On April 2nd, in the Living Gallery Budapest, the “No ordinary Budapest” project, created by Marysia Ananiewska, opened with an event combining visual art, music and physical performances within a unique art experience, where three great artists from different fields united to create the topic of “Strength in Beauty.” We asked the creator about her artwork and about the inspiration behind this unique series of events.
Please tell us a little about yourself; how long have you been living in Hungary and what did you do before coming here?
Well, before I moved to Hungary in 2012 I studied at the Moscow College of Improvising Music. And then I continued my studies at the university where my course of study was varied and included philosophy, musical disciplines and teacher training. I was also active in two very different areas: I taught music to children in a Montessori school and in orphanages; and at the same time I was studying Chinese tea ceremonies. And then I had a club of tea culture where I organized events which combined tea art with musical events, literature and cinematography. Then, when I moved to Hungary, I taught music and gave early-learning lessons for pre-schoolers and toddlers, as well as working on some small shows.
How do you describe yourself as an artist?
I love creating. Ideas sometimes appear in my head faster than I can pronounce them. For example, creating this event is pure art for me. I have a clear vision of what I want to make, but my tools are artists and space.
As a musician, well, I am a songwriter. I had some success in Russia when I was in my teens. At the moment I am not recording anything because I can’t find one person crazy enough to spend time with me in the studio and who shares my views. But I am working on it.
How did you develop the idea to create this series of events and can you tell us more about the philosophy behind them?
I was walking home one day with a friend and I saw the “Living Gallery” at Nagy Diófa utca and I just had to go in! My friend dragged me out, but I was so excited I got the contact information for the owner and two days later I was already planning the events. When I saw the gallery my initial idea finally expanded into something even bigger and I began to plan.
As for my philosophy in this area, well, I want art to be reachable. Looking at a picture on a wall or listening to musicians perform on a stage keep you too far away from the art itself; when you are in the same room as the artists, they and their art suddenly become real, personal and very intimate.
Most visual artists tell me, “I don’t want to talk in public.” I believe that talking has great power. Not everyone who truly wants to understand art can do so. For some people art will only come alive when the image unites with a real person. Talking is inspiring. It is magic!
As for the structure, at the moment the idea is to have three artists from different fields address one topic. The artists will be present at the “Living Gallery” on the day of the event; they will answer my tricky – but not boring! – questions and will also perform.
Is there a specific topic behind each of these events?
Yes. For example, the topic for our April event was “Strength in Beauty.” We are all affected by so many horrible things we encounter in our lives. Mykola Bondarchuk, the actor of “Ptah Theatre“, is very passionate about his country, the war in Ukraine had a huge impact on him. Ami Kroon (our painter) left Hungary during the 1956 revolution.
To offer a bonding element, Jérôme Li Thiao Té (Reunion Island) is from the happiest and most peaceful island in the world. We are all mending our scars through art and we also draw the public’s attention to the problem of our world.
Could you give us a peek into the next event?
Well, just a small one. The topic of our next event is “Walls Can See.” Very briefly, it concerns the outside walls (buildings, statues, monuments) of Budapest and what they witness and the inside walls (physical and mental) on which three artists will collaborate.
What do you think about the Budapest art scene?
I think Budapest is an extremely creative venue. Unfortunately, many of the younger artists here appear to treat their art like craftsmen or mechanics. I keep hoping more “real artists” will join our team so we can build a great cultural phenomenon! I am also planning a wonderful event in the autumn with two great artists whose names I cannot reveal yet…