Ferenc Gróf (1972, Pécs, Hungary) is a graduate of the Hungarian University of the Arts, Budapest, and since 2012 he has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art (ENSA) in Bourges (FR). His work considers ideological footprints, at the intersection of graphic design and spatial experiences. He is a founding member of the Parisian co-operative Société Réaliste (2004-2015), whose work considers questions of contemporary political representations and text-based interventions. Société Réaliste’s work has also been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions and biennials such as Shanghai, 2012; Lyon, 2009; and Istanbul, 2009. Since 2015 Société Réaliste is on hiatus, Ferenc Gróf continues his work as an individual artist. His most recent solo exhibitions were Without index (Kiscelli Museum, Budapest, 2016), X with a dot below (OFF Biennale, Budapest, 2017), Or firing of a red star alert (acb Gallery, Budapest, 2018), Anxiocene (Moulins de Paillard, FR, 2019). Gróf lives and works in Paris.
Our Rogue State
Digital print, 88x100 cm, 2015
From the "Extended latin alphabet" series.
The diacritical marks of the letters show details of various European historical paintings depicting military victories over foreign troops, either stamped as "barbarian invaders" or "resistants against civilizatory forces". Even today, the (re)construction of national narratives is based on several centuries' xenophobic, racist imagineries of history painting, which are shown in prestigious museums or official buildings and filling up pages of history schoolbooks. List of the paintings used for the diacritics: Mikhail Avilov: Duel on the Kulikovo Field (1943); Antoine-Jean Gros: The Battle of Abukir, 25 July 1799 (1807); Jan van Huchtenburg: Prince Eugen of Savoy captures Belgrade on 16 August 1717 (1720); Pauwel Casteels: Battle of Vienna (1683); Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury: Baldwin of Boulogne entering Edessa in February 1098 (1840); Horace Vernet: Battle of Somah (1840); Gyula Benczúr: The Recapture of Buda Castle in 1686 (1896); Adam Stefanovic: Battle of Kosovo (1870); Charles de Steuben: Charles Martel in the Battle of Poitiers (1837); George W. Joy: General Gordon's Last Stand (1893); Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz: The Capitulation of Granada (1882); Charles-Philippe Larivière: Lifting of the Siege of Malta (1843); Theodor Aman: Vlad the Impaler and the Turkish Envoys (1864); Sándor Wagner: The Self-Sacrifice of Titusz Dugovics (1859)