József Szurcsik: Homo Homini

A sense of absence

I.

“An appreciation for the transience of things, and the concern to rescue them for eternity, is one of the strongest impulses in allegory.”

Walter Benjamin: The Origin of German Tragic Drama (Translated by John Osborne)

Soft, gentle, allegoric figures contrary to his earlier rough and rustic real life figures. His profiles are no longer bureaucrats or intrinsic manifestations of the system, but totems above and beyond the boundaries of everyday life, who gain their very essence and significance through their persistent detachment from the ordinary world. Szurcsik’s paintings are tales about a sense of absence. His figures are caretakers of the neverland, menhirs who will find their meaning only in fictitious space and time. They will tell their tales only if we are aware that they belong to another sphere. They spin the cobweb of imagination around reality with a painstaking effort to guard its boundary from men who might devour himself even beyond his own reality. Szurcsik’s figures belong to a sort of ’terra incognita’, an unfathomable, unapproachable, solitary sphere carefully detached from reason and reality, on the timeless and infinite coast of imagination.

II.

“Ruins remind us of the ephemeral character of all things. They were thought of as disquieting in the past but today we find them comforting: they represent a time when real ruins could emerge.”

Hannes Böhringer: Begriffsfelder. Von der Philosophie zur Kunst

Szurcsik’s allegoric figures are the symbols of absence. Their very existence stems from their indefinable, elusive nature. They may be described, but cannot be defined, insofar as they are able to repulse all reasonal effort to try and define their role on the horizon of reality. His figures are elusive characters who may only reveal their true nature beyond the realm of comprehension to keep your association of ideas in steady motion. Reason and definition are being formulated around Szurcsik’s figures without ever solidifying, making your interpretation of the painting drift and float. That makes the ruin really authentic.

Gábor Kaszás

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