(after Miklos Erdely)
Moskva TerUntitled (after Miklos Erdely)
On October 26, 1956, artist Miklos Erdely participated in a solidarity action, entitled Unguarded Money. With his friends, he placed boxes in the streets of Budapest to collect money for the families of martyrs. The boxes were left unguarded to maintain the 'purity of the revolution'.
Untitled (after Miklos Erdely) evolves around the notion of change: changing reasons of name giving to certain places and streets and changing existence of the life of monuments and landmarks. Around Moskva Ter - a major traffic junction and transfer station of Budapest - one can find many landmarks; memorials for the people who fell for the revolution, but also 'fake' landmarks with an invented history attached to it. Supermarket Mammuth is representing itself with constructed fossils and other peculiar findings supposed to come from another era, and by doing this, Mammuth suggests a past that goes back, deep into a long gone archaeological history as a contrast to what they actually represent.
The surrounding of the square is changing fast through the settling in of multinationals. Gentrification at work: public space is in transit and old memories and stories are overruled or replaced by new ones.
As Hungary joined the European Union, this will again imply change. Seen in this light, Moskva Ter itself could be considered a monument too, its name referring to the past, its structure from another time, while modern life develops.
Bik Van der Pol created a remake in bronze of a similar box as used by Miklos Erdely, which they placed in the middle of Moskva Ter. A monument, a homage to the action of this conceptual artist, a re-activation of sensibilities. This monument considers the effect that changes have on the ordinary life of people, and how some of the underlying reasons for revolution are still -or again- at stake today. The box is functional and as with Erdely's action the lid can be opened and closed by anyone, and its content can be enlarged or taken out.
This new monument is mediated and embedded in the current context and dynamics.
The installation of Untitled (after Miklos Erdely) aims to function as a catalyst for thought, a pause to consider these changes, and is accompanied by a series of radio talks on the gentrification of Moskva Ter. Every week for the duration of the project, discussions and interviews with different persons are broadcasted by RADIO CAFÉ with the subject: 'a new name for Moskva Ter'.
The interviews evolve around anecdotes, the role this square plays in their lifes, what name it should carry, and what monuments represent.
To deal with name and name giving is deciding about a place. The ability to name or rename oneself and one's place is an aspect of ownership, and conquerors have always taken advantage of it. The naming and renaming of landmarks could be a matter of life and death, as well as a way of providing a sense of power and psychological security. It is self-determination.