Ackermann Phillis called tapestry art The Mirror of Civilization in the title of her big collection of studies written about tapestry art in 1933.
Ackermann’s choice for title is still authentic and at the same time obliges the present generation who think in documentary materials. The propagation of photographic thinking and then the spread of the inventions of information technology made the long and complicated process from the composition to the work of art significantly easier. The coherence in the digital structures of the picture based thinking, and the systematic basis of the texture obviously aimed our attention to the great European periods of this art form.
/ The Hungarian National Gallery and the Hungarian Association of Tapestry Artists intend to represent the latest approaches by announcing the events of International Tapestry 2017 under the title Apocalypse and Global Sustainability. The exhibition will be held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the existence of the association.

/ By the theme of the Apocalypse we wish to reflect an early period of tapestry art, when the tapestries enlarged up the truly monumental medieval galleries, these very accurate works of anonymous artists. The panels of Angers Apocalypse and Pannemaker’s Apocalypse processed from the Hungarian rooted Albrecht Dürer graphic sheets refer to specific text places of St. John’s Book of Revelation. These Gothic and Renaissance artworks verify that the picture based culture of our age is in a specific connection with the grandiose tapestry series made in the European heyday of this art. This coherence shows parallels which are partly technical but also valid beyond the border of this genre. In this significant period of tapestry art first illustrations were made for manuscripts then woodcuts were used from the graphic reproduction processes. Looking at these works of art we can speak not simply about the Bible of the poor, the picture legible without text but also about its condensing, transforming possibility, the intermediary use of the connected operation of mental capacities. Famous artists depicted this theme, e.g. Bosch, Grünewald, Brueghel, Blake, Masereel, Picasso or Botero, Deleuze, Virilio, Eliot, Saint-Saens, Godard, Coppola and Bergman.

/ Jean Lurcat in his tapestry series The Song of the World dealt with St. John’s work which gives an example of the civil movements of Christianity of a period which shows evident connections with the goals of civil movements in our time of fights for cultural integration. In parallel, it warns us of the current issues regarding the sustainability of nature and created environment and the universal responsibility of art and technical civilization.

/ A growing body of concepts and models, which explores reality from different angles and in a variety of contexts, has emerged in recent years in response to the inability of normal disciplinary science to deal with complexity and systems – the challenges of sustainability.
Despite the intrinsic ambiguity in the concept of sustainability, it is now perceived as an irreducible holistic concept where economic, social, and environmental issues are interdependent dimensions that must be approached within a unified framework. The debate on sustainability has generated a great deal of research and policy discussion on the meaning, measurability and feasibility of sustainable development. However, the interpretation and valuation of these dimensions have given rise to a diversity of approaches.

/ Some basic principles emerging from the international sustainability literature help to establish commonly held principles of sustainable development. These include, for instance, the welfare of future generations, the maintenance of essential biophysical life support systems, more universal participation in development processes and decision-making, and the achievement of an acceptable standard of human well-being.

/ The outlines of this new framework, known under the loose term of “Systems Thinking”,
are, by their very nature, transdisciplinary and synthetic. An international group of ecologists, economists, social scientists and mathematicians has laid the principles and basis of an integrative theory of systems change. This new theory is based on the idea that systems of nature and human systems, as well as combined human and nature systems and social-ecological systems, are interlinked in never-ending adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring, and renewal within hierarchical structures.

LÍVIA PÁPAI DLA, habil Freelance Artist
Holder of Ferenczy Noémi Award
Curator of the Exhibition