A Labyrinth of Family Stories by János Brückner at Plusmínusnula in Žilina, Slovakia


Average Eastern-European family backgrounds have world wars, broken dreams, vis major lifes, ethnic conflicts and supressive regimes put together in various combinations. People from these regions share the same story, however many times from the opposite side – like a playground where everybody is tyrant and victim at the same time.

All images (unless stated otherwise): Photography © Aron Weber, copyright and courtesy of the artists, Everybody Needs Art and Plusmínusnula Gallery, Zilina

Leaving my original country and choosing another one to live made me see and listen to many stories of ancestry of other people. It also made me understand that my ancestry is nothing special or exotic – but it’s mine and I can tell it in my way to reinterpret, recapture and finally feel familiar with it. It was the time to turn to the family long ago behind me through emotional realism: creating a saturated and absurd, subjective and accessible, and definitely non-linear and non patriarchistic interpretation of these lifes before me – which partly define me and many other people like me.

I am very happy to have the opportunity to show this labyrinth of stories first in Zilina, because one thread of the stories to challenge roots back to this region: this show might offer a chance to heal the memories of a common past.

Other facts:
• 1 dungeon
• 2 castles
• 1 grandpa
• 1 grandma
• 50 photos of a soldier (10 in action, 40 in studio and group-portraits)
• 12 titles in the photo album
• 1 monographs about the city of that dungeon
• 2 postcards of the city of that dungeon
• exactly 80 years time-difference
• 3 countries
• 3 languages
• 20 photos of soldiers with cats in WW2
(maybe all grandpas, surely there is at least one grandpa amongst them)
• 6 paintings (each portrait)
• 3 short movies
• Used clothes, bed sheets, towels
• 6 co-operators
• Family, families
• Emotions

János Brückner, My Grandmother In The Forest (acrylic on canvas, 50x40cm, 2018)

About the artist
Graduated at the University of Fine Art Budapest in painting (2012) and at the Eötvös Lóránt University Budapest in language and literature (2011), he started studies in 2016 at the Universität der Künste Berlin at Art in Context postgraduate MA. He was research artist at the Newcastle University’s Culture Lab, Digital Media Departement, resident artist at FUTURA Contemporary Art Centre Prague (2013), studio das weisse haus, Wien (2015), MuseumsQuartier Wien (2015), Gallery Municipal, Lisboa (2016) and Accademia d’Ungheria, Roma (2017). Independent curatorial boards awarded his work by Ludwig Foundation scholarship in 2011, K&H Bank scholarship in 2012, Derkovits scholarship in 2013, 2014, 2015, and Smohay Prize 2016.

János Brückner, Summer Snacktime At My Grandma (acrylic on canvas, 50x40cm, 2018)
János Brückner, Finally My Grandparents Also Got Zooted (acrylic on canvas, 40x50cm, 2018)
János Brückner, A Shittier Day In WW2 (acrylic on canvas, 50x40cm, 2018)

János Brückner: Variable Ancestry
21 Sep - 02 Nov 2018

Plusmínusnula Gallery
J. M. Hurbana 220/11, 010 01
Žilina, Slovakia
Organised in collaboration with Everybody Needs Art
✍ Text by János Brückner

to our regular Bulletin now
and make your inbox
a better place

Follow us
on Instagram