What remains of a dream? What fragments of reality, represented in the dream dimension, interact with us? How much space is given in the process of accepting these images? Zsófia Keresztes in her installation After Dreams: I Dare to Defy the Damage (2022) tackles these questions without fear, diving into places of the imagination where contradictions, plays of force and different temporalities coexist.

The protagonists of these dreams are the sculptures made by the artist using polystyrene to which she applies glass mosaics. These soft pastel-toned shapes are then mixed with more industrial metal elements: chains, trolleys and shelves are the structures that support and at the same time they put the different sculptures in communication with each other. In this unexpected dialogue the sensuality of the mosaics meets the crudeness of the metal: the formal game of Keresztes allows to combine archaic visions with contemporary references, the dimension of the dream with the brutality of reality.

It is within this dance between opposites that the research of the Hungarian artist takes place: the imaginary creatures have some references to human anatomy but only in order to deform it and in doing so investigate the formation of the individual between present and past, between imaginary and everyday life. Starting from an anecdote taken from the book The traveler and the moonlight by the author Antal Szerb in which the protagonist, surprised by the beauty of the mosaics in Ravenna, begins an evocative narration that moves between his childhood and his present, Keresztes proposes a similar journey, turning the visitor inside a dream in which the sculptures speak in an unknown language which somehow seems familiar. The mystical experience of art becomes the space in which to explore one’s unconscious, memories are coming to the surface together with present impressions to get lost inside this encounter with the imaginary world of Zsófia Keresztes.

Zsófia Keresztes
After Dreams: I Dare to Defy the Damage
Pavilion of HUNGARY
th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams
Inventory in the rain (detail), 2022, Courtesy the artist and Gianni Manhattan
© Photo: Dávid Biró