After the Never Existing (Vision of a Utopian Slum Center) / Dead Adv (Visual Aid No. 4a) 2013
In 1922, the Hungarian artist, writer, journalist and “activist” Lajos Kassák (1887–1967) painted a newspaper stand with towering advertising boards in striking colours and angular type.
For the Werkleitz Jubiläums Festival, the Hungarian artist Tamás Kaszás (*1976) builds a stand according to Kassák’s model, situating it outside, though on a reduced scale. Kaszás, whose work often takes a post-utopian stance on modernism, processes simple and recycled material into the stand. The advertisements are decomposing, the shelves are empty, the stand has the appearance of a ruins. Has the commodity aesthetic failed or has utopia failed, or have both failed? The look that gets marketed elsewhere as the “Favela style” surfaces in Kaszás’ installation as the afterimage of a social order based on capitalism and modernism.
A second piece by Kaszás in the Technikhalle refers to corresponding indications from the present moment. The installation shows, among other things, images of the kind of vacant advertising billboards frequently found in countries showing symptoms of the crisis.