Following on from their zine launch at Trafó, Budapest, back in December, Mark Fridvalszki and Zsolt Miklósvölgyi have taken their acid test to Kunstraum Lakeside in Austria, with me in tow, trapped in my cathode-ray prison.
We are living in the age of Aquarius. If one was to believe Western astrology and esoteric thinking, air—the element of this zodiac sign—stands for the intensification of processes associated with the mind and soul, immaterial goods, and not least, with revolutionary ideas. Departing from Western thought permeated by psychedelic subcultures since the 1960s, artist Mark Fridvalszki and author Zsolt Miklósvölgyi negotiate the sensual materiality of failed visions of the modern age.
In this light, Fridvalszki’s artistic practice, which manifests in collages, prints, paintings, and expansive wallpapers as well as readymades and sculptures, can be read as both an archeological and futurological approach. He speculates on the visual remnants of lost futures and transfers the results of this quest for utopian impulses to an atemporal context. Miklósvölgyi’s texts, in turn, imagine “mythofictions”; models such as Hungarofuturism are employed to reclaim national and historical myths, which have been exploited by nationalist ideologies, and craft images for a positive future.
In Kunstraum Lakeside, Fridvalszki and Miklósvölgyi install an experimental setting where the metaphor of the psychedelic trip is used to make the energy of diverse counter-cultural momentums tangible—not only with the aid of a careful selection of pertinent contents and references but also in direct conversations with the two artists. “Psychedelia is an attitude fueled by improvisation and creativity, a belief that it is possible to see the world with different eyes,” say Fridvalszki and Miklósvölgy with conviction about the political potential they have identified in psychedelic experiences to transcend the prevailing limits of our imagination. “Psychedelia negates hierarchies, ignorant individualism, hedonistic fetishes of matter, and thus represents a permanent threat to every authoritarian regime.” This statement by Fridvalszki and Miklósvölgy is inspired by their publication project Technologie und das Unheimliche (T+U), founded in 2014 in collaboration with Márió Z. Nemes, in which the trio of artist-authors organizes mixtape series, lectures, exhibitions, and conferences at the interface of contemporary cultural phenomena and cultural techniques in the postdigital age.