Pajta Gallery Opened in Salföld

Photographer László Török converted the barn of his thatched-roofed peasant house into a gallery in Salföld which will operate on a commercial basis. He asked György Galántai to hold the opening speech at the first exhibition of Pajta Gallery on 21 June 1991. The title of the exhibition is THE WALL, and its subtitle is DENVER-2, which is a reference to the exhibition of Eastern European photographers organised in Denver, Colorado in spring, where photographers featured in Pajta displayed their works. (For example, Péter Tímár, László Török, Ernő Fejér, András Balla, János Vető, Attila Vécsy, István Halas, György Tót, Gábor Kerekes, János Szerencsés, Lenke Szilágyi, etc.)

On a temporary basis, the exhibition in Pajta Gallery was amended with György Galántai’s colour photocopy series entitled Interleg Spaces and his chromium steel sound sculpture, Interleg Sounds, which was performed on at the exhibition. (It was the Hungarian premiere of these works. Prior to this they were exhibited in 1989 in the DAAD Gallery in West Berlin. Then, in July, in the programme of the Kapolcs Days, as a guest exhibition of Pajta Gallery and the test exhibition of the Newkapolcs Gallery – in the exhibition space in György Galántai’s house - they became the vehicle for creative improvisation, meta-level communication and reflexive pleasure.)

The opening of the Pajta Gallery coincidentally coincided with György Galántai’s fiftieth birthday, which was noted in the invitation for the exhibition by a quotation from Erik Satie: “when I was 20, they said: I’ll think about things differently when I’m 50. Now I’m 50 but I still don’t think about things differently.” The sound event paid tribute to Erik Satie.

The continuous search for and construction of context that also uses coincidental events is like the evangelisation technique that used to be used in religious missions: contextualization and enculturation, which are the mirror images of the technique used in historiography.

Opening speech by György Galántai

        I found several good reasons to say yes when László Török kindly asked me to hold a speech at the opening ceremony of this new gallery. The first one is freedom: we are free to open galleries whenever we want in this country. We can try out our independent ideas. There isn’t a central jury any more, there is no central cultural policy. So artists are free to choose galleries and galleries are free to choose artists. I find it likely that galleries, and also many artists will choose art that can be sold fast; however, in the long run they won’t be the ones with the most riches but rather those that dare to take risks.

        It’s been close to two years since I came home from the former West Berlin, where I went on a DAAD scholarship, and no one showed any interest in what I had actually accomplished there. László Török, the man who established this gallery, was the first person that asked me to display the works I had made in Berlin.

        That’s why I’m here.

        The basic character of Pajta (meaning “barn”) Gallery will of course be determined by photography because the gallery owner is a photographer. However, this “photography” can be interpreted in a wide sense, just like I interpret “fine arts”, i.e. the old compartments of art have become empty and we are moving towards a new, universal culture. Proof of this is the exhibition material that was displayed in Denver, as well as my opening speech, but I need to add a few more sentences as an explanation.

        In 1968 I received a “message” about the geometry of amorphous forms. It all sounds quite absurd and it seems that the outcome will be an entirely new interpretation of geometry. In any case, I’ve been devoting a lot of thought to this and doing research on the borderline of art and “geometry” since then.

        The “Westberlinisland” gave me the idea to create a “one-man-island”, i.e. the personal space of people, to express loneliness and isolation, as well as diversity.

        Just like everything is written in the lines of our palms and just like diagnoses can be made from the eye – and the list of the part of the man-universe could go on –, every part contains the whole.

        The snapshots of “Interleg Spaces” (using poses by German models) do not offer any prognostic or diagnostic opportunities. However, in their concrete appearance and by being seen as signs of existence or modules, thus far unknown yet familiar compositions can be created from them. Logic and emotion are inseparably intertwined in making compositions from the elements. At times one and at other times the other is given preference. The composition is two- and three-dimensional at the same time.

        The forms are personality traits – and if connected, an infinite number of compositions can be made from them. Of course we don’t need an infinite amount of compositions, but we have the freedom to choose a few of them – as our inner needs dictate – that make us feel good.

        As we know, visual displays do not have sounds, but I was curious about the “sound of forms”, so I chose a few and turned them into objects by cutting them out of a chromium steel sheet. The prepared instrument that was created in this way can be sounded with a number of tools and according to different systems, the result of which will be some kind of “music”. For my part, in the performance (in which I’ll strive to create concrete sound effects) I will use the tools (chipping hammer, rasps, saw-blade, wire brush, paintbrush, leather gloves) I worked with when making my “sculpture”.

        As a counterpoint, my son, Zsolt Galántai, who is a professional musician, will be playing on the same object simultaneously with my performance.

        The outcome of the production is uncertain, but here it is.

The speech was held at the opening of the Pajta Gallery in Salföld on 21 June 1991.

(English translation by Krisztina Sarkady-Hart)

Pajta Gallery Opened in Salföld