De Métrico a Imperial is an intensive dialogue between Ištvan Išt Huzjan’s poetic experiments and the exhibition space. Continuously flirting with avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes, Huzjan’s work always reflects his ability to create multi-layered structures in terms of both content and form. In this respect, Huzjan’s work is not a revival of Dada’s attack on the nature of exhibition as a medium of expression but rather refers to the approaches and presentations of practices that have impacted exhibition methods and means by which art is received by an audience.
It is no coincidence that the exhibition begins in the gallery’s foyer patio with Huzjan’s ongoing project Subterranean Walks as this piece represents a symbolic culmination of artist’s experience related to his journeys. This work, an object with the artist’s footprints, can be understood as a collage of his past projects as it references separations, which directly link to the symbolic measurement of ‘emptiness’ created during the artist’s travels.
The intertwinement of architectural space and artworks continues in the lower gallery with Daily Chores on 5th Avenue, a performance he carried out in New York City in 2017 a few days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. In the performance, Huzjan walked the entire length of Fifth Avenue from north to south, cleaning the gutter using a small broom and a dustpan. Stretching over Manhattan from the Harlem River in the north to Washington Square Park in the south, Fifth Avenue led him from the poorer parts of the city to areas that become globally infamous for financial, political and media power.
The hallway leading to the gallery’s main exhibition space can be read as what anthropologist Marc Augé would describe as a nonplace, a transitional area that lacks the identity to be recognized and where people remain anonymous. Huzjan here has filled it with projects linked to movement. These projects are not static rather they slide between the public and the private, between geopolitical places, cultures, histories, people and their relationships. Suddenly the gallery’s nonplace is brimming with untold stories, a reminder of those that are always among us if only we wish to notice them.