Curated by Dalma Eszter Kollár

9 December 2022 – 12 February 2023
Budapest Gallery
Dániel Máté’s exhibition takes the concept of calories as its point of departure. Until around the 1980s, in Hungary, calorie was not only used for the purpose known today, i.e. to measure the energy content of food, but heat, or more precisely, the amount of energy used for heating was also measured in calories. Despite having sparked much scientific controversy since its introduction in 1824, this unit of measurement is perfectly suitable for determining the focal points of Dániel Máté’s work: the home and the body.

The constant body temperature of humans requires both adequate external temperature and a nutritional intake that provides the energy necessary for the normal functioning of our thermoregulation. And although in welfare societies both conditions are considered essential and always available, it is important to bear in mind that there are not only economic, political and social, but also physiological and psychological obstacles to achieving ideal conditions for our body temperature.

Created specifically for this exhibition, the photographic and installation-based works explore the heating of our homes and our relationship with food across two timelines. Several works evoke the (object) culture of the 1960s and ‘70s, as this was when district heating began to spread in Hungary and natural gas was soon introduced in more and more households. The same period also saw a significant boom in the refrigeration industry in Hungary, and thus in the food industry as well, with products such as frozen ready meals and prepared meals. The exhibition is brought back to the present by the artist’s works of personal tone, dealing with his own eating disorder among other things, as well as his group of artworks reflecting on the energy crisis.

Text bx Dalma Eszter Kollár

Photos: Tamás G. Juhász

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