Submission
Sári Ember, Eszter Kállay

Bread Is Made of Stone

The exhibition brings together Sári Ember’s objects and Eszter Kállay’s poems and short prose fictions. The exhibitors deal – in different ways, but in close dialogue with each other – with the experience of the own body and the social gaze casting upon it. The personal feelings, experienced in the frames of holidays and weekdays, home and public spaces, are informed by questions of the generations, strains, stories, embarrassments, expectations and conforming, the (changing) social reality.


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Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay:Bread Is Made of Stone, enterior photography of the exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery, 2020. Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay:Bread Is Made of Stone, enterior photography of the exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery, 2020. Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Reclining figure in stone, 2020 marble, iron, 135,5x65x160 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Figure with flowers in yellow, 2020, plant dyed silk by Nikoletta Szakács, 150x100 cm,Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Eszter Kállay: River "before, you only existed within the things referring to you never on your own – pain tweaking downwards, sudden shortness of breath, dropping blood pressure. now I understand that I am full of you, and I do not think of myself as a hard-shell vessel or a tightened wineglass that cannot be touched. you do not pass over me, river, but you come from the middle of my guts and extend yourself slowly, in waves, just like when I first realized that I really want something, that there will be a discharge at the end of this, you also drift this from inside of me, river, you left the most awkward stains on my inner thighs. one should not endure you but bring you into action, you cannot move in me unnoticed, just like volition. it was a mistake to be afraid of you, because you cause pain, river, now I step inside of you, you mark me, and I dare to think about the fact that I have been meeting myself through you for one hundred and twenty months." Translation by Eszter Kállay, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Eszter Kállay: Scales "when i weigh the vegetables on the scales in the store, they seem light, the cooling makes the plastic bags float up, they keep fluttering until i smooth them on. stepping out of the store, i see this is too much, the handle of one of the bags rips the upper part right off, i have to carry it in my arms like a fidgety child. the ingredients of a healthy life will fall out. around me, the women are watching. not me but their own weight, with bags stuffed full on their backs, they daren’t eat of them, lest their weight become more than bearable. a vertical line between their two eyebrows. they daren’t eat of them because they don’t know how long the road is. whoever passes by, puts a stone in their bags, calls out to them, or reaches out to them. i was ten when i noticed that women reduced around me. something made them all disappear, a war or years of toil. if you think chocolate, pancakes and bread are made of stone, you’ll never be overweight, they said to me then. since then, I’ve been carrying the stones in my arms, not stones, vegetables. they pull the bag down. if they were stones, a house could be made of them. not this way. I must rush from the store, away, with the weight of the women in my arms, with the food, toward the women." Translation by Katalin Kállay, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Eszter Kállay: Lists, hands "I set the house in motion. the washing machine and the dishwasher, those two siblings, hand in hand start suddenly, I’m on my seventh coffee, the seventh road sign, we leave them behind so fast I see only a strip, like when eyes narrow before laughter. come closer, I beckon. together we put our hands on the wall of the washing machine, the vibrating surface. we’ve locked the storm in a box – like watching snow from inside now outside safety is the summer kitchen, pale carrots and basil in a pot. you smile cautiously, it’s barely two years you’ve known how to. with uncertain steps you make your way onwards out of the kitchen. your hand barely encircling my two fingers, and behind you, I drag my own grown-up limbs, the coffee grounds have built up inside me, so has the plaque on my teeth, though my hand learns obediently how to write a list every morning. you open my hand and give me the pebbles, water has polished off their tiredness. the branches of the river divide in my palm and are soaked up in two seconds in the sandpit. together we pick up the plastic spade, before dinner we’ll dig down to the bottom of the earth’s crust." Translation by Anna Bentley, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Two figures with fire, 2020, ceramics, 17x13x0,5 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay:Bread Is Made of Stone, enterior photography of the exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery, 2020. Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Small bowl (graphite), 2020, ceramics, 7x10x9 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Egg with water, ceramics, 31x23,5x22 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Eszter Kállay poems on the wall, exhibition view, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Small black vase with heads, 2020, ceramics, 17x15x15 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Bathers in black, 2020, ceramics, 57x40x40 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Vase with vomiting head, 2020, ceramics, 48x26x25 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Vase with crying heads, ceramics, 33,5x21,5x19,5 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay:Bread Is Made of Stone, enterior photography of the exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery, 2020. Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember: Secret not secret, 2020, ceramics, 47x51x51 cm, Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery
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Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay:Bread Is Made of Stone, enterior photography of the exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery, 2020. Photo: Sári Ember, courtesy of Ani Molnár Gallery

The autonomous, yet similarly evolving artistic practices of Sári Ember and Eszter Kállay – the artist and the poet – now meet in the form of common exhibition at Ani Molnár Gallery. The exhibition Bread Is Made of Stone brings together Sári Ember’s objects and Eszter Kállay’s poems and short prose fictions. The exhibitors deal – in different ways, but in close dialogue with each other – with the experience of the own body and the social gaze casting upon it. The personal feelings, experienced in the frames of holidays and everydays, home and public spaces, are informed by questions of the generations, strains, stories, embarrassments, expectations and conforming, the (changing) social reality. The metaphors of the poems and the objects (torn shopping bags, reclining figure) reveal the substantive happenings, lying within and behind the everyday. Objects and texts are results of cooperation, but they are not illustrations of each other and raise the question of relationship between image and text.

Sári Ember treats the personal existence, remembrance and stories through visual heritage of everyday objects and traditional fine arts genres as still life and portrait. In the process of creation–interpretation she produces quasi-objects. The portrait is transformed into a mask, the anthropomorphic ceramic object’s characteristics are transposed onto materials differing in both quality and symbolism (marble, stone, textile). Sári Ember reaches personal stories and family heritage through objects which accompany humans’ life and finally survive them.

The poetry of Eszter Kállay belongs to the personal and self-revealing poetic manifestations. She allows the poetic self to reflect on itself through shifts of perspectives and viewpoints, providing an opportunity to understand herself in a larger context. In this simultaneously alienating and suggestive process the objective environment has a significant role, succeeding in condensing what is hard to say and formulate.

Lili Boros, art historian