János Brückner at ENA Viewing Space

Artist: János Brückner

Exhibition title: Stupid Things

Curated by: Peter Bencze

Venue: ENA Viewing Space, Budapest, Hungary

Date: April 6 – May 21, 2019

Photography: © Aron Weber, all images copyright and courtesy of the artists, Everybody Needs Art

“In France there is an old saying, “Stupid like a painter.” The painter was considered stupid, but the poet and writer very intelligent. I wanted to be intelligent. I had to have the idea of inventing. It is nothing to do with what your father did. (…) In my visual period there is a little of that stupidity of the painter. (…) Then I came to the idea. I thought the ideatic formulation a way to get away from influences.”
(Marcel Duchamp)

“If repeated enough, every stupidity seems true.”
(Sas István)

What is considered stupid by the dictionary?
“Mentally slow, lacking ordinary activity of mind, dull, inane,” from Middle French stupide (16c.) and directly from Latin stupidus “amazed, confounded; dull, foolish,” literally “struck senseless,” from
stupere “be stunned, amazed, confounded,” from PIE *stupe- “hit,” from root *(s)teu- “to push, stick, knock, beat” (see steep (adj.)). Stupid retained its association with stupor and its overtones of “stunned by surprise, grief, etc.” into the mid-18 th century.

“To reach the point in painting when we say fuck it, this is what it will be like, I don’t care.”
(John Kilduff)

What is considered stupid by the society and by common sense?
Forlorn, useless, pointless activity. To me, however, something fundamentally human, beautiful, valuable is manifested in exactly these kinds of performances and endeavours. A moment that easily discards useful, informed, tried and tested acts of wisdom, carelessly accepting certain failure. A candid, simple, unvarnished action. A desperate mistake. A snafu. A fragile and awkward moment.

“What do I consider stupid?

Why Do I Have to Get up Every Morning?
Let Me Fart in My Own Toilet as Loud as I Can!
I Think I Shat Myself
Uncle Jóska Brought The Panties
Ohh Fuck
Birth of the Antichrist
Salsa Teacher on the Edge of Collapse
Well No

„This exhibition is a labyrinth of silly images, masks and a bunker of something heavy and precious to me. In this roofless room at the top of a house close to the Danube River in Budapest there is a chance high of getting lost between what is stupid and what is serious, what is light and what is heavy. However, there are at least two important differences between my labyrinth and the countless escape-rooms of this Eastern European city: Stupid Things are for free and nobody locks you into the strict and dualistic categorization of stupid and reasonable.
Duchamp was serious about stupidity, ‘Saint’ Varecza was being seriously silly about seriousness, John Kilduff painted a still life while running on a treadmill and taking calls from viewers, and OMARA is simply a goddess. This exhibition was inspired by the above masters.”  János Brückner