Gábor Arion ja Emma Johanna Kudász’ exhibition Responsibility Check on view at Café Puhuri

Gábor Arion ja Emma Johanna Kudász: Skew Lines, 2021, pigment print on paper.

The exhibition Responsibility Check by Hungarian artist Arion Kudász (b. 1978) and his daughter Emma (b. 2008) will be on display at Café Puhuri until the end of 2022.

What would you do if something really bad happened to me? For example, if I fell from a cliff, or if I got really sick? What would you do if I got lost or kidnapped? And what would you do if a snake bit me, or if I drowned in the lake, or if I cut myself with this knife? 

How would you react if I did something bad on purpose, like pouring water into your shoes or if I embarrassed you in front of your friends, or if I never smiled, or if I hid your laptop in the trash? Would you cry or would you be angry with me? Would you regret our quarrels, would you wish you were more kind to me? Would you forget about me if I died? 

Emma turned thirteen this November. She joined me on a two-month trip to Finland to create a work together. Our collaboration was a rollercoaster between extremes of love and hate, insults and affection, as her teenage personality oscillated between that of a grown adult woman and a helpless child. Her growing independence tested the borders of our relationship. A sudden and brutal realization that my position as the protective father figure is not going to be needed for long.  

You learn for yourself, not for mescreams the defiant lyrics of a punk band from my youth. But does what Emma learns while at school prepare her for a fictional future life, without realizing that that life is already lived while preparing for it? Factual knowledge accumulated at school casts a long shadow on our emotional preparations. 

After my years at school, I forgot how to solve quadratic equations, but what I have not learned at all is how to accept my daughter’s growing and blossoming personality. I stumble my way through destructive trials and errors in order to be a better parent, hopefully causing less harm than good along the way. Secretly mirroring her questions with my own uncertain ones. 

Will you be embarrassed of me as I get older? Will you be offended when I won’t be able to recall your face? Will you forgive me for not always being there for you? Will you take revenge for my mistakes? Will you regret the quarrels we had? Will you wish you were more kind to me? Will you forget about me if I die? 

The exhibitions at Café Puhuri present works by the alumni of the Saari Residence, maintained by Kone Foundation, in Mynämäki, Finland. Gábor Arion Kudász and Emma Johanna Kudász worked at the Saari Residence in autumn 2021.