Hajnalka Somogyi: Since around 2000, you have created a very specific, recognisable and consistent output. What have you been working on over the past couple of years, where is your artistic focus nowadays?
Ádám Kokesch: Since my years as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts, I have been working with an ever-increasing array of everyday-high-tech materials. These I employ in the making of objects and installations, complementing them with hinterglas painting. In recent years, I have investigated how natural and artificial light can modify the environment, as well as mobile, transformable structures. With simple techniques, I create precise-looking objects designed to become convincing components of the man-made environment, placing them somewhere between the functionality of mass production and that of experimental instruments, on the verge of perception.
HS: You have always looked for opportunities to exhibit your works outside artistic institutions, in non-art spaces. Is this choice of yours a necessity or simply an option? What do these experiences within the urban setting add to your art practice?
AK: I have always been drawn to non-traditional installation solutions and situations, in covert, hidden, “parasitic” locations, away from the areas typically catalysing general attention. This translates into a cooperation and interaction between the works, the space, and the viewers, disclosing a chance to redefine certain situations—I consider this as an active form of communication.
HS: What are your thoughts on the evolution (or lack of evolution) of the Hungarian contemporary art scene over the past twenty years? What lies ahead of us?
AK: I believe that the Hungarian art scene, not unlike Hungarian society, is currently more isolated than it was fifteen or twenty years ago. However, the search for alternatives has also intensified. Today, the most important challenge for artists and curators is to find open, international, and socially inclusive ways to operate. It would be good if the existing institutional system provided a background for this.
HS: What do you consider the most important and exciting art sites in Hungary today? What sites would you recommend to an art enthusiast from abroad?
AK: I would suggest a visit to the Trafó House of Contemporary Art, Lajos Kassák Memorial Museum, the Studio of Young Artists Association, and to commercial galleries such as Vintage, Trapéz Galéria, Kisterem, and acb.
- Ádám Kokesch, 2012
- Ádám Kokesch, photo: Hannes Woidich