Dénes Farkas "About Dreams That Awaken You", 2 September – 9 November 2019
Dénes Farkas’s last year’s exhibition “When I Close My Eyes” at Tartu Art House was a departure for the artist. Working untypically without curatorial input, he decided to take on the task of meaning production alone. Utilising artistic tropes that are familiar to his audience — photography, sound, literature — the carefully arranged installation introduced a subtle shift. If Farkas’s previous solo exhibitions were intricate maps by which he navigated complex philosophical or literary works, “When I Close My Eyes” was a result of looking for more personal connections.
At the centre of the exhibition in Tartu was American writer Traci Brimhall’s work “Dear Eros,”. The change undertaken by Farkas seems to have happened along the trajectory suggested in this poem, where understanding and feeling are presented as different ways of creating meaning:
My therapist said: Sometimes it’s better to be understood than it is to be loved. I believed her because I am better at understanding than I am at feeling.
Farkas took “Dear Eros,” as a challenge: can meaning in art be achieved through feeling rather than just through understanding of events and concepts?
“About Dreams That Awaken You” continues with these personal and existential themes initiated in “When I Close My Eyes”. The mental shift undergone by the artist produces more associative and poetic modes of expression evident in fragmented photographs, room dividing furniture, split up text and field recordings. There are abstract representations of things, people and stories that appeared important to Farkas at certain points in his life, yet he refrains from revealing the actual events that inspired the works. Instead the aim is to lift small details out of context and, by placing them together in one room, allow for a possibility to re-edit the narrative.