In order to make my ideas and artworks easier to understand, let’s take an imaginary walk through an imaginary town. On our walk, we experience innumerable things simultaneously. Traffic streams by, people pass us, birds fly overhead, tantalizing smells waft from a bakery shop, the grinding of gears annoys us as we nibble a croissant. As we walk the streets, a great diversity of stimuli bombards us, imparting an overall impression of the town.
How do we arrive at a summary idea of something complex—like this town—that we have never seen completely and in a single moment? What kinds of mechanisms create for us a personal, subjective impression? And going a step further, we can even imagine—fiction today, but possible to envision given current technology—that the entire town and all its contents and events are transparent, like an image generated by a CT or PET/CT scanner. The image we see might appear chaotic and unpredictable; however, we can take it in and more or less form a general impression.
Such observations motivated me to investigate three questions:
a. How is it possible to grasp experience about a simultaneously perceived environment in its many layers, integrating perceptions over time to reflect changes in the environment and in ourselves?
b. Is there is any way to record this type of experience visually?
c. Is a three-dimensional structure appropriate to do this?
As we know, perception is a highly complex process. During our imaginary walk around town, all of our senses were active and simultaneously registered the events around us. Since our environment was constantly changing and we ourselves were in motion, we took in large numbers of simultaneously perceived stimuli again and again. We required thousands of such sequences to form an overview of the town. We were able to perceive our surroundings holistically because our brains integrated incoming information—both simultaneous and sequential—and filled in missing information.
These observations about perception led me to a kind of visual solution in my work, which I refer to as “polyphonic visual space” or “simultaneous spatial view.” For me, “polyphonic visual space” means the harmonization of events taking place in space both simultaneously and in sequence, often independently of one other. I searched for terms to help me visualize solutions, for example: stereometric, simultaneity, segmentation, multidimensionality, multiple viewpoints, polyphony and layering. These ideas expressed visually are present in all of my works either singly or in combination.
And why is a language of geometric form important to me? From the outset of my career I began to investigate Nature since I felt that, beyond its richness and variety of forms, I could discover essences or laws with common qualities such as structure, movement, rhythm, intervals, proportions, and so on. This led me to study geometry, one of the most exact sciences. I found geometry and geometric forms to be excellent means to express my ideas visually, thereby avoiding references to specific objects in the natural world. I realized that through geometric forms, I could express anything, create new worlds. Through the interaction of geometric forms I could tell simple and complex “stories” of high aesthetic value that invoked observers’ capacities for fantasy and abstract thinking, stimulating their curiosity and inspiring them toward new discoveries and creations of their own.
contact & information
more information about the artist
email András Mengyán