review

'Chest Variations': body talks

© Ludovic Beillard
Onze score

The first Belgian solo show by Andrea Éva Györi hits you like a bolt from the blue. But afterwards it helps to heal the wounds with impressive resilience, intimacy, and astonishing lightness.

A bright yellow floor elevates Harlan Levey Projects into a different universe in these grey days. You enter the space with a spring in your step, soaking up the stretched out sun and apparently good vibrations. Until a thunderbolt resounds from the blue and you see what it is all about.

“Chest Variations”, the first Belgian solo show by Hungarian artist Andrea Éva Györi, pokes around in an open wound in the life of the artist. When she was confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis, Andrea Éva Györi did not retreat into herself. She shared her experiences and all their emotional and physical repercussions. This is completely in keeping with what she has been doing for years: exploring mind and body without any taboos at all. Who are we? What are we to do with this body? How does it relate to who we are, to what we desire? To those who look at us from the outside? What do we share? What is intimacy?

1646 Andrea eva Gyori 2
© Ludovic Beillard

It is precisely this intimacy that permeates Andrea Éva Györi’s projects, and is an essential precondition of her work. At the same time, that is what overwhelms you here. In Chestmassage, you see Andrea Éva Györi’s mother massaging her scarred chest. A conversation develops about breasts as the embodiment of femininity and maternity, but also as “humps”, weight that we lug along with us. The series of drawings entitled By the Weight of Their Breasts explores this weight with trust and a lightness that is simply overwhelming. In Chest Variations, a series of silicone sculptures, loss and weightlessness flow into an imagined future, a re-evaluation of what breasts mean and might be: a tongue, a rocket, a rainbow... And what a woman can be.

In “Chest Variations”, Andrea Éva Györi throws open a space for dialogue by flinging the body into the social domain and making intimacy public. Art has everything to gain from this move. “Chest Variations” bespeaks an incredible vitality, a belief in warmth and art, in the weightlessness of shared burdens. The result is a kind of eternity, a radiant energy. An inimitably beautiful tribute to what a person can be.

ANDREA ÉVA GYÖRGI > 22/3, Harlan levey Projects

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