Velofetish Exhibition - .CHB BERLIN 21.03-28.04.2014

Cycling Zeitgeist with a Hungarian accent
Velofetish exbibition shows an up-to-date overview of the Hungarian urban cycling culture. While cycling gets more and more involved into the daily life of city habitants, its influence on art and design grows rapidly too. The exhibition shows how wide-ranging this effect is on our everyday life, how this wave changes our thoughts about freedom, style, heroes and fetish. The exhibition showcases not only a high-end mixture of cycling oriented artworks and design, but also displays the contemporary ethnographic interest in this scene.

21.03-27.04.2014 CHB BERLIN Dorotheenstr. 12. 10117 Berlin

Consume Less

The lifestyle of cyclists is principally connected to environmental consciousness. You buy a 20 years old bike, which runs on muscles instead of burning gasoline, and you keep riding it for another 20 years. Whether you go for a weekend trip or just a picnic, you are likely to go against the consumer society. Upcycling preserves nature, forms an attitude against the consuming hype, especially if you do it yourself! The “Repair Yourself” bicycle service workshop (Cyclonomia) or the homemade lunch delivery by bicycles (Kétker-étkem) are creatively representing this way of thinking. Belts and jewellery made of innertubes (Licorice, Felvarrom, 1mind1), the upcycled backpack (Serin) and cog-wheel clock (Recyclock) illustrate how wide the range of environmental consciousness in the bicycle scene is.

Fetish

We don’t believe that objects made of bicycle parts have magic powers, or that there’s any ritual that brings life to their ghost spirit, but we assure this culture has strong connection to the phenomenon of FETISH. Maybe more profane as gods, but there is some kind of spirit in an upcycled metal robot (Felvarrom) or between the frills of an innertube dress (Balkantango X Aquanauta). An innertube worn as a necklace (1mind1) and the movements of the poetic rubber dress projected here (Amanda Szabó) both represent this same spirit by their forms. We profess they do add up to a broader meaning than their mere physical being.

Adventure

Even in the urban environment, cycling preserves some of the extreme sports’ feelings. It is strongly connected to adventure and danger. Messengers being the urban cowboys, others facing adrenaline rush hurrying in heavy traffic...While the documentary film of Hungarian rickshaw riders (Rickshaw Rush) in the Netherlands brings a long term introduction forward to these aspects, the road-movie of a cycling video-crew (Cycle me Home) introduce this kick on a shorter way. Parallelly to mountain climbing expeditions, urban riders pass by memorials of accident victims (Ghostbikes). The messenger bags demonstrate how an expedition technology flows into the urban scene (Bagaboo). ...and why is it dirty? Because a real messenger bag cannot be washed clean properly ever.

Tradition

Car, as the favourite vehicle in the 20th century is characterized by convenience, comfort and modernity. The present cycling culture has different roots thus different characteristics. Bicycle is not a new invention, 21st century redefines this traditional vehicle in an urban environment. Thus handicraft and other traditional technologies are integral elements of the bicycle phenomenon. Wooden pedals and handlebars are handmade in private workshops (Woodie), bags (Blind Chic), hats (Serin), wallets (Balkantango) or even bicycle frames (Merényi) are made in small series or often even individually. The studio portraits with bicycles (Me & My Bike) recall the analogue era of photography and resemble the style of painted portraits with horses.

Urban Art

The boom of urban cycling influences the art scene in several ways. Bicycles as visual motives are there at every step of the citizens: be it a thematic collection of street art in a calendar (Bringanaptár), or a photo-series of randomly spoilt painted road signs (Open Eye Series). The brand image of a messenger bags’ company (Nlmdzgn) is an example for applied arts, and the bicycle messenger’s rap song (Flastermaster) is probably the most free expression of this kind. In terms of this new worldwide visual language, the Rolling Memorial of roma victims shows how far the message can go by a bicycle.

Cycle Chic

Technical clothing flows into the urban fashion naturally since the cycling boom we are wearing windproof and ultralight materials everyday. Parallelly these items become more and more stylish adapting sportswear to the ever changing fashion trends (Urban Legend). Thus cyclist clothes make up an intersection between sportswear and fashion design. Moreover cyclists nowadays tend to identify themselves through the way they dress: assigning oneself with gearwheel formed earrings (Körben), bicycle motives on Tees (Torz & Merev) are ways of self expression. A set of street portraits with bicycles showcases these trends too (Hungarian Cycle Chic).