Spanyolnátha művészeti folyóirat

Vörös István

Inaugural Address: Contagion

Translated by Ottilie Mulzet


How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Are values contagious, that is the next one.

Or does the brain, heart, and soul of a person

resist? And if it resists, why does this resistance

have to be conquered?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Everything that we do contaminates posterity.

We care about the future, so then should we send them

a wise message? They’ll have their own problems,

all of that was bestowed by us.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

And this too: how have we been contaminted by

the past. Do we like to look at pictures? Pictures

at an exhibition, in the museum, in the Uffizi,

in the Prado or the Louvre?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

From the past and the past continous we received

new machines, and now I’m looking at pictures

on my computer, but I’m afraid of that it

may be infected by a virus. There’s an epidemic.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Once in Europe there was the Spanish flu,

like the dog market in Buda, the Devil’s party

in Moscow, the skull collection in Paris,

Švejk’s dog pound.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Are values contagious, that is the next one.

And if they aren’t, how can we

make them so. What should we add to them,

to make them effective? Something which is not a value?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Everything that we do contaminates posterity.

How can we smuggle just even a few values

into all of the damage we’re doing? Doesn’t this doom

values in and of itself? Won’t they be contaminated?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

How did the past contaminate us?

Luckily, we’ve done pretty well at resisting

their messages. King Mátyás asks in Miskolc: How many

Commandments were there? Five? Or not even that many?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

I look at pictures on the computer, I don’t know how big

they are, I don’t know how big I am, I don’t know what

message they should send, I dont even know – if someone were

to ask me – what message I should send to posterity.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Luckily there is no message. László Nagy said

to embrace your descendants if they will still have

a human face. Do you feel the gushing kiss of that gentle soul

of your faces? Didn’t you just catch influenza?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Are values contagious, that is the next one.

And if so, how does the contagion spread? Because it is certain

that not only the good things are infectious. But neither

are only the bad ones. Where is the culture-doctor?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Should we vaccinate the future? Vaccinate with values

against counter-values? But from the counter-values a counter-culture

will form, contagion, the culture of illness. This always begins as

an illness, always ends with the loss of health.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Where is the culture-doctor? The nurses and the care-givers

are the creators of the exhibition, the future itself is the army of viewers. Are

you afraid of the injection, or will the epidemic of the future strike

you down, the culture of the sick against that if the healthy?

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

We’ve had enough of the healthy. Let’s infect

the future with our own selves, infect ourselves with the future,

let us heal from the past, recover from the present. Let’s

get over learning, teaching, understanding and misunderstanding.

 

How should we contaminate posterity, that is the question.

Is this even a question? We survive by wanting

to infect the future with exhibitions, opening addresses,

with our own work: we possess only the present.

We possess the past, and so – I now open this exhibition.

 

(Speech given at the opening of the exhibition „Hapci" in Herman Ottó Múzeum−Miskolci Galéria 12nd February 2014.) 

Vörös István a Hapci! megnyitóján. Fotó: Vass Tibor