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There is always a pause, in the blink of an eye, between the end of one movement and the beginning of another. It is the pause between the first gesture dying away in the muscles and the brain sending the command for the next. This is an abrupt state without physics, without reflexes, measured in the fragment of a moment. At this point one can begin floating, stopping time and liberated from the compulsion to stir. Just then, though, before that happens, and only for a second, the artist throws the gravitation, like a ball, to another, new and odd point of the space. The languishing body, yielding to this force, moves in that direction, and remains painted in just this way. This split second gesture-pause is what makes it onto the canvas, committing it to eternity as a snatched fragment of an unfinished and continuous series of gestures. Looking at a painting of Betuker István one becomes aware of how the artist turns ones head this way and that. After the head, the capacity to accept also strays into uncharted territory. One ceases to believe in one’s infallibility. Instead, one believes what one sees, and becomes aware of a new, mildly disturbing feeling generated by the models’ airy peace. Most of the models allow themselves, with closed eyes, to be swept off the canvas, but not before gently grasping the inconceivable. A few with open eyes let us peek at their moment of intimacy while breaking off from their activity, but their querying look oppresses us with our own sense of shame. A few others brush aside our searching look by ignoring us, accentuating our insufferable curiosity. Other models say, with their frighteningly distorted or utterly joyful expressions that there is no point in looking at them because it is impossible to peel any more layers of emotion off their masks. István Betuker does not allow his subjects to be thoroughly scrutinized, depicting many of them only from eyelevel downward, only showing half of their limbs. He consigns the secrets of his own feelings to them in the same way as others write journals or share everyday dilemmas with close confidantes.

Szilárd Ferenczi, historian




Du 20 novembre au 20 decembre 2008

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