Robert Gabris

Sep 22, 2017 - Feb 02, 2018


Opening: September 22, Friday, 19:00

Opening speech: Timea Junghaus 

Thank you –
a beutiful, delicate, inspiring and healing artwork, - also my last curatorial project in Budapest, before moving to Berlin.
A person whose heart has been teared out
The heart is now the prey of a blue bird
A flapping and struggling fish whose desperate for nurturing,
A childhood memory of washing socks
The need for warmth – embodying in heating pipes
An adult memory of a dead bird ont he way to the hospital with with your parent
An androgenous beauty healing himself int he center of the chamber across the drawing of a self destructive experiment – where the artist cuts his own left palm, the one that creates his art, and the one that ensures his survival…

The installation we see today is a delicate and fragile structure. It evokes the idea of the closet, buti t is much more trancendental and sacral. It creates a space of meditation, self reflection , where the idea that identity is free and flexible and gender is a performance, not biology...can flourish without the pressure and violence of society’s judgement.

The sewingroom is a chamber, where we can safely retreat and seeks the answers to the series of questions about what is normal, how normal comes to exist, and who is excluded or oppressed by those notions of norms. To arrive to a place of being on our own, a space of self reflection, and self-evaluation is often a painful and lonely experience. It is the education of becoming, a process for transformation and transgression.

What is Roma? What is homosexual? What is a Roma woman? What is a Roma man? What is a man? What is a woman? What is sexual orientation? Who constructs –who has access to constructing -  this terminology, and why are these constructions immune to the challenges our current times and movements generate.

In Robert Gabris’s Sewing Room the almost mythological immunity off these terms come to life, in the company of birds, flowers, tendrils of strange plants and cactuses, which entangle with urban accessories, such as pipes, cord, outlets, plumbing details… The tale-like, myterious ambience with animals, birds and strange imaginary animals are often present on the works by Roma artists – and only now, after Gabris’s enlightening installation, do we understand a connection between these mythologies ont he canvass/or drawing board and the mythologies and false constructs connected to being, more a minority.

I am one of the naked slugs/snails which circle around int he Sewing room. One without a permanent house on its back, just wondering around, being vulnerable and out of context, almost always out of space…

As I step out of the installation, I celebrate the artist, who has the capacity to invite the act of queering into our Gallery. Drag queens, two-spirit peoples, as well as those who don’t quite live up to their gender expectations, those in doubt and all those who are disrupting the narratives that build the capitalist state.

1,60 x 11 m, interactive installation of 9 drawings with colored pencil on paper and ​one 50 x 50 cm drawing, colored pencil on paper

Vienna / Övik / Budapest 2017

My sewing room is an abstract place where ​no one else can enter, as​ it exists only in my​ mind. Anyone who wants to learn more can see fragments and images of this room at my exhibition. What happens inside is translated to the outside through​ the ​graphic narrative and metaphors​

So, come in​, ​welcome to my room. 

This room is a retreat, where I escape if I‘m not well, I want to be alone and want to spend time with my thoughts. This state ​offers the total solitude and emptiness that is necessary for me. Here I re-a​ct the past and construct the future. 

At certain moments, my room becomes an urgent, acute retreat, which is interpreted in my drawings. I portrayed myself asexually​ in the center of large-scale drawings. I‘ve drawn my face a second time into a mirror, above the sink where ​clear water comes from​. I wear make up with a female touch. 

I have drawn myself without genitals to see how it would be without gender norms and roles. How would society look at me and how far would this affect my life being viewed differently? 

I use time and space here to be alone in order to be compatible with this world. ​

Robert Gabris is the artist in residence of Gallery and Visegrad Fund. Find his webpage and cv here. 

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