Bicycle Diaries: Eclectic? Part II

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Eclectic? Part II

When a Hungarian artist owns a beaterbike to get around there's nothing unusual about flipping on the bottle generator and rolling into the dark after his exhibition. It becomes unusual, though, when he rolls in place in a closed, darkened room. He isn't just going round and round. His bike is mounted on a stand, which keeps the back wheel above the ground to facilitate its free movement, allowing the generator to work and the headlight to illuminate the space ahead.

More unusual still is when his nocturnal rolling is part of the opening of an exhibition. The bike light, with a negative fixed in front of it, is focused on the far wall. Its targets is an image treated with photosensitive emulsion.

Minyó Szert has coated various objects with an emulsion of his own formulation for almost a decade. They include simple pieces of wood as well as stones, though the most common carrier is the usual paper and canvas.

The images do not give the impression of photographs because what dominates the surface is the tool with which the emulsion is laid on: the brush. Unlike photos, where the images are sharply defined, these are characterized by thready brush strokes.

The bike itself functions not only as a light source, but a basic motif in Minyó's pictures. It's no longer a gentleman's hobby or simply a form of exercise. It's a working means of transport. It's the modern steed of European nomads who were the last to settle. Back in the saddle after such a long time spent away from horses - or riding. Not a nobleman's prerogative but an almost rural privilege.

Under the saddle there's no longer a living being but a factory-made object, not a horse but a donkey. The mount of the poor like elsewhere and at other times - the donkey. Which is why Szert could find bike images at every step in the last quarter of the last century, by country taverns and fences.

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