András Gálik (b. 1970 in Budapest), Bálint Havas (b. 1971 in Budapest), both live and work in Budapest. Working as a duo since 1999, Little Warsaw addresses historical memory and confronts personal encounters with social experience through films, installations, and a wide variety of media. In recent years, Little Warsaw has undertaken a manifold investigation of the art object as a complex system of codes, conventions and signifiers used as a form of dialogue between the artist and the public. Taking inspiration from similar experiments by the Bauhaus, and reanalysing structuralist theories, they deconstruct the artwork into its most fundamental components: form, colour and material.
One of their best known works is the project The Body of Nerfertiti, presented at the Venice Biennial in 2003, in which they made a bronze body to complete the famous limestone bust of Nefertiti. The act opened up an extremely rich field of associations, including the question concerning the use of the centuries-old iconic art object in contemporary art and the possibilities it offers for intercultural communication, while at the same teasing out the property relations of the artistic heritage of the past.
It is also the artistic heritage of post-war Hungary that they investigate in many of their projects. They elevate public monuments from their environment that have been condemned to amnesia, and use archival footage to place them in a new narrative.
Broken Neferiti, 2003
plaster, wood 50 × 65 × 36 cm, unique
Little Warsaw’s work has been widely exhibited internationally since 2003. They had solo exhibitions e.g. at Secession, Vienna (2014); Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2012); Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2011); AKZM Austellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst, Münster (2010); and Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2009).
Their projects have been included in numerous group exhibitions throughout the world, e.g. at Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2017); K21, Düsseldorf, Germany (2015); the travelling exhibition Tee with Nefertiti in 2012–13 at Mathaf Doha, Quatar; Modern Art Institute Valencia, and Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; S.M.A.K., Gent (2011); Singapore History Museum (2006), Apexart New York (2006); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2004). They took part in the 12th Bienal de Cuenca (2014), Manifesta 7 in Roverto (2008), the 1st and 3rd Prague Biennial (2003, 2007), and the 2nd Berlin Biennial (2001).
Their works are held in several prestigious international public and private collections, such as MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; Muzeum Współczesne, Wroclaw; Małopolską Fundację Muzeum Sztuki Współczesnej and Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow; The Art Collection of Erste Bank Group and ERSTE Foundation, EVN Collections; Austria, Carré d'Art-Musee d'Art Contempourain Nîmes and Kadist Foundation, Paris.