Ištvan Išt Huzjan at Proyectos Monclova

Artist: Ištvan Išt Huzjan

Exhibition title: de Métrico a Imperial

Venue: Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City

Date: March 22 – April 28, 2018

Photography: Gabriel de la Mora Studio / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City

by Tevž Logar

De Métrico a Imperial is an intensive dialogue between Ištvan Išt Huzjan’s poetic experiments and the exhibition space. Continuously flirting with avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes, Huzjan’s work always reflects his ability to create multi-layered structures in terms of both content and form. In this respect, Huzjan’s work is not a revival of Dada’s attack on the nature of exhibition as a medium of expression, but rather refers to the approaches and presentations of practices that have impacted exhibition methods and means by which art is received by an audience.

It is no coincidence that the exhibition begins in the gallery’s foyer patio with Huzjan’s ongoing project Subterranean Walks as this piece represents a symbolic culmination of artist’s experience related to his journeys. This work, an object with the artist’s footprints, can be understood as a collage of his past projects as it references separations, which directly link to the symbolic measurement of ‘emptiness’ created during the artist’s travels.

The intertwinement of architectural space and artworks continues in the lower gallery with Daily Chores on 5th Avenue, a performance he carried out in New York City in 2017 a few days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. In the performance, Huzjan walked the entire length of Fifth Avenue from north to south, cleaning the gutter using a small broom and a dustpan. Stretching over Manhattan from the Harlem River in the north to Washington Square Park in the south, Fifth Avenue led him from the poorer parts of the city to areas that become globally infamous for financial, political and media power.

The hallway leading to the gallery’s main exhibition space can be read as what anthropologist Marc Augé would describe as a nonplace, a transitional area that lacks the identity to be recognised and where people remain anonymous. Huzjan here has filled it with projects linked to movement. These projects are not static rather they slide between the public and the private, between geopolitical places, cultures, histories, people and their relationships. Suddenly the gallery’s nonplace is brimming with untold stories, a reminder of those that are always among us if only we wish to notice them.

Through the nonplace the viewer finds to the main gallery, where intimate objects made in the shelter of the artist’s studio are showcased. These so-called conceptual objects combine found materials (objects from Huzjan’s everyday life) with generic construction materials displayed on pedestals of 45 cm, 90 cm and 157.5 cm in height, respectively. The objects seem to create a poetic narrative that echoes the artist’s toying with different formats, materials and functions. While it may seem that the artist is caught in a loop of self-sufficiency of form and mannerism, this is not the case. The objects hover between public and private spheres, between their (former) function and their translation by Huzjan to an exhibition context. The history of sculpture has always been the history of the relationship between the material and immaterial. In Huzjan’s case, this relationship has emerged as an exploration between the object and space, which is why the placement of his works at different heights, symbolising human growth is essential.

Ištvan Išt Huzjan is an artist whose works create tension between opposing poles: avant-garde and neo-avant-garde, public and private, material and immaterial. The artist’s personal narrative facilitates his examination of different media, while also revealing Huzjan’s need to be on the move and explore the media’s boundaries. Therefore, the viewer is sometimes left with an impression that Huzjan is a wordsmith whose verse may at first seem finite but really offers a proliferation of infinite meanings and forms: poems that somehow exist at the end of words.

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Subterranean Walks, from the series Performances, 2013 – ongoing Performance and object, 5.91 x 406.3 x 68.5 in / 15 x 1032 x 174 cm, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, de Métrico a Imperial, 2018, exhibition view, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

 

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Dnevna opravila na 5. aven i [Daily Chores on 5th Avenue], from the series Performances, 2017 Documentation of performance (120 photos) held at the exhibition SK State Art: New York, The Impossible Return, James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA (photos by Jaka Vinšek) Each photo: 11.81 x 11.81 in / 30 x 30 cm, Text: 4.13 x 6.54 x .98 in / 10.5 x 16.6 x 2.5 cm, Photo: Jaka Vinšek, Courtesy of the artist and Proyectos Monclova

