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Budapest, Képíró Street, 2008

2008 was declared the Renaissance Year in Hungary. Every imaginable event seeking state sponsorship was desperately trying to find a link to the topic. In the capital, paralyzed by dozens of simultaneous yet unsynchronized infrastructural works, epitomized by the corrupt and never-ending construction of Metro Line 4, We decided to take it to the limit and celebrate the Renaissance by erecting a metro ventilation shaft, named after - and bearing the well-known profile of - the great Hungarian Renaissance king, Matthias.

King Matthias Ventilation Shaft was not an actual shaft, but a building site in front of Kisterem Gallery with all the necessary requisites, from a street view rendering to scattered debris, suggesting a shaft being under construction, even if the slightly absurd pseudo sub-contractor logos were supposed to hint at the true character of the installation. The plans of the shaft were announced to and surprisingly approved by certain authorities in the midst of the chaos surrounding the construction of Metro Line 4. Standing in a narrow downtown street, designed to blow the air directly to a nearby window, King Matthias Ventilation Shaft was eventually dismantled due to civic protest, making the piece an indicator of the use of public space, and raising local awareness.

Márk András Bartha, András Beke, Imre Bokányi, Katalin Csapó, Attila Fábri, Bogdán Funk, Sára Gink-Miszlivetz, Barbara Henk, Csilla Hódi, Gergely Hory, Nóra Kovásznai, Tamás Krenn, Andrea Kulcsár, Antal Lakner, Dóra Máthé, Petra Reményi, Gábor Tóth, Szilvia Tóth, Ágnes Vigh

Special thanks: Gábor Cséfalvay, Márton Ékes