Martin Frey / László Korga
Das Eisstanitzel / A Fagyi
One day on Orczy út – a street at the very edge of Józsefváros, Budapest’s 8th district – I completely unexpectedly found myself standing in front of a window display featuring an oversized sculpture of an ice cream cone, like the kind otherwise often found in front of ice cream parlours. The shop appeared empty, the
displays were dusty, the windows murky. Nonetheless, the glow of the ice cream radiated all the way to the other side of the street. It was not one of those mass-produced things made of plastic: it was obviously unique and handmade. At the same time, among its surroundings, it seemed as unreal to me as a mirage …
While photographing the display with the ice cream, I met its creator:
László Korga is a decorator and his workshop is located behind these shop windows. He created the ice cream cone in 2011 and has made four more since then. The colourful scoops of ice cream are made of polyurethane foam coated with interior paint, the cone is made of cardboard mounted on a reinforced frame, and the base is styrofoam.
Not far from this workshop Bullet Shih has had his gallery PUCCS – Contemporary Art in a small, former business space for several years. The exhibitions are presented around the clock and throughout their duration to interested visitors and also to random passersby by way of the view from the street. Previously PUCCS had been one of those typical little Budapest businesses with a narrow door and just one display. As chance would have it, the colour and dimensions of the doorway’s edges are also very similar to those of László Korga’s workshop on Ocrzy út.
What happens to an advertising object that is transferred from a business’s display window into the display of an art gallery? Does it become a piece of art? What was it before? Decoration or art? Will its value change? What is its value? Who determines its value? Will its creator become an artist? Will the gallery, which had previously been a little neighbourhood business, become a place of business again? On the other hand, a gallery is also a business …
These are some of the questions that occurred to me as I accompanied the ice cream cone on its way from the workshop’s display to PUCCS: questions about the relationship between art and commerce, advertising and art and the sweet dreams of an ice cream cone. Now it’s here. In the middle of the space there is the ice cream sculpture and, in the background, my photograph of the ice cream as I had originally come across it in the display on Orczy út. We’ll see …
Martin Frey: Das Eisstanitzel
240 × 180 cm. Budapest/Vienna 2017. Digital print on PVC vinyl, 500g/m².
Lászlo Korga: A Fagyi
180 x 80 x 80 cm. Budapest 2011. Interior paint, polyurethane foam, cardboard, styrofoam.