Adrian Kiss at Art+Text Budapest

Artist: Adrian Kiss

Exhibition title: anthropots

Curated by: Gabor Rieder

Venue: Art+Text Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Date: July 5 – 31, 2017

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Art+Text Budapest

Art+Text Budapest is pleased to present anthropots, the first solo exhibition at our gallery by the emerging, young artist Adrian Kiss. In Kiss’ hybrid, site-specific installations, human scale and industrial approach, hi-tech, automotive aesthetics and handcrafted ceramics are combined in a unique way, establishing a new, complex network that makes connections between human likeness (anthropo-) and fired pots in a post-internet era. Unusual relations between the fossils of the Anthropocene epoch viewed from the post-human age.

Graduated in London, now living and working in Budapest, Adrian Kiss (b. 1990, Miercurea-Ciuc, Romania) is known as one of the most promising young talents of Hungarian installation art. The artist’s large-scale installation was featured in Dys-Picture Generation, the inaugural group show of Art+Text Budapest in 2015 —both Sylvania, composed of laminated boards and light tubes; and Y Gates, the organic, diptych-like work made of quilted leather received special attention. Presenting his latest works, the exhibition anthropots demonstrates that the artist has been staying on this path ever since. Kiss creates hybrid objects with eroticized body orifices on their surfaces by combining archaic and modern technologies through various materials. As if these ‘totems’ would be made of stone-age ceramics, synthetic fabrics and curved iron bars, belonging to a futuristic parallel universe.

The show is centred around two large-scale objects hung on the wall. The artworks entitled Bowl Hole are covered with Kent nylon used for hiking clothing and are filled with soft material resulting in a pillow-like form. The leather-seamed pockets on the cuboid-like, padded textile reliefs recall not only the air scoops of sports cars but also human orifices. There is a fired, uniquely designed, unglazed pot embodied in each work that evokes automotive aesthetics and outdoor clothing. The two Bowl Hole pieces represent two different phases of the sunset in the form of abstract-emotional colour imprints. The installation Headphones —a curved metal tube with medicine ball-sized ceramic balls on each end— enters in conversation with them: like a mysterious tribal totem, it serves as a counterpoint for the superhuman aesthetics of the two Bowl Hole works.

In the second hall of the exhibition, three large-scale artworks are on view. Two padded, backrest-like, leatherette objects, Seat Hole No.1 and No.2, is hanging from the extended wires between the walls. Their quilted motifs evoke the muscular structure of a man with ceramic holes on their lower body. Behind the guardian Seat Holes, a steel tube winds like a futuristic meander recalling the dynamic forms of streamlined design. The industrial metal installation, Active Rail, is completed with a piece of canvas and pots between the tubes. The last work in the space is Pillar No.3, a site-specific installation that surrounds a pillar —on its padded, quilted surface there is a hole capturing a human sex organ.

Adrian Kiss’ works are brought into being by the post-internet reality —they were born in the medial space created by the image hosting websites, but the craftsman, the tailor, the potter and the locksmith also play an important role in the production process. In the artist’s reference network, outdoor fashion and automotive aesthetics, sex and working out, the folds of the labia and the male muscular structure, tribal totems and the string of the hood, Kent Nylon and pottery, streamline design and couch pillow, the mouth of a clay pot and human orifices appear simultaneously. Moreover, his hybrid artworks incorporate their ideal viewer, and involve the hi-tech, but biology-centred body awareness of this new, superhuman species. Fossils of the Anthropocene epoch viewed from the post-human age.