Issue #29, 2008

Rubbish Recycling
Miklos Erhardt

Remember the angry Frank Gehry in one of the Simpsons cartoons? He gets a proposal from Marge Simpson for a new concert hall for the city. He crumples the letter into a ball and tosses it away. The crumpled piece of paper miraculously gives out the shape of his Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, a complex in its turn very similar to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. (Marge’s related comment doesn’t really belong here, but it’s hilarious: “I am so excited, it is like giving birth to a child of steel and iron.”)

Miklós Mécs remembers for sure, as the Simpsons are his trademark source of absurd comments. In the series Origami Rubbish the “child” is a fruit of his collaboration with fellow artist Gergô Orbán – who is a master of the Japanese art of Origami. The piece can thus be understood both as an ironic experiment of rubbish-recycling and a poetic analysis of something inherently un-analytical.

Young Hungarian artist Miklós Mécs, in his individual work and wide range of collaborations as well as member of the group SZAF (together with Judit Fischer – the abbre­viation stands for “Fellowship of Artists Painting with Mouth and Brain”), engages in a fierce and very productive fight against boredom. In a generally reductive art world his work distinguishes itself by a very extensive economy of ideas, a kind of original, unrestricted idea-accumulation, in the Marxian sense of the term. Many of those ideas will remain unrealized or conceived as art in themselves, entering his ever growing collections (books, notebooks, blogs etc.). They are inspired indiscriminately by the everyday and the history of art, stemming from little rebellions against (or for) weaknesses (human, all too human...), repressions, authority, common sense, political cor­rect­ness and so on. Strange enough, they still remain coherent and peculiar to the artist.

Such attitude is all the more interesting as it comes from a secondary, East-European art scene mostly doomed to vernacular academism on the one hand, and repetition, self-reflection and inferiority complexes as well as over-compensations and clumsy tour de forces on the other. Mécs’ art (and luckily many other artists’ from his genera­tion) seems to open a new page by considering second class an optimal way of traveling.