A kiss, a hat, a stamp
Blood Mountain Foundation, Budapest, Hungary
Blood Mountain Foundation is a non-profit arts organisation committed to generating fresh discourse about contemporary culture and current affairs. Based in Budapest (Hungary), it seeks inspiration from the city’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage and provides opportunities for exchange between local and international art practitioners and the broader community through curatorial and educational programmes, artists’ residencies and special projects. The Artist-in-Residence Programme offers up to four emerging to mid-career international artists the opportunity to live and work in Budapest for four-to-eight week periods each year. They are encouraged to engage with all facets of the city and to develop new work inspired by these experiences.
Sourcing materials from a local artisan workshop, flea markets and antique dealerships, Hernández’s practice pays tribute to Budapest’s tradition of independent creative outlets and quality second-hand goods. The processes of finding, assembling, creating and re-appropriating are key motifs in his practice: by focussing on fragments (rather than whole objects) and edges (instead of obvious surface areas), Hernández’s found objects take on new forms and sentiment in their new-found setting.
The exhibition comprises two sculptures, two wall paintings, a collage and a room installation in collaboration with Valéria Fazekas, a key member of Hungary’s diminishing artisan community. By positioning Fazekas’ unique headwear on a patina-ed bookshelf juxtaposed with press images of industry, collective sports and new architecture of the bygone Soviet era, Hernández’s poignant comment about the city’s past and present is striking. The understated exhibition design also lends relevance to the Foundation’s location on a former Ottoman era battleground and to the setting, which was once known as a Habsurg era family estate.