Stations 8.2 ‒ Humiliated Human

Stations 8.2 ‒ Humiliated Human

Lois Viktor (1950) became one of the most original representatives of the Hungarian visual art due to his extraordinary furniture, vehicle, body builder, and musical instrument sculptures put together from discarded metal objects or washing machine drums which evolved into his trademark.

He is inspired by the industrial environment of his birthplace Tatabánya and the machine stocks of abandoned mine-premises left as mementos.

In the beginning of his career, he recorded photographs, slides and films about the rural environment “used up” by mining and created seemingly absurd but logical constructions as well as playful associations from the found objects.

Since 1974 he had regularly visited Szentendre and participated actively in the projects of the neo-avant-garde Vajda Lajos Studio, then he moved to the town in 1982. His works were born as parts of consecutive series displayed severally, practically each of them was concluded with an exhibition.

The furniture and vehicle programmes were followed by the series of musical instrument sculptures, which was presented at the 1993 Venice Biennale.

Since 2005 he has been living in Acton next to Boston with a fellow sculptor Yin Peet, with whom he directs the Contemporary Arts International art center.

His latest series that focuses on human relations ‒ concretely the humiliation of a human by another one ‒ has been increasing and developing for ten years. Each of the exhibited eight pieces of the series includes a metal frame completed with a washing machine drum that can be brought into operation electronically by a button and a human-sized rough wooden sculpture fixed on it.

If they start moving, the mobile part of the mechanical construction will touch the sculpture with a shaking and exploding way while it is using up the sculpture, which is indicated by tiny wood shavings gathering underneath.

Spectators should recognise not only the consequences of pressing the button, but also their own responsibility for putting the mechanism into operation. Nevertheless, they get the chance to mediate on whether they have ever involved in any similar situations in their real lives and which side they would prefer.

The ironic question that embraces the art of Lois Viktor does not leave us alone: remember, only that one is able to remain standing who has backbone, which you are allowed to touch through a hole carved into one of the sculptures.

Will you push the button?

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