Ben G. Fodor: CARMINE
C-prints on glass, steel framed; ChromaLuxe prints

With Carmine, Fodor tries to explore new „utopian“ horizons which artistically go along with a new spatial vision. The project has first been shown at Budapest Ludwig Museum in autumn 2016 / spring 2017, at Ars Electronica festival 2018, and at Vienna Art Week / Marcello Farabegoli Projects @ Rudolf Leeb Gallery.

In a darkened exhibition space, lines and points of red laser light are projected onto the walls. Some of the light points are reflected by a rectangular steel sheet hanging from the ceiling which is set in motion through the air movement caused by the visitors. Thus, the reflected light points start to move across the walls.
For the light projection, Fodor has created a sculptural cube of black plexiglass with incisions and a special glass lens inside.

Secondly, photographic images are being projected on the floor. They have been created in the studio with the same laser devices. Fodor has „painted“ by red light and long term exposure. As a result he gets immaterial spatial constructions of lines and surfaces.
As a „painting surface“ he mostly uses three primed canvases of different size, one above the other on the scaffold. Thus, Carmine at the same time reflects on the inside and outside of pictorial space, and on the long tradition of immaterial photography. The images look neither flat nor perspectively off-set (or both). The light images take shape in a dark space of unkown dimension and spatiality, which makes it potentially boundless.

A selection oft he „light paintings“ is printed directly on 8mm thick glass (longest side about 130 cm). These glass prints are being installed in a way (e.g. hung from the ceiling or mounted on a plinth) that the shiny front is visible as well as the matte reverse side. The changes in light keep the works visually „moving“. 

photos, drawings, objects. Book: Kerber publishers (Germany)

Ben G. Fodor:  I.V.N. (Incipit Vita Nova)

 photos, drawings, objects. Buch: Kerber publishers

I.V.N. is a long-term project created between 1999 and 2013. This group of works consists of photographic works, semi-fictional architectural models and drawings on chipped fragments of plaster that resemble archaeological finds.

The project represents a large-scale artistic research into the role of utopias in the past and future, "an archaeology of space and power. Fodor's interest in architecture is not just architectural, but conceptual and political" (Sylvère Lotringer). With I.V.N. "Fodor’s work can be seen as part of an international genealogy of important artists who have dealt with motifs relating to the interplay of ideology, architecture and submerged utopias. What is important is that, for the first time, cross-connections within this spectrum are sought". (Georg Schöllhammer). Namely, cross-connections between architectural traces of real socialism as well as fascism and National Socialism. "This politically grounded research, however, does not forget to include the architectural emblems of the current sovereign, i.e. capital, in this comparison" (Peter Kunitzky, critic for taz, springerin and many more, in eikon).

„The real buildings on which the semi-fictional wooden models are based visualise constructs of ideas and ideologies. I derive the models from these constructs“ (Fodor).

The three wooden boxes in the cycle - Pater Noster Square, Hiroshima and Tempelhof - oscillate between aerial images of real places and abstract graphics. Pater noster square quotes the square in front of the London Stock Exchange with its characteristic floor pattern. Fodor replaces the statue vis à vis the stock exchange with a roulette figure.

Exhibitions of the project a.o.: Kunstsammlung Jena (large museum show); Kepes Centre Eger; The Barn Oxford in cooperation with ZKM Karlsruhe.

In 2014, Kerber (Bielefeld / Berlin) published a 220-page artist's book with texts / conversations with the artists by Sylvère Lotringer and Georg Schöllhammer.



C-Prints on Dibond, framed


In the cycle noosphere, Ben G. Fodor addresses a changing view of the world that becomes possible under the conditions of globalisation and mass migration.

At the time the series was created in 2007, the artist, who fled Hungary in 1981, noted: "Through exile, one is gradually attains a state og being for which I have subsequently found the term 'in the orbit of the mind‘. The experience of exile is the space capsule from which I can begin to photograph. What I try to see from this perspective with the camera is a new universe - literally an 'invented' universe, concocted from photograhically found objects. The images show real, familiar objects and scenarios, photographed without special lenses and not digitally processed; but photographed in such a way as to allow for a completely new look at things.

A vibrating layer of zeitgeist wraps around the surface of the earth, like in a beehive before the bees swarm out. This social climate change demands new perspectives: It needs the multiperspectivity of the migrants’ gaze."

noosphere means "sphere of human thought". An "intelligent cover“ around the globe that embraces all mental processes. The term was coined in the 1920s by the theologian Teilhard des Chardin and the biogeochemist Vladimir Wernadski, and revived in the 1980s by media theorists such as Marshall McLuhan. Fodor did not pursue the virtual reality implications of the word, but sought to reinvent the noosphere in artistic terms.

Exhibited a. o.: Main exhibition steirischer herbst Graz 2008 at Minoriten Galerien

An artist's book on noosphere was published in 2007 with an essay by Marc Gisbourne. Cathrin Pichler was involved into the project as a curator.


 Fodor's Wall
Sculpture in public space, 2012 / 2016.
Translucent concrete, photo on glass. 320 x 235 cm (plinth depth: 120 cm). Fodor's Wall is a border wall piece made of fine concrete with light-conducting fibers, so that through the seemingly "normal"
concrete surface one can perceive light and shadow, silhouettes and movement. The work thematizes inclusion and exclusion, protection and confinement. Fodor has direct experience with all of this due to his own biography as a refugee.
Two incompatible images are brought into congruence: The repellent character of a real barrier wall and the attractiveness of the "beautiful" translucent wall that invites a playful interaction (mimes behind the wall, smartphone
photos of the silhouettes, etc.).
Fodor's Wall was created in 2016 in the framework of the school of kyiv department Vienna (curators: Georg Schöllhammer and Hedwig Saxenhuber).
(Temporary sites: 2016 Franz Jonas-Platz Wien 21, 2018/19 Freyung Wien 1. In preparation: sites in Brussels and Berlin).