313 Bowery, 10003 NY
3 November, 2022 – 11 December, 2022
Opening: November 3rd, 2022, 6 – 8 PM
AMANITA is pleased to present Aktenkundig (On Record), Eva Beresin’s first solo exhibition in New York. Eva Beresin (b. 1955, Budapest, Hungary) moved to Vienna after studying at the School of Visual Arts in Budapest. The paintings on view burgeon from Beresin’s childhood growing up in Communist Hungary and are informed by her humor, wit, and earnest consideration of the past.
“In her formative years of development attending art school in early 1970s communist Hungary, Eva Beresin’s generation was forced to conjure a parallel reality, hiding and integrating whatever outside information and imagery she and her friends could scavenge. The music and ideas that managed to seep in, including disruptive changes in artistic life abroad, did so through a narrow and distorted lens which nevertheless provided a critical framework to address the struggles of living in such a prophylactically censored society.
The normative search for adolescent identity that we most assuredly take for granted in the democratic west—hard as that is in the best of times—was much more difficult and hard fought under an oppressive and repressed regime. This incomplete and slanted world view has colored, literally and figuratively, the unsettling, melancholic, comic content of Beresin’s magical body of works.
A Kafkaesque sense of futility and absurdity couched in the learned helplessness of living in a society with no way out pervaded; while, at the same time, there was an undeniable escape valve offering solace and hope of her own fantastical and imaginative devising that Beresin was forced to create in order to survive and flourish. And that she did.
Beresin was influenced at the time by the underground music scene, including János Baksa-Soós, lead singer of the band Kex, whose lyrics ranged from unadorned, stripped-down, and indecipherable to complex, surreal and suggestive. The ambiguity of the songs carried with it the potential for hostility and violence while offering up the occasion for audience participation and interaction.
The experience of engaging with the mystical nature of Kex’ music and performances, imbued with life-or-death seriousness and profound artistic content, is a distinct parallel to Eva Bersin’s art today. Seemingly innocuous and funny self-wrought characters frolic about a landscape that is both playful, scary and at times dangerous appearing.
What better location for this wonderous and foreboding universe to play out in than what was once the equally anarchistic hotbed of creativity, dissent and merriment that was formerly part of the mythological CBGBs. I couldn’t think of a more suitable venue.”
- Kenny Schachter