Musing on the exhibition of György Verebes


”I want to sit and listen, I want to hear the voice of God inside me.”
(Psalm 84/85, 9)

Over the past twenty years we both have been haunted not by the spirit of the same place, but by the same spirits: György Verebes, and I.  Therefore I am well aware of the origins of the pictures showing at this exhibition. I am not unfamiliar with the motivations and powers, which led the painter’s hands, as he created the colours, the shadows, the outlines of the figures, or – speaking in general – the visual imprints of the real meaning on the canvas. I was only sensing the meaning back than, now I am aware of it.

To be aware of and to sense. These are not contradictional but additional ideas: they complete each other. Because suggestion, which is far beyond sensing, can only be based on a profound, confident, and unambiguous knowledge. This is what Meister Eckhart, a 13th century christian mystic might have referred to in his time. He said: „I catch sight of something, and it flares up in my intellect. I feel that it is good, but I can never understand, what it really is. I only sense, that if I could catch it, I would be aware of the complete truth.”

This kind of a knowledge can also be found in the creation of these pictures. It is made unambiguous by delineation while using the tools of suggestion.

A contemporary painting can rarely be received unambiguously, but can be explained by everyone – we have been taught so by the compulsion of reference, when we first looked at a contemproary painting.  A true receiver, however, looks at a painting as a child looks to its mother: with an absolute devotion, that doesn’t require any explanation. In a situation like this, there is beauty instead of words, and there is situation above beauty. These are but contemplations.  It seems for example, that these dim faces – besides being faces of titans according to György Verebes – would love to withdraw behind the canvas, disappear into nothingness. As if they would suggest, that this is their unconscious fate, since their  presence has never been measurable for flesh-and-blood  human beings. Therefore the fact, that here and now they can live as representatives of a universal inwardness, is based paradoxically not on their existence, but  on the absence of their  very existence. Beautiful androgens, but strangely enough, they are sexually polarized.  Probably they are lucky in, that they can appear among us in this form – it doesn’t matter to them, but we can only recognize them, if they are translated into our divided „human” appearance. A semi-god is unimaginable in space, and indescribable with words. It is not where, and it is not when. That is why a semi-god can not be familiar with the idea of vanity, although great ancient storytellers tried to adorn them with bad characteristics. But if all this is correct, the moment of them facing us will never happen, and that is why they can only be the pillars of our scale of values indirectly. Maybe this makes the existence of semi-gods archetypical:  on one hand they are persistent, since they are strangers. And on the other hand they are fatally aristocratic. So the semi-gods are not proud and worn accessories of a myth, but continuously existent intensities, undeclared radiations of our existence, noble bastards of a still secretly guarded God-king. They are wisely smiling hopes of fitting bodyparts, and when we realize, that they help to put themselves together with their own hands, the puzzle will be more easier for us. For they have painted their own faces with their own hands, before they tuned away their faces from their trunks, leaving it for the number one carrier of creation. Nevertheless, there is an invisible body pulsing between these faces and hands. It is our body, and it is nothing but the absence between hand and face. It is but a non-existent absence, since at the same moment it is filled with curious glances, and realizations followed by quiet sighs. It is filled with the energy, which revives the life part between the face and the hand, together with backbone and heart, so in the end the muscle springs would be released, and the trunk would move, this carrying-all mean, that on these pictures only exists through the eyes of the viewer. If the viewer identifies itself with this, the metaphor flyes up high, the holy despair of the unspoken, the all-containing yet homeless destination,  where on the noname streets and squares misbehaving ghost memories bury their truth by stuffing eras, castles, heroes, and poor, making space for true, time dropping thinking on. What have they been made into by the stories, which we call history? These improvised, steel wool installations first came to light, when the first conscious man opened its eyes, and realized, that it does not see, what there is, but there is what it sees. Quoting the mystic: „A picture is created by the soul with its powers.” And thus the semi-gods became, what they had to become in order to make us think back to our lost time, as we think back to a pair of goves or to a carnival mask we incidentally left at a ball.

Those gloves and masks would fit their relaxed hands and self-dreaming faces.



in case György Verebes draws gloves and masks on a piece of paper next time, we might also find out, why and what those semi-gods dressed up to at the carnival, who aren’t semi-gods anymore, but the celebrating intellectuality itself, and the people celebrating this timeless intellectuality.


/Spoken in the Church Gallery, Eger, 3rd of May 2008/


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