Marianne Csaky

The themes
For the past few years, my practice has taken the form of artistic research, looking for patterns of existence, behavior, customs and thinking that are local and universal at the same time. My focuses of interest are the interrelations of history and personal memory and various aspects of individual desire.

The Delete project
The source materials for this project about history and memory are old home movies, from Eastern Europe in combination with footage and photographs I made in China and Korea with local people of different personal backgrounds.
Delete starts out from an old East-European (Hungarian) home movie. I re-shot some of its sequences and stills in Kunming, China, asking my Chinese colleagues and friends to perform the original Hungarian scenes in their interpretation. In this project the process of making the work, thinking together and working together with others, is as important as the end-product. This working method can bring new aspects into the process of interpreting and re-interpreting history and re-writing memory. Presenting cultural and behavioral patterns in various contexts seems to liberate their images from locally and individually fixed notions, meanings and memories, revealing more of the process in which we construct ourselves and our vision of the world.
Local Everywhere
Shapes is a two-channel animated video I shot in China and Belgium – at places I called my home at the time of the shooting. It is part of my public art project Local Everywhere, meant to run in different cities in Europe and Asia. It is composed of video projections in public places. I filmed local people in everyday scenes, walking along the Jangtze river in China and the North Sea coast in Belgium, at places where they like to be, doing what they like doing. My aim was to identify the patterns of our everyday movement and existence. Integrated in the communities of my local colleagues and friends in Kunming, Shanghai and Chongqing for more than a year, I was immersed in local life, while maintaining the patterns of my everyday existence, originally shaped in another part of the world. This extends basically to the entire spectrum of life, from the most basic activities of sleeping, eating, communicating or doing the groceries, to the practice of working on projects, participating in discussions, hearing and delivering lectures and exhibiting my works. I felt totally natural living local people’s life – it became my life. In other words, I felt local at these places – and this feeling was far from what they call “cross cultural” experience. It was the experience of being local everywhere.

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