Ilona Németh - Pack Up Everything

Ilona Németh’s solo exhibition is a continuation of the artist’s long-term quest, which delves into her family chronicle and carves out moments of politics incessantly interfering in individual lives. The exhibition was first installed at SODA Gallery Bratislava and introduces three distinct personal narratives, each represented by three furniture pieces from their inventories. Originating from different periods of the 20th century, the tables each bear witness to their owner’s destinies, their unfulfilled or achieved aims, and changes in the political climate around them.

The title piece of the exhibition“Pack Up Everything . . .“(2016) shows a table revealing the context of wealthy farmers cultivating their own land with their families. The work returns to the post-War times of reckonings and deportations across the re-strengthened and re-defined Mid-European borderlines. Families of Hungarian national descent living in the Czechoslovak province were collectively marked as war criminals; many people were denied their citizenship. A robust, manly sound pounds relentlessly from the very center of the installation, it may refer a distinct voice opposing the course of history.

Another piece in the exhibition shows a modest furniture model of Czechoslovak design. Bit by bit, the shiny tabletop slides over and returns. The work 17 567 2 850 5 (2016) is a portrait of a household in numbers, brought down to the bottom line of the person’s or family’s accounting.It bears the marks by the owner, a poor post WW2 refugee who left the Czechoslovak territory for Budapest and managed an economical living based on the socialist regime’s possibilities.

The artist’s choice of specific objects as reflections upon individual narratives and universal concerns might remind us of Arjun Appadurai’s seminal article The Thing Itself (2006), and of his “idea that persons and things are not radically distinct categories.” Human and other material subjects are entangled and equally defined by their transactions and social relations. A person may take on the status of an object when excluded from prevailing legal systems, while a person’s belongings reflect his or her status within society. In a world of global networks and assymetric relationships, people on the move constantly face the question of what they can take and what they need to leave behind.

Current Dates

  • Tue. 22 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 23 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thu. 24 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Fri. 25 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 26 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tue. 29 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 30 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thu. 31 Aug 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Fri. 01 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 02 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
All dates

All Dates


  • Tue. 05 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 06 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thu. 07 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Fri. 08 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 09 Sep 2017, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.