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2011-06-04 012:05

Every wall is a door - Conversation with Gizella SInai Varga

In Hungary culture is very much pushed down, borders are given but I think huge creations will arise which can only be born under this much pressure. Culture will always find its way through and starts to talk proliferately. Gizella Sinai Varga was asked by Lilla Takács, the journalist of vaskarika.hu about her exhibition Útleírás (Travelogue).

Gizella and part of her family - daughter and granddaughter - was sitting in the Cinema Hall when we found her to this spontaneous "girly" interview about family, love and paralell cultures.

Gizella Sinai Varga is a Hungarian paintress who lives in Iran for 43 years. Her husband is a famous and successful film director in Iran. She studied at the Theatre Art Universtiy in Teheran scene and clothes design. She is the scene designer and actress for more than 40 theatre plays and films and also wrote and directed seven performances.  

In the Gallery we've seen a catching performance about your journey as the opening of MEDIAWAVE. What does it mean to you?  

Going away was a little national thing back than. I was born during the war, raised under the Rákosi-era and I was 11 years old when the 56' revolution happened. My father always said: we should go, we should go away but he couldn't. He was an opera singer by the way, you could hear his voice at the end of the performance. My husband is a film director, we brought the 27 minutes long film what he directed about my father. It was made 15 years ago but I still use it in the performance because it belongs deeply to me and to what this journey means to me.


How did you still manage to leave counrty?

We travelled with my father to Vienna, he came back home and I stayed. I started the Academy and I met my husband who also studied to be a film director. We became close because of his artistic personality. And also because of my father who always said that this courty is small and here aren't any opportunities. When I stayed in Vienna I wanted to solve this thesis, this wanting to go or stay. A little like Endre Ady (very famous Hungarian poet 1877-1919) who writes in his poem Az elsüllyedt utak (Sinked roads): the whole thing happened because one begins to walk on a road, wants to achieve something but than it doesn't happen because the doors close.


Do these doors open again?


Yes, I think so. He has a very good saying, which is like every wall is a door.

When one feels to run against a post (in Hungarian agains a wall) it is also an option to do something about is- maybe there is a door on that wall. There are two major poets in Iran, Hafes and Saedi. Saedi always travelled from one place to an other and found his poems throughout the way. Hafes lived all his life in Shiraz. Even when he had the opportunity to travel he decided to stay. He didn't want to go. 

So staying can also be a certain state of being?


My relatives arrived today from my hometown, Csákvár and they leaved right after the performance. They leave Csákvár very raerly even to Budapest. They live their life, this little microcosm as fully as me who travelled a lot. I had a lot of exhibitions around the world from China to Finland. Mostly with my small paintress group. We founded this group of paintresses eight years ago. We are all professional paintresses and nowadays all of us are very busy so it is a little bit stagnating right now. Our las action was in the United Arabesque Emirates where Samira my daughter and her theatre group performed a play. Now we want to write a book about our experiences. We had the opportunity to show ourselves as paintresses in the times where such stange news are leaving Iran nowadays.




How are the creator women accepted in Iran?


Accoring to this I would only say that half of the population in Iran is under 30. 60% of the people attending art universities are women. They want to study, improve and they are very ambitious about getting further.


How do you feel about being Hungarian abroad? Or is your life completely full of culture?


It is full of culture but I don't think I've forgotten my Hungarian being. I believe being iterested in East is a Hungarian motive. Culture interested me in every way just like my Hungarianness. I think that we always had Eastern roots, we always longed for the East. Ady had a great influence on me according to this as well. His great desire to go East gave me a mature ground, so when I arrived there I realized how much our nature is similar to the Eastern people  


How did you get in touch with MEDIAWAVE?


They invited my husband 18 years ago to be a jury member. That`s how Samira got involved with the Festival as well.


Do you stay until the end of the Festival?


Yes. On the one hand I am a jury member, on the other hand I won an Award for the Paralell Cultures which I am very proud of.


Well, you have a parallel life indeed...


I have, actually that is what Travelogue is about. I started in 2007, I had 2 exhibitions in Finland, one in Vienna and the fourth in Hungary. It is very personal, I created it with full of excitement and joy. This is something I wanted to talk about very much.

This whole journey, the state of up and down is needed to mature. And when someone is an artist, these difficult, sensitive moments are wanted because that`s what we can use to create. These difficulties here in Hungary push culture very much down, borders are given but I think huge creations will arise which can only be born under this much pressure. Culture will always find its way through and starts to talk proliferately. 



„The desire to show the "Útleírás" ("Travelouge") series to the Hungarian audience started a long time ago. All this tekes place in a travel bag and if I open it everyone can see how many letters, writings, paintings it contains which were all collected through the years impregnated with joy, gloom, desire, experiences. I believe every hero of legends and tales became real, great, immortal figures in the history of mankind through their "journey". These heros recieved a lot of things for their journey before and after the trip, and they`ve also found signs, objects which were very important to reach the goal; talismans, lucky jewellery, engagement kerchiefs, mother earth in a sac. There was a tradition in the East: children of noblemen, princes, generals before the battle had protecting prayers written on their cambric shirts, so that these holy writings protect them and they stay invulnerable. I have also magical clothes which protected and accompanied me on my "Journey"! I have peintings also in my travel bag, not just clothes, rolled up like the travel upholsteries..." Gizella Varga Sinai, paintress, Teheran


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