Erno kep

„The sculpture of Ernő Bartha, this artistic phenomenon traced by works arranged in two distinct groups is quite complex: each of his creations bears a respect for the classics and a thrust for innovation, the approach of continuing and re-inventig the traditional, and the continuous switch between these opposites. This ars poetica fits into the 20th century process of radical change in sculpture during which the replacement of former plastic and naturalistic methods of representation (...) The invention of Ernő  Bartha is the rustic, natural hay statue, built upon metal structure and surrounded by wire net, a capturing sight with its huge forms, emblematic presence and simultaneously real and surreal apparition.”

Wehner Tibor



„I noticed how the majority of people smile when they see his work. What is this smile made of? Soren Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher thought smile and laughter trace back to two things: one is irony, the other, humor. According to Kierkegaard, irony occurs when a subject of infinite imagination comes across a trifle, while humor is exactly the opposite: the subject is small and insignificant while the object it has to deal with is infinite. The small, fragile subject totters under the weight of the huge object and in Kierkegaard’s view this is what we smile upon. Theoretically we should suppose television, the object of the artist Ernô Bartha, is so huge, it only leaves room for the second option. If we consider its effect and power, television seems to be almost infinite. Well, where a finite subject faces this type of object, the situation can lead to nothing else but humor.

Nevertheless the series of television objects created by Ernô Bartha shows an unusually strong subject endowed with an almost infinite imagination capable of transforming everything according to its own likeness. This is to say we face a problem either way. I suppose this is a case of a seemingly infinite subject confronting a seemingly infinite object, in the very middle of the Garden of Eden. And now what kind of domain lies between irony and humor, between the original sacred and the rural profane – because this is the exact place Ernô Bartha belongs to – I cannot tell. I have not found the right words, so far.”

Zoltán Sebők