CSABA NEMES (1966)
"When I look back at my work, I see that my works in the most diverse media always have one thing in common: the question of identity. I think it is a very problematic issue for the Eastern European region because we are full of frustrations and questions, while political events are constantly trying to address this, trying to put things in order with different visions and ideologies. If I look at it from a broader perspective, the root of it is a sense of being lost; who we really are, what our position is in this world and who we want to belong to."
He studied painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts between 1985 and 1989. He studied in Rotterdam, London, Graz and Tornitz. In 1996 he participated in the São Paulo Biennale. Between 1995 and 1998 he and his friend Zsolt Veress officially exchanged names, and exhibited his works from this period under this name. (This caused a lot of complications for both of them, both in their private lives and at the institutional level and they terminated this contract after 3 years.)
In 2013 he was awarded the Leopold Blum Prize for Fine Arts.
He is the head of the Doctoral School at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs. From September 2021 the Faculty of Arts, in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the Faculty of Humanities, will launch a new degree programme: the Intermedia Artists degree programme will be a new, unclassified master's programme at the Faculty and Csaba Nemes will be the supervisor of this programme.
Around 2012 he became an activist in the field of art and founded a group called Free Artists. Later, as their activities failed to bring about major changes, the group gradually ceased to exist; however, he considers this period of his life very important for his experience.
He has been actively involved in public sculpture, migration and political events (especially from the point of view of identity).
The exhibition at the Dubniczay Palace includes his painting The Place of Absence (2007, oil on canvas). The painting shows the intersection of Németvölgyi Street and Istenhegyi Street in Budapest with a statue, or more precisely its silhouette: Csaba Nemes left the Turul statue, which was to be removed but remained in place due to the complications of the administration, white. In 2020 (!), the local government finally decided to remove the names of those involved in the murders from the statue, put out a tender for a new World War II memorial and leave the Turul in place, probably with an additional explanatory plaque.
In addition to the paintings Csaba Nemes is making a series of photographs (e.g. of repainted facades) and films, some of which can be viewed on his website:
His works can be found in several public collections (Szent István Király Museum, Székesfehérvár; Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz; Paks Gallery, Paks; Michael Ringier, Switzerland; Centre Pompidou, Paris). In Hungary and Vienna he is represented by Knoll Gallery. He currently lives in Budapest.
Here we have a glimpse into his studio, where he talks about his life and the history of his paintings: