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Balázs Kicsiny: Migrating interpretation

Fourth location: 6 September - 16 October, 2011

Place: Late Gothic Winged Altarpieces

The fourth and last location of Migrating Interpretation can be regarded as a kind of "arrival": the contra-time "migration" inside the Hungarian National Gallery having started at The Fool of Syracuse painted by István Farkas in 1930, touched on the Christ Trilogy by Mihály Munkácsy and The Mourning of László Hunyadi by Viktor Madarász, ends here and now at the late Gothic winged altarpieces. This last scene however can be connected to other scenes outside the Gallery, since the dummies of Migrating Interpretation were earlier all set up-with few exceptions-in desacralized environments, former synagogues or churches.

The winged altarpieces just like the desacralized environments once all signified the unalienable part of religious life, creating a connection between the profane everyday life and the transcendent eternity. Their sacred entity always served a community, just as it was created by a community. The winged altarpieces can now be seen in the environment of a museum as works of art. Their weekdays pass monotonously with the constant reiteration of nights and days. They are now at the mercy of glances of museum employees and visitors.

The modernizing and secularized western society of the 19th century saw justification for its existence at the era of institutionalizing national reminiscence-among others-in the idea of museums. Thus the institution came into being, where the indisputable merit: the "work of art", an object in the museum is set in the constructed timelessness. There is a hidden contradiction though between the present (being in the museum) and the long-ago (liturgical) functions of the works of art: and the dummies of Migrating Interpretation have the intention to throw in with the winged altarpieces right here in this very medium, where the boundaries and approaches to interpretation are constantly changing and "rewritten", with flags in their hands, stiffed into immobility.