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La Biennale di Venezia | Ungheria : Gyula Várnai Peace on Earth!
Gyula Várnai, Neonpeace, 2017. Light installation, neon tubes on a metallic construction, 4 x 5 x 2 m. Courtesy of the artist.

Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Gyula Várnai
Peace on Earth!

May 13–November 26, 2017


Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest


Gyula Várnai’s Peace on Earth! project is about the viability and necessity of utopias; about the fact that although our past conceptions of the future have not come true, new visions are required in every age in order for mankind to achieve its goals. As the current circumstances, including technological development, world politics, global economic and natural crises or the waves of migration keep posing new challenges, our conception of the future is changing faster than before. Although we could have reason to be pessimistic, Várnai offers a reassuring scenario to keep our faith in the coming of a better age.

Through his installations, Gyula Várnai’s exhibition evokes the ideas of the futurology and the utopias of the past and confronts them with the challenges of the present. His sources are found material and visual elements, which he puts into new contexts in order to shed light on the fact that our vision of the future is the foundation of all the discourses of economics and power, no matter in which era we live in. In the socialist model city of Dunaújváros—named “Stalingrad” in Hungarian when it was built—where he grew up and continues to live, his sources often include relics of the Cold War era or the aesthetic of industrial environment. Created using simple techniques, his montage-like works overwrite the stereotypical Eastern European world view with contemporary philosophical and literary allusions.

Zsolt Petrányi curator
National Commissioner: Julia Fabényi
Curator: Zsolt Petrányi
Organizer: Ludwig Museum- Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

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