The Observation In A Second Order » Katarina Ševic and Gergely László: House Museum«

Title: The Observation In A Second Order » Katarina Ševic and Gergely László: House Museum«
Location: Ethnological Museum in Berlin
Frantisek Zachoval: talks to Katarina Ševic and Gergely László
Date: December 29, 2014

I met with artists Katarina Ševic and Gergely László at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin to talk about their project House Museum (2006), developed after being able to return to Ševic’s summer cottage in Žuljana, a small village on the Pelješac Peninsula (Croatia) after the civil war in ex-Yugoslavia (1991-2001). The ethnic conflicts prohibited Ševic, a Serbian citizen, and her family to enter Croatian territory and, therefore, inhabit the house. Thirteen years later, the artist returned and, working collectively with Gergely László, cleaned and repaired the house, left ravaged by war and occupied in her family’s absence. The artists gathered more than 100 objects, employing archeological principles to uncover the past of the house and archive the found objects discovered. The House Museum has been exhibited in the group exhibitions Lost in Transition, CAME, Tallinn (2011); Bunker Design at the Moscow Biennial, Hungarian Cultural Centre, Moscow (2007); and at the Remont Gallery, Belgrade (2007) and the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest (2006).

Katarina Šević (b. 1979, Novi Sad/Serbia) and Gergely László (b. 1979, Budapest) live and work in Budapest and Berlin. Since 2004, Gergely László and Péter Rákosi work collaboratively under the label of Tehnica Schweiz. Šević and László’s other projects include: The Man with an Excavator (2010); The Heroes of the Shaft (2011); Gasium et Circensens (2012); Shifting: Worker Culture and Life Reform in the Madzsar School (2012); and Imperatores Provinciae (2013).


About the project:
After twenty years of re-vitalisation of the post communist countries, the part of a younger generation of theoreticians and artists has quite a critical approach to the social environment and newly constructed history. The series of video-interviews The Observation In A Second Order is a part of the long term research project Objectivity and Manipulation: a collection of essays, interviews and documents following author’s interpretations of their own histories and also reflecting on local institutions, which often operate with strongly subjective attitudes. The parameters of a curatorial selection remain uncertain here. This kind of attitude leads to generalised and strongly manipulative tendencies, which are more and more evident.

The collection of interviews focuses on the former Eastern Block enabling a comparison of different levels of development in the researched subjects. Like in centrifugal circles, the methods of promoting and concealing of certain events can be also traced to the geographically close European countries and its analysis make the final section.

A series of interviews The Observation In A Second Order (Beobachtung zweiter Ordnung) makes the ‘blind spot’ visible to the viewers who can’t perceive it for their particular perspective. The interviews were prepared with artists who critically engage with a trajectory of manipulation and it underlines their art practices.

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