Luca Petrányi: Running with Saint Margaret

Margaret-island, running path

22 September – 23 October 2023

Exhibiting artist:

Luca Petrányi


Decorative and Public Lighting Budapest (BDK) Ltd., FŐKERT Horticulture Division of Budapest Public Utilities Ltd., Szilárd Égető, Gábor Hevesi, Ildikó Kurucz, Kristóf Soma Nagy, Áron Porteleki, Júlia Rácz, Eszter Törőcsik, Vozár Dávid

Is it possible to learn about Margaret’s life through active running? With a contemporary approach, Luca Petrányi’s project explores the forgotten story of the person the former Island of Rabbits is named after. The main stages of the life of Saint Margaret of Hungary as a Dominican nun are brought to life along the island’s running track through eleven flags. After St Margaret’s death, her tomb was considered by her contemporaries to have miraculous and healing powers, framed by the self-discipline and penance she exercised throughout her life, her empathy with others and her all-embracing faith, sometimes at the risk of her own wellbeing. Luca Petrányi will place textiles made using wax batik technique along the running track on Margaret Island, which abstractly depict the most significant episodes of the saint’s life, based on János Kodolányi’s historical novel Blessed Margaret. By targeting the running community as the primary recipients and involving them as active commemorators in the project, the artist’s main intention is to parallel the exhausted, energised and contemplative state of being experienced while running with the self-sacrificing and ascetic life of Saint Margaret. The physical exertion experienced while running can make the recipient more open and a deeper connection, identification could take place with Saint Margaret, the princess turned hermit, who is falling into oblivion in the urban legendary. Runners can also listen to the episodes highlighted by the artist (based on the book by Kodolányi) in audio form, which adds further layers to the story of the saint. Collective identification with her will become complete in the course of a collective run to take place on the opening days.

Photos: Barnabás Neogrády-Kiss