Franciska Szórád and Panna Regőczy made the most out of the challenges of the last couple of months and created something special.
Could you give us more information about your programme?
Franciska Szórád: This is my second year in the Management with Arts programme. Not only do we get to learn about the basics of business management, but we have the opportunity to gain more insight into the business side of the art world. To break it down, our first year focused more on the importance of visual art in business. For example, art used for marketing or for building a brand. The first half of our second year revolved around basic art history so that we have more additional information on famous artworks, painters, events, etc. This included many visits to museums, galleries to see photography collections, paintings or any other interesting art-related educational environments that we could use to talk about in our final exams.
Panna Regőczy: What I like most about this course is that it is really practical, meaning that we have the chance to have outside- the -school classes. We meet and talk to people working in the field of arts and arts management, such as curators, gallery owners, and contemporary artists. These meetings really give us genuine insight into this field. This semester, we had a challenging task: to come up with an art project and realize it in real life. Therefore, first, we have learned a lot in connection with how for example exhibitions are put together, what is needed, what are the priorities to organize, and so on. However, unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to change our initial plans as no real events could be organized. Each group converted their idea to be able to realize it in the cyberspace.
Tell me a little bit about your project. How did you come up with this idea?
F.Sz.: Many artists lost their jobs and numerous museums, galleries, theatres closed because of Covid-19 as well. Most people were sitting at home for weeks if not months. Keeping this in mind, we decided to create something online, that would keep people entertained at home but still bring some type of art into their lives to brighten up their days. We decided to create an online gallery called “The Quarantine Effect”. In this gallery we started sharing photos created by photographers from around the world, capturing the empty streets and cities, during the time of quarantine. Since all galleries and arts-related live programs have been canceled due to the pandemic, we found it important to create an on-going project instead of a one-time event. The increased duration of the project allows us to reach more people and it creates opportunities to connect with artists as well as other pages to share art online.
P.R.: Environmental and ecological issues are becoming more and more serious but there is still a huge lack of attention regarding these. Generally, these major issues that are threatening the earth and humanity are very much neglected. Brainstorming about these brought us to the topic of Anthropocene. Anthropocene is the proposed descriptor for the geological era following the Holocene. It highlights the irreversible impact of anthropogenic action that has influenced planetary ecological processes and has taken a geological scale. It has become an umbrella term, compiling human’s environment-transforming activities, including global warming, environmental pollution, species extinction, deforestation, overpopulation, etc.
What are the specific elements of your project?
F.Sz.: We have reached out to over 20 artists online and all of them responded positively, willing to be a part of the project. We created a gallery with photos from Amsterdam, Basel, Paris, London, Budapest, and many more. We also added ‘my stories’ that were only visible for 24 hours, where we posted facts about the pandemic/lockdown as well as drone videos from artists of the empty streets in Dubai and Budapest.
P.R.: ARThropocene aims to be an online fine art exhibition that displays various kinds of artworks from paintings through photographs and installations. We work together with 10 international artists, but this number is constantly growing. We focus on highlighting the different artists’ approaches to the subject of Anthropocene. On our website, through the interviews visitors, can get a deeper insight into our artists’ life, creative process, their opinion about Anthropocene, and so on. These interviews are very gap-filling as there is hardly any on the internet in English about these artists. We created an educational subpage for our readers about Anthropocene itself, because it is still a very unknown term generally.
What are the main goals of the project?
F.Sz.: This project aimed to focus on the photographs created during the time of quarantine, however, if there is an increasing interest in our page then we would like to continue it or even create a new one with a new theme.
P.R.: It is becoming increasingly clear that a lot of people have never heard about Anthropocene or they don’t know exactly what it means. However, climate change – which is the most articulated – is important, it is only a little part of the big picture. Anthropocene has to be talked about and discussed. The reason for that is scientists who study this concept believe that human impact on the ecosystem of Earth demonstrates serious threats to the survival of humanity in the foreseeable future.
How long have you been working on your project? What are your plans with it?
P.R.: We have been working on it for months now. However, the pandemic has caused us a little bit of trouble as this whole project was meant to be a real fine art exhibition in an exhibition space.
We plan to continue this project in the future and expand the list of the artists that we are working with and create more kinds of content. Furthermore, our future plans include sending our project to various online art platforms such as Balkon, Újművészet, etc. with the intention that they might publish it in an article.
Is there any special task that you especially liked during your class and project?
F.Sz.: This project and the other ones done in the class helped us meet numerous international artists (virtually), as well as learn about other projects that they have previously done or are working on at the moment. The quarantine has definitely brought our class closer together online every week, which helped increase the motivation to implement a project even during difficult times like this one.
P.R.: All the three of us were looking for artists, mainly through Instagram but on other platforms as well. We wrote them e-mails, describing our project briefly and asking them to publish a selection of their artworks and making an interview with them. I enjoyed engaging with them and then after they have seen the final outcome, it was so pleasing to hear their positive comments and their “thank you”s for letting them to be a part of our project. I think these feedback were huge acknowledgments for all of us.
What are your future plans when you have your diploma?
F.Sz.: I have worked in theatres and movies before but now I would like to focus on the business side of art productions and projects to create live art events focused on dance and music in the near future.
P.R.: This is a pretty hard question to answer. I have no specific plans. I am not afraid of not finding my “place”. I love what I am learning, and I am very passionate about working with artists and in general in the field of arts management.
Follow them on Instagram:
The Quarantine Effect: https://www.instagram.com/thequarantineeffect/