Ani Molnár Gallery, Budapest
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 celebrations 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.
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
Reclining figure in stone, 2020 marble, iron, 135,5x65x160 cm
Vase with crying heads, ceramics, 33,5×21,5×19,5 cm
Bathers in black, 2020, ceramics, 57x40x40 cm
Vase with vomiting head, 2020, ceramics, 48x26x25 cm
Small black vase with heads, 2020, ceramics, 17x15x15 cm
Bench for reading short prose.
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
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
Egg with water, ceramics, 31×23,5×22 cm
Secret not secret, 2020, ceramics, 47x51x51 cm
Small bowl (graphite), 2020, ceramics, 7x10x9 cm
Figure with flowers in yellow, 2020, plant dyed silk by Nikoletta Szakács, 150×100 cm
Two figures with fire, 2020, ceramics, 17x13x0,5 cm