that the artist is interested in, inasmuch as it gives rise to uncertainty and tension. The physics term in the title refers to the principle according to which light travels between two points along the path that requires the least time: the exhibition is an attempt to create an immersive video installation that aims not for totality, but instead, for fragmentariness, while pointing out the difficulties, breaking points and confusions inherent in relating a narrative.

Balázs Varju Tóth (1990) lives and works in Amsterdam and Budapest. He studied at ELTE (Film Theory, Film History), MOME (Media Design) and the Sandberg Instituut (Fine Arts) in Amsterdam. He received the Derkovits Grant in 2019 and has been the member of the Studio of Young Artists Association (FKSE) since 2017.

He typically creates video installations. In his work, both spoken and written text are important – both as part of and alongside moving images – as well as repetition and prolonged temporality. In recent years, his focus has increasingly turned towards ontological questions. His works are based on a world in which the individual has little control over the events of the surrounding world, and in which vulnerability is a basic experience.


Photos: Tamás Juhász G.