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SVUNG: an archive of memories // exhibition

Following an online-offline “virtual performance of travelling prints” in March, SVUNG’s artistic research continues with an exhibition.

SVUNG Research Group has entered the second phase of its artistic research, which began in October 2022, with the exhibition an archive of memories, continuing its series exploring the somatic perspective on the state of being in a state of constant change and movement.

The exhibition’s core material is an edited trace of Luca and Napsi’s six-month journey separately. Luca crusaded and volunteered in the rainforests and ocean beaches of Colombia, and then wild camped in the California / Oregon / Washington axis of the United States, carrying a 9 kilo backpack from January to July. From October to May, Napsi roamed Italy, Spain and Portugal with her husband and their cat in their hand-converted motorhome, following mild coastal winters.

“A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it – by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. The very activity of taking pictures is soothing, and assuages general feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel. Most tourists feel compelled to put the camera between themselves and whatever is remarkable that they encounter. Unsure of other responses, they take a picture. This gives shape to experience: stop, take a photograph, and move on. The method especially appeals to people handicapped by a ruthless work ethic. Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on holiday and supposed to be having fun.”
Susan Sontag: On photography (1977)

Our exhibition focuses on the dilemmas of experiential documentation. How are we present when we travel and how is travel a somatic experience? How will this affect the documentation? And what impact on the body? Is it possible to record an experience, a bodily sensation, an unrepeatable moment? 

We let go of the desire to impress, the desire to recall/record accurately and turn to abstraction. We accept and celebrate the fact of memory, the imperfections of retelling, of being imprinted by the camera. We record sound, we bodily experience, we take notes, we print…

The material of our exhibition is largely an archive of objects: found souvenirs, bus tickets, shells from the Mediterranean, harvests from the Amazon. What memories do the little things that land in our pockets hold? How can we become part of the history of a million-year-old pebble, and how can this stone be the most accurate memory of a breathtaking sunset? Alongside personal collections, we present extracts from our visual and audiovisual travel diaries: can we reverse the dilemma of capturing the Sonntag quoted above if, instead of a single click of the phone, we paint a landscape, even sitting for hours in the shifting horizontal and dissolving the paint with seawater?

Exhibitors: Luca Borsos, Napsugár Trömböczki
SVUNG Research Group: Luca Borsos, Ágnes Grélinger, Kinga Szemessy, Napsugár Trömböczki

Opening: 11 September 2023, 6PM
Opening hours: 
weekdays: 4PM-7PM
Saturday: 11AM-5PM
Location: Szendvicsbár Community Hub, 1078 Budapest, István u. 27.

Free programme.
The event will be audio and video recorded. By participating in the event, the participant gives his/her consent to the recording and its release.