FACTORY VISIT IN ANGYALFÖLD
Kultúra.hu, published on July 14, 2015
Article written by Réka Kolonics, translated by Evelin Pál
In the heart of Angyalföld, in one of the factory buildings in the vicinity of Forgách Street one may find an exhibition space with a particular atmosphere, supposed one knows where to look for it: the Budapest Art Factory is a non-profit studio and project space operating since 2006. The studios of five artists - Sándor Szász, Márta Kucsora, Dóra Juhász, Levente Herman and Eszter Csurka - can be found here, who for a period of one month invite resident artists from the international scene as well.
Budapest is as if it was taking a breath in Angyalföld: in district 13 spaces are open, the horizon becomes steel grey and clear. This district is also going through development – the factory edifices that were vacant for years are slowly beginning to revive. Those who know where to go will find real miracles here: for example a 900 sq m industrial hangar which was taken over by art. ‘The Budapest Art Factory was founded in 2006 by Dianne C. Brown, an Arts Manager from New York. Back in the day this place also functioned as a storage facility as she was involved activities linked to art dealing. Since the space was enormous it was suitable to house a rudimentary studio and gallery’ – recalls painter Sándor Szász of Transylvanian origin who is one of the permanent artists of the studio complex. ‘In 2009 she left the country and the remaining five artists had to decide what the fate of the initiative should be. We kept everything on the same track we only redesigned the internal structure: we envisaged an exhibition space by splitting the hall areas – one studio for each of the artists and a space reserved for invited guest artists from the international scene.
Because BAF thinks in an international context, with the aim to foster intercultural dialogue. As its former residents French artist Pascal Dombis and German Sabina Sakoh were invited; residents usually spend one month in Budapest, working at the premises of BAF which period ends with a solo exhibition at the Project Room of Budapest Art Factory. ‘We invite about 4-5 artists represented by prominent galleries – the selection is always based on a joint decision. ‘ – says Sándor Szász who then showed us the exhibited material created by June resident Bernd Kirschner. The exhibition, which opened on 25 June, was realized in collaboration with the Galerie Michael Schultz, and can be visited until 20 July. The images of Bernd Kirschner are pastel colored dreams, their effects are rather conveyors of certain moods, like anything else; the colors visible on the white walls are stunning. In addition to providing guest artist with an introduction opportunity, last year BAF launched a curatorial program – the task of the invited curators are to hold lectures, workshops, exhibitions and various other events which are all centered on a culturally relevant topic.
Currently a Czech artist duo, David Böhm & Jiří Franta, work at the studio as residents – their exhibition opening will take place on Thursday, 23 July. It is possible, however, to take a peek at their working process at present – the creators’ ateliers may be visited by appointment, although as Sándor puts it someone from the artist circle can always be found here. As much spatial freedom the hall ensures its inhabitants, it also puts limitations on their operation – it is nearly impossible to heat such an area, thus, the space is open yearly from May to October. ‘Before us in the 80’s a board cutting facility was here. We received the space in a quite run-down condition with elementary infrastructure’ –tells us Sándor. According to him it was a great investment both in financial terms and that of time to covert BAF to what it is today.
In the meantime, Sándor Szász is preparing for his solo exhibition scheduled for October at the Berlin based Galerie Michael Schultz; his colleagues also have exhibition openings nationally and globally. Perhaps their work is supported by the atmosphere of the Angyalföld based hall and the quiet which one falls in love with easily. It is not difficult to image them creating here – Eszter Csurka in her attic studio where currently her wax sculptures born underwater are put to rest. The work of the five artists are echoed even abroad –media of different languages write about their mission, their word has reached Michael Schultz personally, who came to Budapest and immediately fell in love with the space and the concept of BAF.
All of these results happened without support, as a non-profit studio. ‘I don’t want us to be on a constant loop, I don’ insist on being famous. The most important thing is to do our jobs and then those who want to take notice of us will do so’ –conceives Sándor Szász, and one cannot oppose to this mission. There are significant amounts of people gathering at their events. Probably it would be more advisable to pay a visit to the factory on a calm weekday, thirsty for inspiration, walking alone through the space accompanied by reverberating footsteps.