The Ocean’s Walls

Budapest Gallery

1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158.

19 April 2024 – 9 June 2024

Artists:

Nina Canell, Tony Cokes, Niklas Goldbach, Barnabás Neogrády-Kiss, Agnieszka Polska, Andi Schmied, Adnan & Nina Softić, Anna M. Szaflarski, Sean Vegezzi, Zorka Wollny

Curator:

Krisztina Hunya

Opening:

18 April 2024, (Thursday) 6 pm

English friendly related events:

20 April 2024, (Saturday) 4 pm

Nontopographies: The politics of exclusion roundtable discussion

1 May 2024, (Wednesday) 10 am

May Day

The urban living space of the 21st century creates the illusion of socially, economically or politically isolated ‘cells’ that are covered by an ever so dense and also digitally accessible network of services and infrastructures. Although the evolution of large cities would be inconceivable today without immigration and the multiplicity of cultural influences on urban life, segregation and alienation are an everyday reality that affects different social groups. The works presented in the exhibition explore the contemporary psychology of urban coexistence on the basis of stories that are either fictitious or based on personal experience or years of research and observation.

Creating the city is “man’s most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in after his heart’s desire”, observed urban sociologist Robert Park in 1967. The fragmentation of society – along economic, ethnic or other fault lines – is indelibly imprinted in the spaces of our cities, which increasingly consist of elements resembling fortification, walled housing estates and privatised public spaces. The artists in “The Ocean’s Walls” use the devices of poetic and collective activism to point out various aspects of this phenomenon. Exclusion and isolation are at once the result of a process brought about by the powers and an individually motivated endeavour. Symbolically evoked by the title, the walls no longer serve to defend the city from external forces, but to invoke the complex hierarchy of the right to the city. Who has access to the different spaces and services? What kinds of devices and processes encourage the creation of a bubble-like environment? In fact, is alienation essential to maintain peaceful coexistence?

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