Hungarian artist Zsolt Bodoni is interested in exploring European history and the literature, art and music that have influenced European culture and history. Like an archaeologist, the artist delves deep into the archives, peeling back the layers, challenging generally accepted interpretations of events and redefining our understanding of past and present realities.
His latest exhibition in Dubai, “The Shining Path”, is inspired by the life and work of Hungarian dance artist and theorist Rudolf Laban (1879 to 1958). The show references the journey of this pioneer of modern dance who later became a Nazi sympathiser, to comment on the political and cultural history of Eastern Europe, as well as on contemporary global socio-political issues.
“The title of the show comes from the term ‘Gonzo journalism’, which is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the writer as part of the story. The term was first used in 1970 to describe an article by American writer Hunter S. Thompson, and is a corrupted version of a French word that means ‘the shining path’. In this type of journalism, the perspective of the person who is telling the story is more important than the facts. And this is true of my paintings. They are based on my research of European history, but I have changed various elements to create an alternate reality and tell the story as I see it,” Bodoni says.