Hungarian artist János Brückner tinkers with lost pieces of early digital photography that documented techno parties in Budapest from more than 20 years ago. Through what he calls the ‘human printer’ technique, Brückner gives new meaning as well as new life to a blissful kind of ecstasy that seems so unattainable nowadays.

A mass of thousands of people marching in ecstasy in broad daylight through the heart of Budapest. Techno music blasting in the background. All walk forward in peace and joy regardless of sex, gender, age, colour, music, and sexual preferences. This scene might look completely utopian from the perspective of our present circumstances, but it was a recurrent reality at the beginning of the 2000s. Of course, it is by no means an uncommon thing in the history of humankind for people to experience bliss, freedom, happiness through dance and music together with other people.

The project rave2000 is celebrating a bunch of these moments from the early 2000s Hungarian party scene. Using lost archives of what used to be mainstream party photography, János Brückner gives new life to some of these pieces of early digital photos that never had an actual physical existence. He re-creates these images using a special painting technique which he refers to as the ‘human printer’: this method combines digital pixel-based image creation with methods of classical painting. But the choice of his thematic focus is not accidental. Brückner works with the imagery of the early 2000s party photography because it embodies a short period of time when nobody really cared about the prying presence of a camera at a party. Now, from the imagined future of those moments, we can experience contradictory situations and emotions when those images are put in front of us: confusion and clarity, being lost and searching for a sense of community, ups and downs, dark rampage together with bright and blissful ecstasy.

“Fly free and you‘ll be free:
Live life as it‘s good and as one has to live”

“The ground rumbles from our feet,
The house rumbles from our voices.
Your brain is shaken by rhythm,
The fever will take over your heart.”
(Emergency House)

“There is only one day, which is different from the others.
Open your eyes please,
look around since everyone you love is here.
There is only one day.
It’s beautiful as the smile shines on your face.
Do you see how many we are?
The secret that everyone has been talking about
is now opening to you as well.
There is only one day.
Open your heart and let the music in!
Enjoy the colours, feel the vibes, and remember this day:
for the secret is already living in you.”
(Náksi vs. Brunner feat. Myrtill)

Artist: János Brückner
Exhibition title: Not Going Home
Venue: Longtermhandstand, Budapest
Curator: Péter Bencze
Date: February 28, 2022 – April 2, 2022
Instagram: @janos_bruckner, @longtermhandstand, @everybodyneedsart