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Direction Signs Antal Lakner


Antal Lakner Budapest, 1966 –

Alkotói korszak
Date 1993
Object type photograph
Medium, technique paper, giclée print

400 × 270 cm each (2 pcs)

Inventory number MM2022.7
Collection Contemporary Collection
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, Third Floor, Shifts – 20th Century art after 1945

In 1993 Antal Lakner installed his public artwork entitled Direction Signs as part of the exhibition Polifónia – A társadalmi kontextus mint médium a kortárs magyar képzőművészetben [Polyphony – Social Commentary in Contemporary Hungarian Art]. In the work (installed on 26 November 1993), two “direction signs” were visible on the overhead beams of Erzsébet Bridge in Budapest. The eastern beam was marked with the word ODAÁT [Over there] and the western beam with IDEÁT [Over here], using dark letters applied to transparent protective foil. The photographs exhibited here documents this event. Lakner often chooses urban public spaces as sites for his artistic projects, thus rethinking the traditions of concept art. His chosen themes are particularly relevant to the given towns or cities – in this case, Budapest. Further, they reflect upon economic, sociocultural and urbanistic issues and problems. In the present work, Lakner underlines an evident fact, one that is ironically discernible in the space between the right and left banks of the river. He thus thematises the differences between the two sides, even while, by way of the inscriptions, taking a position on what counts as belonging to the two sides (i.e., to the Pest side and to the Buda side of the city). At the same time, the work of art, which appeared in the public urban space, was subject to reinterpretation based on specific situations and reflecting the reactions of people as they encountered it. Although the display permit was valid only until 5 December, the inscriptions remained on the bridge until 17 December, just one day prior to Antall József’s funeral procession across the bridge.

Additional notes

Acquisition supported by the Friends of Contemporary Art Nonprofit Co.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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