Kitti Gosztola





Grids over Waves is a decidedly Sisyphean attempt to categorize and reflect on the social representations of the sea. Phrases, facts, fantasies shaping mentalities. Anchoring / objectification / dissonance / trauma / compensation.


The slogan “From the Carpathians to the Adriatic” appeared in speeches, literature, even a Budapest rollercoaster bore the name. Ödön Lechner used it to justify subduing Fiume through the beauty of Hungarian “Formsprache” instead of linguistic oppression. Lechner: “From the Carpathians to the Adriatic we struggle to foster Hungarian culture… but one cannot find a single building, a house, a window in whole Fiume that would testify for the traveler: Here you enter Hungary.”


The Balaton Limnological Institute opened in 1927, partly to keep marine research going after losing Fiume. János Vaszary decorated it with a “too abstract” underwater scene, loathed by the researchers but approved as a reminder of the sea. Meanwhile in now-Italian Fiume, Vaszary is awarded a medal for a Balaton scene at the official art exhibition. Croatians artists are excluded. The medal is cast from the shells D’Annunzio’s troops once used to conquer the city.