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Umetnik v prtljagi / Kurator v prtljagi [Artist in a suitcase / Curator in a suitcase], from the series Performances, 2015, Documentation of performance held at the exhibition Perpetual Travellers, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany (photo by SAVVY Contemporary), Photo: 12.24×8.31×.98 in / 31.1×21.1×2.5 cm, Text: 3.66 × 6.54 × .98 in / 9.3 × 16.6 × 2.5 cm, Photo: photo by SAVVY Contemporary

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Ik heb geen atelier [I don’t have a studio], from the series Performances, 2012, Documentation of graffiti from the exhibition Studio Verwey, De Hallen, Haarlem, The Netherlands (photo by Ištvan Išt Huzjan), Photo: 12.24×9.57×.98 in / 31.1×24.3×2.5 cm, Text: 3.19×6.54×.98 in / 8.1×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, E6 (Evropska pespot St. 6) [E6 (European footpath no. 6)], from the series Performances, 2013 Documentation of performance held at Resilience U3 7th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia, MG + MSUM, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Photo: 12.24×21.46×.98 in / 31.1×54.5×2.5 cm, Text: 4.84×6.54×.98 in / 12.3×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Hoja v Zerjavskem kamnolomu [A walk through the Zerjav quarrey], from the series Performances, 2015 Documentation of performance held at Zerjav, Slovenia (photo by Tina Javornik), Each photo: 12.24×16.26×.98 in / 31.1×41.3×2.5 cm, Text: 3.5×6.54×.98 in / 8.9×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Hoja v Zerjavskem kamnolomu [A walk through the Zerjav quarrey], from the series Performances, 2015 Documentation of performance held at Zerjav, Slovenia (photo by Tina Javornik), Each photo: 12.24×16.26×.98 in / 31.1×41.3×2.5 cm, Text: 3.5×6.54×.98 in / 8.9×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, V drevesu [Inside a tree], from the series Performances, 2011, Documentation of performance held at Parc de Forest, Brussels, Belgium (photo by Aukje Koks), Photo: 12.24×9.33×.98 in / 31.1×23.7×2.5 cm, Text: 3.15×6.54×.98 in / 8×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Aukje Koks, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Simplon Express: Le Retour [Simplon express: the return], from the series Performances, 2012 Documentation of performance held at La Galerie des Locataires, Paris, France (photo by Ištvan Išt Huzjan) Photo: 12.24×16.18×.98 in / 31.1×41.1×2.5 cm Text: 5.51×6.54×.98 in / 14×16.6×2.5 cm Photo: Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Tetovaza [Tattoo], from the series Performances, 2012, Documentation of performance and tattoo from the exhibition Studio Verwey, De Hallen, Haarlem, The Netherlands, Photo: 12.24×9.25×.98 in / 31.1×23.5×2.5 cm, Text: 3.15×6.54×.98 in / 8×16.6×2.5 cm, Photo: Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2012, Shoelaces, 23.62×15.75×.39 in / 60×40×1 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Figure, 2017, Metal and plates, 34.25×21.26×19.69 in / 87×54×50 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2018, Plaster and KFOR sack, 21.65 × 27.56 × 2.56 in / 55 × 70 × 6.5 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Figure, 2018, Metal and plaster, 39.37×12.6×12.6 in / 100×32×32 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Figure, 2015, Wood and plaster, 59.84×10.63×10.63 in / 152×27×27 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Figure, 2018, Metal and plaster, 36.22×16.54×16.54 in / 92×42×42 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2016, Glass and binder clips, 11.22×20.08×1.18 in / 28.5×51×3 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Figure, 2016, Metal and concrete, 11.81×7.09×3.94 in / 30×18×10 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2014, Wood and bike tires, 27.56×45.28×2.76 in / 70×115×7 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2017, Egg holders and pegs, 7.87×9.06×9.06 in / 20×23×23 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Unnamed Image, 2017, Brass and plates, 12.2×12.2×3.94 in / 31×31×10 cm, Photo: Rodrigo Viñas, Courtesy of the artist and PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

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