The 59th Venice Biennale is being held from 23 April to 27 November 2022. For only the third time, a female artist will showcase her works in the Hungarian Pavilion, Budapest-born Zsófia Keresztes. We caught a preview of her exhibition, After Dreams: I Dare to Defy the Damage, before its completion and journey to Italy.

The Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2022 will feature a solo show by Zsófia Keresztes, the first by a female artist since the posthumous exhibition honouring Erzsébet Schaár in 1982 and a project devised by Hajnal Németh in 2011.

The sculptures of Zsófia Keresztes are constantly evolving. The moulded shapes covered with shiny glass mosaics always take on a different character, so their meaning always changes. The main theme of the 2022 Venice Biennale is the metamorphosis of bodies, reflected by the exhibition at the Hungarian Pavilion.

From Antal Szerb to Zsófia Keresztes

A single installation that treats the space of the pavilion as a whole, it moves between the borders of architecture, sculpture and applied arts, with a characteristically feminine perspective. Inspired by Antal Szerb’s novel Journey by Moonlight, it deals with self-knowledge and human relations, and travels through the imagination."

We took a look at a studio exhibition set up here in Budapest, showing the preparations for the Venice Biennale. A couple of the sculptures were already complete, with more being created as plain polystyrene is transformed into a sculpture, the artist fitting each individual piece of mosaic onto the foundation. Within this surreal, psychedelic world, it was hard to decide whether certain elements were raindrops or tears, with internal organs also on view.