Kitti Gosztola’s artistic practice is permeated by ecological thought, that is, the analysis of the human impact on the environment and the study of ways to counterbalance it. In her works, scientific and artistic thinking from different ages, and their visual or textual manifestations, are often reflected against each other, connecting them with the phenomena of today, bringing about unanticipated associations of ideas. In the wake of today’s Anthropocene research, the artist examines how human history and the history of the Earth could be brought closer together once more. She proposes that human time and the Earth’s historical time could be projected onto one another.
In the artist’s work entitled There’s Always Room at the Top, the focus is on the pillar, as a symbol of civilisation. A free-standing pillar or column often used to mark a sacrificial site, and had its own symbolism, which was related to the given religion or cult. In Christian faith it symbolises justice and strength; the pillar-saints, ascetics who withdrew from society, crouched atop a pillar, sacrificing their freedom for the glory of God. The work recalls a pillar of this type, yet its surface shares formal parallels with the stratigraphic columns drawn from the depths of the Earth, which reveal hundreds of millions of years of geological strata at the sampling site. In geological diagrams the different layers are indicated with standardised international markings, which are simple geometric patterns. The capital at the top is not “original”: as an archaeological supplement, its separate, neutral surface turns the past into a fragment, and at the same time it creates room for the new ascetics who will fulfil the history of the Earth.
Dóra Hegyi (tranzit.hu)
Kitti Gosztola (b. 1986 in Székesfehérvár, HU) lives and works in Budapest. She graduated at the Painting Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2012. The works of Gosztola focus on the construction and politics of natural sciences, while being informed by a conviction that art’s social and sensual dimensions are not a zero sum game. Her activities range from tackling craftsmanship and materialities through works based on archival research to projects focusing on socio-political issues. She had solo exhibitions at Kisterem, Budapest in 2019 and King St. Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár in 2018. Her works were exhibited in group shows at Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; at the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; at the first and second editions of the Off Biennale Budapest; at Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; at Trafó Gallery, Budapest; at Institute of Contemporary Art – Dunaújváros, Dunaújváros and at SKC Gallery, Rijeka. Gosztola participated at AIR Krinzinger Projekte in Petőmihályfa and Artist-in-Residence at Q21, Vienna in 2020; at Brno Artists in Residence and at The Morning Boat Residency , Jersey in 2019. Gosztola won the Klára Herczeg Prize and the Smohay Prize in 2017 and was shortlisted for Ivan Juritz Prize and for Esterházy Art Award in 2019.
Since its foundation in 2006, Kisterem represents both emerging and established artists creating in various media. Strongly engaged in the international promotion of Hungarian art, the gallery regularly attends art fairs and cooperates on special presentations such as the Bookmarks project (since 2015) organized in collaboration with other Hungarian galleries initiated with the aim to introduce the generation of Hungarian neo-avant-garde artists to the international audience. These efforts resulted in acquisitions by major institutions, namely The Metropolitan Museum, Tate and Centre Pompidou. Kisterem arranges seven exhibitions annually in its spaces for its mid-generation artists represented since the gallery’s foundation and young talents whose discovery constitutes a significant part of the gallery’s mission. Also, keen on showing international artists and drawing the attention of its audience onto adequate art practices, the gallery organizes project collaborations that present intriguing current tendencies every year.