Erik Matrai: Turul

Erik Mátrai: Turul

Erik Mátrai: Turul
Match Gallery, Ljubljana
23. May – 18. June 2022
light installation

Turul is the name of a sacred bird, which is featured in Hungarian mythology; it’s a hawk that showed our eastern neighbors the path to their new, European homeland. This mystical bird recently became very popular again because political right-wingers in Hungary revived its symbolism in an attempt to redefine their national identity: in Orban’s Hungary Turul was reawaken to become a symbol of various political and ideological ambitions. Hungarian artist Erik Mátrai designed this famous bird by using shadows and a surveillance camera hanging above to monitor everything like an all-seeing God’s Eye. The piece critically addresses the ties between high-tech surveillance tools and antiquated political tendencies that in many countries significantly shape their societies’ current reality. Mátrai’s Turul is also an ironic response to the abuse of mythological or rather historical elements, placed in the national pantheon under false pretenses.

Erik Mátrai (1977, Miskolc, Hungary) graduated in 2004 in painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest where he also completed his post-graduate doctoral studies. He often relies on the medium of light in his creations, where he focuses on the audio-visual layouts, while he’s also interested in the world of high technology and of the digital. He’s received several prestigious awards, grants and residences, realizing thus a big number of individual exhibitions in several European countries. He lives and works in Budapest.

Supported by the Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Centre Ljubljana.