The Beginnings of the Food Canning Industry
|Medium, technique||paper, giclée print|
400 × 270 cm each (2 pcs)
|On view||Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Cabinet|
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.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.