Micha Eden Erdész

Canadian Intermedia artist b. 1975.

“The Darkride; vertical rides; the ravine.“  

“A singular cymbal remains in the same spot on the floor behind the bottom of the stairs; the massive weight of an underfloor safe door remains always open and always empty.” This is a fragment of the suburban visions of Toronto of his childhood. “The carpeted basement of a Downsview split-level house with a blue door: a redundant home bar, partially stocked by random liquors, and beverages.” Adorning the edge of a nether land of actual and imagined places, infected by altered consciousness(es), mutability, and disappearance, he is guided by a desire to traverse interior and exterior worlds, as much as diverse media.

Engaging with Intermedia creation as an aesthetic kind of anchorite technology, Micha Eden Erdész's artistic oeuvre, points to a subaltern layer of knowledge; some which may or may not be culture. He draws on influences as wide in scope as “Pictures Generation” artist Jack Goldstein, medieval devotional art and Jewish and (non-) Jewish esotericism. 

Erdész's artistic practice is remarkably diverse. His discipline ranges from artistic research to working in various media such as painting, photography, video, and sculpture. The different techniques stand for diverse ways in which one can deal with a lived reality: through haptic, visual comprehension, through intellectual understanding or even supernatural sensation. In the respective works, he creates new spaces of experience for distinct aspects of reality. He encodes them in a separate language that is detached from references and thus forms its own language, its own mystery. This in turn invites a viewer to decipher it, offering a wonderful escape into the artist’s imagination.

Currently studying a 2nd Masters in Jung and Post Jungian Studies in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytical Studies at the University of Essex, England. He is seeking to combine his artistic work with research into Jungian themes.

TAGS Adhesive FilmAnimationAutoethnographyBall PenCardboard Packing MaterialCartridge PaperChina MarkerChromogenic PrintCollaborationColophonyCommissionCRT MonitorCuratorialDigital ProjectionDrawingDuraclear FilmDuratrans Film (Unprocessed)E6 Film (Unprocessed)EmbossFibre PaperFrottageFujiflexGaffer TapeGerman Etching PaperGrab AdhesiveHigh Intensity Prismatic FilmInstallationLacquerLDPELed PanelLinen TapeLycraMetalMirror glassMoving ImageNesting TrayOilPaintingParatextPencilPerformancePhotogramPolyester FoamPolyester ResinPublicRA4 PaperRelief PrintRubberSculptureSilkTextile

PUBLIC Sylphen Trill, 2021, lycra, oil and lacquer on perspex, fujiflex, 00:00:05 (loop) 1 channel video on led information point, variable locations and dimensionsSo Near Far, 2011, after Zacharias Kunuk (dir.), ‘The Fast Runner’ (2001) commissioned by Newlon Housing Trust for Ashburton Triangle, Arsenal Football Ground, Holloway, London, duraclear film, high intensity prismatic film, safety glass, zinc fixings, variable dimensions

INTERMEDIA Red carabouche, 2021, oil and gaffer tape on unexposed kodak duratran film, variable dimensionsThe Happy Games, 2021, pigment on lycra, rubber component feet, variable dimensionsI still don't know when the Sacrifice is over, 2020-2021, fujiflex film, air drying clay, grab adhesive, pigment on Lycra, 00:00:00 video 2 channel digital projection, variable dimensionsIn the Dust Cloud for a Moving core duty (diptych), 2021, pigment on lycra, variable dimensionsAlarmings Separate, 2019, lamda print on kodak metallic film, variable dimensionsLooking out the porthole listening to the chirrups, 2019, oil on fujiflex film, variable dimensionsThe Hours, 2018, oil, pigment on silk, embroidery frame, canvas stretchers, cardboard packing material, variable dimensionsMasthead, 2018, cartridge paper, found object, installation, linen tape, paper, tacks, variable dimensionsAvon Carma, after ‘The Vision of St Eustace’ (Pisanello, 1395-1455), 2018 -2016, oil and lacquer on unprocessed duratran film, aluminium, polyester resin, 00:00:06 video (loop) 1 channel digital projection, variable dimensionsOut there it folds like within, 2015, beeswax and rosin plates, pigment on silk, animation, 00:03 video (loop) 1 channel projection, variable dimensionsSupernatural Promise II, 2016,  pigment on silk, variable dimensionsPsychic Entry, 2015, pigment on silk, chrome fixtures, aluminium nesting trays, variable dimensionsIndented on my neck is a record of your infarctions,, after Jack Goldstein ‘The Jump’ (1978), 2013-2015, pigment on silk, pigment on cotton velvet, chrome fixtures, oil and pigment on beeswax and rosin plate, victorian bench frames, steel cable, variable dimensionsIons Tell / Augustine, 2015, pigment on silk, chrome fixtures, mains-powered air deionising units, mains cable, 04:45 video (loop) 1 channel projection, variable dimensionsMoth, 2015, charcoal on cartridge paper by Rebecca Snow on ventilation duct, 00:06:23 1 channel digital projection, variable dimensionsSorceress won't live, 2014, mirror, oil, pigment in colophony, mains-cord, silicon sealant, laser printer, pigment on cartridge paper, variable dimensionsGravity Ride, 2014, china marker on unexposed duratrans film, variable dimensionsFairground Violence, 2014, pigment on silk, pigment on lycra, 00:01:27 video (loop) 1 channel digital projection, variable dimensionsMultidimensionalburbia, 2013, mild steel and bronze sculpture, pigment on silk and china marker on unprocessed duratran film. Ceiling tiles, cardboard box, ceiling rails and oil on decorators sheet painting by Thomas Aitchison, variable dimensionsSupernatural Promise, 2013, oil on embossed unprocessed duratran film in gilt frames, variable dimensionsGris Hat, 2013, china marker on unprocessed duratran film, variable dimensionsWhat's it like to be a bat?, 2012, oil, lacquer, china marker, spray paint, gaffer tape on unprocessed duratrans film, mild steel, pigment on silk, variable dimensionsEscape from Arana, 2012, oil on high intensity prismatic film, variable dimensionsTungsten showroom, 2010, 00:02:48 video (loop) 1 channel digital projection, oil and lacquer on 3M High Intensity Prismatic film, variable dimensionsSafestore II, 2006-2009, oil on hand-printed crystal archive gloss ra4 paper, variable dimensionsBuda, 2008, endura metallic paper, variable dimensionsLiminal Phase, 2006, 00:00:32 video (loop) on Sony PVM-2950QM CRT monitor, oil on unprocessed e6 film, variable dimensionsSafestore, 2006, oil on hand-printed crystal archive gloss RA4 paper, variable dimensionsTwo thousand and twelve, 2005, photogram on surveillance c-type paper, variable dimensionsArc of the Decorator, 2004, fujiflex film, ldpe, variable dimensionsSome kind of foundation, 2004, fujiflex film, variable dimensions

