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Societal changes have immediate and rapid effects on the cityscape. In the early 1990s, after decades of state socialism in Eastern Europe, apartments were privatized, companies founded and private shops opened. This new ownership status was soon recognizable on the streets of Budapest. Where grey facades had dominated in the past, they were now adorned with bright advertisements. The new entrepreneurs sought to catch the attention of passers-by by painting and renovating facades, signaling both their presence, as well as the changed ownership and social structures. The new apartment owners, too, painted and renovated, but only their own apartments’ exteriors, even if these were on the 4th floor. As the exhibition’s title suggests, after years of socialism this display of private ownership seemed a kind of theft to many inhabitants of Budapest, including the artist.
Csaba Nemes (born 1966 in Kisvárda, lives in Budapest) documented the first gradual, then accelerating changes to the Budapest cityscape in the 1990s. He has been interested in the societal processes in Hungary since the late 1980s, and uses nearly all fine arts techniques: photography, film, animation, painting and drawing. His work is well-known through various exhibitions in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Lithuania and many other countries. He currently has a big solo exhibition in the Krakow Museum of Contemporary Art, Mocak.
Further details: www.nemescsaba.com
Exhibition open: 27 February – 9 May 2016
Venue: IWM stairwell (basement to 2nd floor)
Visits: during IWM opening hours, by appointment or at events
In cooperation with Knoll Galerie Wien Budapest (www.knollgalerie.at)