Milksoup as a Forced Existentialist Metaphor,
Higgs Field Gallery, Budapest
The term 'milksoup' got introduced in public speech after the article of Tamás Szonyei on the legal affairs in the Hungarian pop music scene was published (Magyar Narancs, 1999/14. Lawsuits in pop music. Who is it hissing to?) As a consequence, milksoup was taken up to be used to define a particular set up, namely when artists are seemingly backing out from a production, though their hands are tied due to a two-sided contract with the publishing company that forces them into staying & making. In this circumstance the only motive behind the coming out lies in the compelling legal situation and tends to forget what it really should be about: devotedness, intrinsic drive and value contribution. The product created under this pinch is subject to further controversy, like does a 40 minute long “A” sound qualify as an EP? And who is entitled to judge whether it is or not? A board of trustee? (Viz. musicians proved to be quite inventive when things start to be boiling, they played out “sidetracking” in various ways as reverbing the electric guitar, weighing on the synth, or recording basic drum rhythms etc.)
The thematic orientation of Tamás Komoróczky’s current exhibition offers itself up to be ranged in line with what he aptly termed as Alibi-series, a variety of actions and shows since 1996 (Alibi Sport, ~ Fashion, ~ Records or ~ Cinema Project). Now, with the implementation of the category 'milksoup' in the chain of life metaphors - the importance of the firm grounding of an act (=aliby) fades away. The middle course between doing and not-doing becomes crucial, the existential state of affairs that provokes a compromise of a non-action looking as action. No psychologizing, Komoróczky is rather inclined to test vital and prominently artistic positions. The issue in question can be paraphrased with the words taken from the Soul and form essay series of the young György Lukács: “Is it possible to be fair towards life and stylize its happenings as poems? And than -“art, likewise at the time of the old craftsman, is just an utterance of life as anything else” and “living in the arts comes with the same rights and obligations as any other - civil - activities”.
Milksoup - as a resourceful, still somewhat minimal-principled crossing out of a commission associates with double ending ethical stands when talking about artistic productions. On the one hand it relishes in the originality of the gesture, in which it hits upon the ever-seeking the new, macho moderism’s frenzing biodynamics. In this sense does it draw a line between the materialized world of permanence and orthodoxia or artistic canon and the unarticulatable, untrammelled life energies that have still not matched up with a form. The vivaciousness generated by the impulse of a one-time action, a ‘first- calling-it-by-it’s-name - that stands away from the routine of things - is primordial and exuberant like fresh milk.
The other approach preserves more detention towards the ergonomy of the gesture. What to do with a minimal rate of energy investment when a far-reaching maximum aspiring much further than a usual surplus value of any job is expected? This type of content “creation” finds its milksoup in the conditions of digital image editing with the operations of plagiarism, stealing, appropriation, transcribing or the simple copy paste button combination in the aesthetics since the neoavantgarde. According to Kenneth Goldsmith poet and anarchist, we do not need to write more, it is enough to manage the already existing pile of texts.
This latter position does not stand far from Komoróczky who is into meme theory and cultural virology. In the exhibition among others, Godard’s Alphaville occupies an absolute position and invites the artist to cannibalize its pretexts and denotations.