HIGH ON ART
Ernst Museum, Budapest, 2010, as part of the exhibition Related Spaces
Related Spaces focused on the relationships between space, history, architecture, and on the phenomenology of cultural sites, including Ernst Museum itself. Ernst opened in 1912 as a luxurious private museum with a patriotic, historical, and a contemporary section, and with apartments, studios, and a cinema. Later it was, divided nationalized and turned into a white cube, and was a gallery of Mûcsarnok / Kunsthalle at the time of the exhibition. By 2010, the museum had been facing a combination of problems for a long time. In contrast to the well preserved art nouveau foyer and staircase, the facade was dilapidated, still - classified as cultural heritage -, simply placing a banner outside required lengthy negotiations by the museum with authorities and residents. Ernst was difficult to even notice from the street without prior knowledge, and lacked a walk-in audience to the point that its small café was eventually walled off and turned into a staff kitchen.
SDWG decided to set a paradox in motion: luring passers-by to the museum by making access a challenge. Thus came the idea of Ernst Climbing - High on Art, a climbing wall on the border at institutional and public space, leading from the street to the windows of the 1st floor. It accentuated the efforts one has to make when facing art, but also compensated for the struggle: visitors could enter the museum in a state of flow, being high. It could also be seen as a reflection on experience-oriented museum trends, and on the heated debates about museum extensions and new entrances, as well as an ironic take on the fact that because of the valuable interior it is impossible to make the building accessible for the disabled. Entering the exhibition through the windows was free, and 75% of the visitors opted for climbing, many of them in the spirit of George Mallory's "Because it's there", realizing the existence of Ernst Museum for the first time.
András Beke, Dóra Dobi, Heni Fiáth, Bogdán Funk, Sára Gink-Miszlivetz, Olivér Horváth Gergely Hory, Antal Lakner, Dóra Máthé, Máté Pacsika, Zsófia Paczolay, Zsigmond Peternák, Ágnes Vigh