Lili Agg & Veronika Romhány
curator: Zsófia Kókai
February 24th – March 19th
The exhibition “Unfold in Unknown Waters” investigates possible solutions for our fundamental needs and seeks to offer a new vision of the future in a peculiar sensual way that approaches the line of futurisms.
The starting point of the project was Lili Agg’s solo show made in the summer of 2021. Her concept derived from a Google Earth image of the Siberian Sea, where a blurred, dark spot appears in the middle of the blueness. To think more about this mysterious, completely hidden place on our planet provides us with the possible implementation of a new utopia on this island. Agg, together with Veronika Romhány (aka Nimova Projeckt), examine the layers of this utopia to see how theoretical, historical, geographical and other abstract layers can melt into each other – similar to the water washing the sandy shore, forming a transition between liquid and solid states – and structure a new kind of subtle, steady imagination.
Utopias which at one time were seductive now became empty visions of the future: often terrifying thoughts of dictatorial social systems; isolated communas or even problematic promises of neoliberalism. Apart from a few exceptions, it seems that alternatives to these utopias barely exist, as if we cannot envision the future anymore. Neither the objects of desires adapt to our challenging present, they’re habitual, aligned with social expectations.
The question arises: Can we create any vision of our future if the terms and tools of our present are dysfunctional? Despite the expansion of utopias in time and space, we rightfully feel that these concepts have lost their society-shaping power. Instead of being critical and/or ambitious about the visions of our present and future, we think about them as only stories built up from well-known schemas. All this creates a suffocating atmosphere where one questions the raison d’être of desires, which often becomes blocked with (self)destructive effects. In the exhibition “Unfold in Unknown Waters” we go beyond asking questions about our lost future and we visualize, reconstruct and localize transitional states where the change (place for hope) can exist.
Lili Agg and Veronika Romhány collaboration comes from similar interests and their research focuses on past non-realized utopias and on current critical proposals to restructure modern society. The first step of their collaboration is this exhibition at U10, composed of mostly jointly created site-specific multi-media installations which provide the viewer a walkthrough on the research and imaginations of the two artists.
Photo: N. Ivanović