STILL IMAGE Web conflict, 2023, hand-printed chromogenic print from digital fuji instax original, variable dimensionsWindow Bridge (series), 2023, chromogenic print from analogue interneg of digital file, variable dimensionsHeatwave (triptych), 2022, 00:00:00, 00:00:00, 00:00:00, still video on led panel, variable dimensionsThe Oppressive Home (triptych), 2022, 00:00:00 still video on led panel, variable dimensionsGet-in, 2022, duraclear film on lightbox, variable dimensionsFor-in, 2022, duraclear film on lightbox, variable dimensionsTemperate Edge, 2020, 00:00:00 / 00:00:00 video on led panels, variable dimensionsThere are Icons Between us, 2020, 00:00:00 video on led panel, variable dimensionsDeadfall (diptych), 2022, duraclear on lightbox, variable dimensionsInterlude (diptych), 2022, duraclear on lightbox, variable dimensionsCrown of langour, 2021, fujiflex film, 00:00:15 still video (loop), 1 channel digital projection, variable dimensionsTop Rig, 2021, duraclear on lightbox, variable dimensionsEntry to the Ride, 2019 - diptych, fujfilex film, variable dimensionsForeshadowing is like hat-trick nonsense, 2019, 00:00:00 / 00:00:00 / 00:00:00 video 3 channel digital still projection, variable dimensionsSoft Hello, 2018, fujiflex film, variable dimensionsThrough azimuth bars (dyptich), 2018, 00:00:00 / 00:00:00 video on led panels, variable dimensionsI don't know when the Sacrifice is over, 2019, fujiflex film, variable dimensionsThe Unmarriage, 2014, fujiflex film, variable dimensionsFly with me, 2006, fujiflex film, variable dimensions

PAPER Untitled, 2021, ball pen on 90gsm tracing paper, variable locations and dimensionsDon't Look Now, 2017, pigment on cartridge paper, variable dimensionsThey told you not to tell me, 2013, relief print on hot-pressed watercolour paper, technical pencil on 90gsm tracing paper, variable dimensionsCrying Games, 2006-2013, ball pen on 90 gsm tracing paper, surgical tape, acupuncture needles, acupuncture roller, variable dimensionsA severed property II, 2002, plotter prints on cartridge paper, variable dimensionsA severed property, 2002, fibre paper, variable dimension

‘Dialogues with the Seen’, Andreas Kühne
Thoughts on the exhibition, ‘On Joy and Disappointment’ by Angela Stauber and Micha Eden Erdész at the Kunstverein Ottobrunn, 2021

Saxa loquuntur – the stones speak – is a Latin phrase, the origin of which lies in the dark recesses of history. It can also be found in the Lucas Gospel (19,40), but there – in the German translation by Martin Luther – the stones ‘scream’. In the recent works of Angela Stauber and Micha Eden Erdész it is not so much the stones that ‘speak’ because of their materiality, rather it is the structures or buildings formed from them – and other materials – that are seen individually and shaped and interpreted through other artistic means. In fact, Aedificia loquuntur could be a motto for their exhibition in Ottobrunn.

