at the OFF-Biennale Budapest

Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmus: Public Collection, 2014 - enactment of Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez

OFF-Biennale Budapest is a series of exhibitions and art events in and beyond the city of Budapest, taking place from 24 April to 31 May 2015. contributes to the OFF-Biennale Budapest with two projects.
One of them is the on-going action of Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus:

Enactment of “Disappearing Music for Face” by Mieko Shiomi
Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus use enactment as a strategy to actualize, but also to de-scale and de-monumentalize significant artworks or even situations and events that are somehow connected to art history. They use these art historical references as starting points to produce new immaterial works that feature performers wearing everyday clothes, using only their bodies and voices. In 2013, as invited artists of the Romanian Pavilion, they selected works from the Venice Biennale’s more than century-long history for An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale, while the following year in Paris they presented Just Pompidou it. A Retrospective of Centre Pompidou.

In response to’s invitation, the Bucharest-based artists propose a long duration enactment/quotation of Japanese artist Mieko Shiomi’s Fluxus action, Disappearing Music for Face, as part of the OFF-Biennale Budapest.

In the work of Shiomi a smile slowly fades into a neutral facial expression. In cooperation with performers, Pirici and Pelmus will create a sculpture-like machine that reflects on the declared aims of the OFF-Biennale, too. At the same time, their on-going action is a comment not only on the current situation in Hungary—where nationalist isolationism increases and art initiatives are subsumed under ideological control—but also in a larger, global context. As the performers struggle to keep finding a reason to smile, the very long “disappearing music for face” could enact, in a both sad and funny way, the effort we make in finding a reason to keep struggling.

Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmus: Enactment of “Disappearing Music for Face” by Mieko Shiomi (ongoing action)
25 April 2015, 12-2 pm
26 April 2015, 4-6 pm
Mayakovsky 102, the open office of tranzit. hu, 1068 Budapest, Király utca 102
Curated by:
Gyula Muskovics

The second event that contributes with to the OFF-Biennale Budapest is: IMAGINATION/IDEA. The Beginning of Hungarian Conceptual Art. The László Beke Collection, 1971

Book launch and discussion
Date: 7 May 2015, 7 pm
Venue: Mayakovsky 102, the open office of tranzit. hu, 1068 Budapest, Király utca 102.
Participants of the discussion: László Beke (art historian, curator, Budapest), Klaus Groh (artist, art historian, art educator, Edewecht)
The discussion is moderated by Dóra Hegyi, László Zsuzsa, and Eszter Szakács, editors of the book

OFF-Biennale Budapest‘s concept is different from traditional biennials as we know them. Not affiliated with any institution, it is a voluntary collaborative initiative of artists, groups of artists, curators, art managers, gallerists and collectors. OFF-Biennale Budapest is a civil initiative, whose aim is to bring a segment of culture, contemporary art, closer to the public at large. OFF proclaims the importance of independent thinking and action, breaking away from clichés and habitual routines. It is meant to demonstrate that contemporary art can foster and catalyse this kind of activity – in other words, that contemporary art is much more than mere luxury and a source of aesthetic pleasure.
ERSTE Foundation is one of the main supporters of OFF-Biennale Budapest.

Photo: Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmus: Public Collection, 2014 – Enactment of “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez