Red space lines

Light is line is surface is space

Rudolf Leeb, Ben Gyula Fodor and Marcello Farabegoli (f. l. t. r.) / photo: Christian Wind Open Space conceives analogue and digital space as one. In it, curator Marcello Farabegoli sees the ideal place to exhibit Ben Fodor’s work, which embodies a new kind of spatiality between surface and depth.

A crimson line against a black backdrop. It emerges gradually from the darkness, swelling to a crescendo before thinning out once again and vanishing back in the shadows. It is joined by a dot; several intersecting lines create surfaces. Ben Gyula Fodor’s double light-painted photographs are the product of laser projections and long exposure times. Fodor works with light and darkness in equal measure, uses bodiless waves of energy to create transient volumes, figures and structures. He creates blood-red space from newly-formed horizon lines, moves, as he put it, in a “spiritual orbit.” The artist, who fled Hungary in 1981, has described his way of looking at the world as that of an itinerant alien.

Marcello Farabegoli, a Vienna-based curator with Italian roots, first encountered Ben Gyula Fodor’s images at a 2016 exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest. Fodor’s work has attracted notice in recent years, most notably his photographs of Earth’s “otherworldly seeming” surface (“Noosphere,” 2006) and pursuit of new horizons. For this year’s VIENNA ART WEEK, Farabegoli invites viewers to “Carmine,” an exhibition at Open Space. Works on view include Fodor’s renderings of ephemeral light architectures and light landscapes, which he has printed on glass for the first time. The eye of the camera turns the artist’s movements into a spatial configuration, creating a form that appears to be floating when set against a transparent background. “Ben Fodor’s use of bundled light creates a new kind of spatiality between surface and depth,” says Farabegoli, who is fascinated with the seeming contradiction in the works. The curator, who has a background in classical music and quantum physics, is thrilled with Fodor’s performative exploration of space and sees in Open Space (co-founded by Ulla Bartel and Rudolf Leeb) a place where analogue and digital space are conceived in combination. Marcello Farabegoli has managed to attract a number of highly diverse artists to collaborate within the framework of VIENNA ART WEEK since 2012, including Hana Usui and Berlin’s legendary The Polish Failures Club (Club der Polnischen Versager) at Kunsthalle Wien, Edgar Honetschläger and Erwin Wurm in the group exhibition “No More Fukushimas,” as well as Guido Kucsko in “The Beauty of Intellectual Property.” The Ben Gyula Fodor solo show at Open Space is yet another example of his curatorial practice, which remains firmly planted in an interdisciplinary context.

Text by Alexandra Matzner:

Alexandra Matzner, born 1974 in Linz, studied art history, history, and Romance philology in Vienna and Rome. Her work as a curator, art mediator and cultural journalist includes numerous publications and catalog articles on photography and art in the 20th and 21st centuries. She works as a freelance writer in Vienna and is currently developing the independent culture platform .

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