János Brückner

artist in residence Obtober 2015, Hungary /


I stage emptiness.
Default, dis-identified and inhuman emptiness.
It is the vacuum, which is filled with the experience of re-discovering our own thoughts in this emptiness.

The last five years I was testing identities (stereotypes and clichés) through various techniques of dis-identification, in-humanization and representation. I tested heteronormative white pornographic representations, Eastern-European national identities through mixed techniques of digital, academic and corporate imagination. I was looking for the very thin edge between abstract and figurative, horrifing and ridiculous, human and inhuman. I found this edge as a field of vacuum which evokes horror vacui – a moment when somebody fills out the emptiness – and this can lead to changing perspective and new experience.

However, this way of artistic production is camouflage. A never ending pattern of hiding, voiding and cancelling.

Last year I focused on the default, average imagination. What and who is average? What are default settings of our life and imagination? This project is rooted in approaching everyday stereotypes – happiness, emotions – through corporate imagination. I created two manuals: the Happiness Manual and the How To Feel Emotions? manual, which are super-functional representations of basic human thoughts.

Default Productions was established in 2014; it is a collaboration with Lóránt Bódi in creating corporate-camouflaged productions, such as training videos for different types of exclusion and reenactment of basic situations with default human bodies.

The residency project is to keep on the research by map and reveal average/default imagination of human, in terms of body and reenactment. It traces the stereotypical – thus many times hidden – forms of reduction and replacement.


János Brückner was born in 1984. He studied at the University of Fine Art Budapest painting at the class of Dóra Maurer and Eszter Radák. He's been awarded by Ludwig Foundation scholarship in 2011, K&H Bank scholarship in 2012, Derkovits scholarship in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 he was a visiting research artist at the Newcastle University's Culture Lab, Digital Media Department, creating the Happiness Manual, and had a residency at the Futura Contemporary Art Centre, Prague. Currently he is based in Art Quarter Budapest.