Artist: Barna Péli
Exhibition title: Flesh Discount
Curated by: Szilvi Német
Venue: Horizont Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Date: March 7 – April 4, 2018
Photography: Dávid Biró / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Horizont Gallery
„One of the baskets full of deplorables” – this is how Hillary Clinton characterized half of the American populace during the 2016 election campaign. The „undesirable” masses – the acclaimed „racists”, „sexists”, or „xenophobes” – proved to be politically-ideologically unwanted, in a similar vain that other times the economical have-nots, 50% of the society are framed as a redundant „waste” „to be left behind”. The elitist strategies of devaluation or exclusion walk hand in hand with the extreme concentration of power, where a small number of oligarchs or potentates stand in opposition to the 99% of the „rest of the people”. „Devalued lives” – those of lumpens, migrants, homeless, „useless” or „alternatives” – are often conceived as „unfit” for order, which they threaten to overthrow. For the reigning powers those opposing the system are „agressive”, „contagious” or „uncultured” always threatening to shatter the „organic harmony”. The repressed are symptomatic to the whole and waiting to form a chain of their unheard demands to tempt the power.
Barna Péli as a sculptor is highly committed to anthropocentrism, where his composition of figures as active, ethical agents are always articulated in relation to interpersonal nexus or group dinamics. The body horror-esque aesthetics always represents the power situation within these relations, which in an absence of a well-designed surface unveil the ugliness of reality as it is.