Both artists project their visual impressions onto the surface via their own methods and intentions, and invite us, the viewers, to participate in the process of transformation and be inspired by their interpretations. ‘Buildings’ always reflect social and therefore cultural conditions. This is the case with even the oldest surviving testaments and fragments. However, the visual experiences selected and distilled by both artists do not relate to historical buildings or urban landscapes. Their aim is not to document and preserve through their works, but rather to question and reflect on their perception of the architecture both natural and built. For both artists, ‘the strange in the everyday’ is the subject of their painted, drawn, photographed and staged works. Or, as Duane Hanson once put it, ‘just that fixed moment.’ Their objects, buildings and urban landscapes apparently do not seem to participate in a symbolic dimension, albeit a very a mediated one.

On closer inspection, the question arises as to why their works speak to us and what they tell us, and indeed whether they tell us anything at all. Born in Toronto in 1975, Micha Eden Erdész, an Intermedia artist who studied architecture and philosophy, edifies his artistic strategy with the help of the large photographic tableau, ‘The Happy Games’, that recreates, using his own materials and methods, the ‘Olympic tent roof’ of the stadium in Munich that was designed and created by Günter Behnisch and Frei Otto (1972). During a visit to the Bavarian state capital, he photographed and filmed this incunable of modern architecture and later adapted it and made it alien. Projected onto a Lycra fabric background, individual acrylic glass elements of the roof structure shine in the dazzling sunlight, raindrops fall onto the roof, the pylons cast shadows and the vertical lines of Olympic rings – added in later – structure the tableau. Despite its size, the picture does not appear monumental, but understated, almost intimate – as a representation of a perceived, captured and reflected moment that cannot be repeated. Erdész, an artist of Canadian origin, also links the 1972 Summer Olympics with a tragic event: the attack by Palestinian terrorists on Israeli athletes. Members of the Canadian water polo team – naive and unaware of what they were getting into – had helped the terrorists to scale the fence that enclosed the Olympic village. Some of the Canadian athletes, completely shocked and taken aback by the acts of terrorism that followed, felt they had been complicit and left the games. Erdész’s tableau is infused with this story, so to speak, but he does not bring it to the surface. The artist said he did not want to create a ‘memorial’ but attempted to deal with the quandary by aesthetic means.

Angela Stauber studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich when Sean Scully was Professor of Painting and graduated in 2005 with a master’s degree as his student. She was awarded foreign scholarships to the USA, Romania, and the UK. Her painting, which always starts from the object and sometimes leads to almost abstract formulations, defines one possible direction in the extremely diverse, colourful, and almost incomprehensible spectrum of contemporary visual art.

In recent years, the painter has developed and pursued various themes in her work. Her paintings always start from direct, precise observation – regardless of whether the motifs she observes are human bodies, her own physiognomy, interiors or even buildings. In other words, they are dialogues with what is seen, dealing with situations, moments, coincidences, presence, and vivacity. These pictures imply a becoming and a dying away and can only represent moments that are irretrievably lost as soon as they have been recognised and captured. This connects them with the work of Micha Eden Erdész.

Since her studio is located in the Werksviertel (Crafts Quarter) of Munich, in an environment that is subject to constant, almost daily change, it was obvious to her that she should confront this very environment that existed outside her studio windows. Sometimes, she expands her gaze to encompass a larger section of ‘reality’, and at other times she narrows her focus down to a detail that gains a life of its own in her painting. Her static-looking watercolours avoid white, such as the ‘Light Room’, created in delicate yellow, green, blue, and orange tones. The larger, more loosely constructed and more expressive oil paintings on large canvases give a different impression. Across the windows of the Ottobrunn Kunstverein, which are located behind an arcade, the artist has marked out a horizontal line with adhesive tape, creating the effect of a classic ‘repoussoir’. It repels the viewer's gaze, pushes the viewer away, and at the same time awakens their curiosity about the pictorial narratives happening behind it in the exhibition space.

On Joy and Disappointment is the name of the exhibition in Ottobrunn. And, of course, the title also refers to the current situation during the Coronavirus pandemic. But it also points beyond the pandemic: to joy and disappointment as emotions which are necessary to an artistic creativity that constantly strives for substance. In the pandemic, both artists felt their studios offered an the possibility of stillness amid a world afflicted by chaos and anguish. This experience will remain, even when the artists’ lives and experiences have apparently resumed their habitual paths. Through their impressive forms, their frugal gestures, their presence, their brittleness, their contemplativeness and their inherent beauty, the works of Angela Stauber and Micha Eden Erdész extend and enrich our existence.

‘Über Freud und Enttäuschung’, Schindelp

‘They’ll never control water on the Heath’, Anna Berhmann

‘World of liminal moments deserve a second look’, Alison Oldham