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Csaba Szamosy, Edite Vidins
Artists, there's just no stopping them. Give them 'sterile technology', throw loads of postmodern theory at them and they still make 'nice pictures'.
Nice pictures? Yes I know there is many a reader who would consider that irrelevant if not a down right insult. But look again. Look in fact at the exhibition by Edite Vidins and Csaba Szamosy.
Using computers these two artists have produced radically different work that is encouraging for those looking towards technology and wondering what good might come of it.
Szamosy's work edges up to the painterly with no apologies. That these pictures are computer generated becomes a consideration which is secondary to their visual appeal. The expanded pixels (the millions of little square units that make up a computer screen) are there for all to see, but they are layered over each other and move in organic waves in defiance of their square form.
The majority of Szamosy's works in this exhibition do in fact have their origins in the organic. They are pictures of cells from science textbooks that have been changed beyond recognition, and in some places combined with self portraits that continue the theme of previous work. This combination of the personal and organic with the technological has potential for further investigation.
However to contribute more to the current debate about art in the age of technology other than to prove visual appeal, the tension between the biological and the logical needs to be underlined.
The element of collage in these works is a result of the limited size of computer printouts and is therefore an accident of the technology. It may prove useful in the future for developing the content of the Work.
If Szamosy's work is comparable to the painterly then Vidins work is describable as closer to the graphic. The individual pieces occupy a difficult place in not having 'big framed picture' impact that stimulates immediate attention, but a more careful look reveals layers of intention and meaning that keep the viewer asking questions.
All Vidins' pieces include text and an acid humor is evident. The text is strongest when it forms an integral part of the work rather than a comment on the image. In CONSTANT, for instance, the word sits barely solid amidst a dripping and decaying background.
The images themselves are economical, almost minimal, and the intense color available to the artist in the million or so choices on the computer palate is used to good effect.
The strongest of Vidins' work gives the impression that it is a culmination of a thought process that we are not invited to see. Unlike a series of paintings that develop one theme, with the process of creation recorded in the marks of the maker, these rather slick and sometimes simple images seem to record a state of mind that reflects a hard edge attitude that humour saves from cynicism.
What is offered then is a display of work in which the pieces exist mostly unrelated to each other except in attitude. Evidence of the ideas behind, or in extension of, the themes could have expanded this exhibition into a more cohesive unit. Clear meaning or intent is as unfashionable as beauty, however, and the work is therefore left wandering between the expectations of the traditional and the banality of much of postmodern nihilism.
For better or worse the impression that we are not being told the whole story hangs behind this work and underwrites Vidins as an artist. Her development will be interesting to watch. The use of the computer as a fine art tool in a postmodem context, (or should that be a postmodem tool in a fine art context) takes another step.