20 APRIL – 24 NOVEMBER 2024

Curated by Róna KOPECZKY
Organiser: Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art

The project titled Techno Zen was designed by Márton Nemes as an immersive environment, a painting-based Gesamtkunstwerk. In recent years, the expansion of the genre of painting, its extension to other media and the crossing of its boundaries by incorporating the effects of complementary but seemingly contrasting pairs has become central to the artist's practice. Alongside such visual counterpoints as reflective-matte, frame-pictorial field, gestural-digital, industrial-expressive, sterile-sensual, still-moving and painting-theatrical scenery, there are more abstract, universally valid conceptual pairs generating the tension inherent in Nemes's painting: presence-absence, outside-inside, empty-full. Nemes's work is greatly influenced by techno subcultures, so that the explosion and rearrangement of the pictorial field gives a distinctive psychedelic character to his paintings that extend into abstract domains and evoke the visual atmosphere and lighting of today's nightclubs. Combining painterly and sculptural elements, his paintings and multimedia installations create a hypnotic spatial dynamic that sucks the viewer from the harshness of the real world into a fluid, dizzying colour field. In his earlier works, Nemes approached rave culture from an escapist perspective, and formulated the idea of escape from hopeless, depressive situations by visual means. But the ensemble of artworks meant for display in the pavilion marks a turning point: rebellion is replaced by transcendental experience, and the vibrancy of techno is transformed into a Zen resonance. In the present case, reference to the Hungarian pavilion building's Art Nouveau heritage takes shape not in evoking its form or style, but in evoking the spirit in which many forms of (applied) art, diverse sets of knowledge and sensibilities are interwoven in order to transform our environment. In this project, the term techno also refers to techne and technological art. In the domain of painting, a fusion of several industrial technologies and materials gives rise to painting object, installation and mobile painterly ambience. Laser-cut steel, car paint, projection, speakers and fans reinterpret the palette of painting. The installation becomes multisensory: its optical, acoustic and haptic content unfolds through the combined effects of light and colour range, object and light movement, sound and wavelength, as well as airflow. The spectrum of perception is addressed by a site-specific immersive installation that exploits the building's spatial and acoustic properties. The environment activates, then quiets down and darkens at set intervals, generating a perceptual ripple effect through alternating stimulation and relaxation.


High-resolution images can be downloaded from the following link: