According to French philosopher Gaston Bachelard the cellar “is first and foremost the dark entity of the house, the one that partakes of subterranean forces. When we dream there, we are in harmony with the irrationality of the depths.” Márton Emil Tóth’s latest exhibition in the underground project space PINCE (which means cellar in Hungarian) aspires to explore this dark entity, the one that consorts with subterranean forces. On this occasion the cellar is simultaneously the metaphorical realm of beliefs, desires, ideas and the domain of very concrete phenomena, objects, artificial and natural formations, living and inanimate matters.
The cellar can be used as an emergency shelter, as a terminal destination for objects intended for storing and depositing. We can also regard it as a space suitable for conservation, maturation and fermentation.
One can say that the cellar can devour the traces of long gone or vanishing civilisations, however, thanks to its moist walls and damp climate it can also facilitate the birth of new worlds like salt crystallisations or colonies of fungi.
In the exhibited artworks, Márton Emil Tóth depicts this duality: just like in the depth of the cellar, in his works seemingly opposing forces – remembrance and oblivion, annihilation and genesis, decay and vegetation – work simultaneously.
His analysis is removed from the plane of concepts and discourses, he utilizes the tools of visual art research to set up a framework that investigates these processes as the subject or object (depending on the nature of the resulting artwork) of the creative process, for instance the formation, growth and proliferation of salt colonies or fungi on the walls of the cellar. It is important to note that the majority of the exhibited artworks cannot be regarded as mere imprints of depicting, reproducing or any kind of mimetic, imitating processes or activities.
The supposedly bound ontological categories that conventionally separate and distinguish between creator and the creation are ambiguous, thus, these statuses should be diluted, questioned, transgressed, and instead of the traditional binary distinction we should (rather fittingly) talk about a mushrooming number of statuses.
The artworks of the latest exhibition in PINCE enter into this symbolical and symbiotic playground and invites us, spectators to enter this seemingly chaotic, uncentralized and unfocused land of multitude, where the boundaries between the creator and the receiver, the artwork and its ambience, and the mundane plateau of rationality versus the realm of irrationality residing in the depth of the cellar, are never set.
— Zsolt Miklósvölgyi