survival strategies step 1.

2014    I    6 pieces of apple trees     I     6 hour performance

survival strategies step 2.

2014    I    6 pieces of apple trees     I     performance

An Artistic Way to Cope with the Environment

By Park Soon Young, Seoul Museum of Art, curator
   Bajóta (Balázs József Tamás) has worked based on the idea that his work has to be movable and free from any restriction of space. Since 2009 his works, including the Practical Sculpture series, have adopted a way of folding and unfolding to reflect this idea. Inspired by pop-up books, the series could be a solution to storage and transport problems installation artists face because it can be unfolded when exhibited and folded away after an exhibition without requiring any process of assembling or disassembling before and after exhibition. It can be said he is not only artistically creative but also creative in solving problems hard to solve to live as an artist. However, the way he has devised is not simply for easy storage and moving but derives from his interest in the environment. We can say that’s important.
   He is very interested in his surrounding environments, encompassing nature, language, and society. Each individual is encircled with such environments. Intellectualists see the environment as an object to be defined and usable whereas anti-intellectualists realize that the environment is inseparable from humans and cannot be an object since all including humans are elements composing the environment. What’s important is balance. As the environment is harmonic, each element has to maintain its balance at the border of action and reaction. BaJoTa is an artist who is well aware of this. We can confirm this from the fact that the theme he puts importance on in his representative series, such as KraalJump, and Trap, is the “border”.
   The environment stands for the border around the artist, a limit to overcome, and at the same time a space he has to harmonize with. He assumes an attitude to be in accord with and overcome his surroundings. His sculptural pieces conceived in the form of pop-up books reflect this attitude. He lays down several conditions for the continuation of this work: “I do not use readymades or waste articles; my work has to guarantee easy movement and storage; my work reacts to surrounding environments rather than being executed only in the studio; and I work on large pieces while using materials easy to treat”. He executed work meeting these conditions in May 2014 at the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon. He wove together six apples trees he had purchased by intersecting them and executed a performance of holding them for six hours. Viewers could participate in the performance, holding them in lieu of the artist. He documented this on video and planted the trees in the backyard after the performance. Echoing the conditions the artist himself established, this work was sufficient to address issues of equilibrium, border, and his surroundings. I thought about my attitude toward our surroundings and balance in life when seeing the artist with a resolute look who added his strength to the trees supporting one another.  

survival strategies n.2

2014     I     graphite on paper     I     70 x 80 cm

survival strategies n.1

2014     I     graphite on paper     I     45 x 30 cm

survival strategies n.3

2014     I     graphite on paper     I     128 x 96 cm