Endre Manyoki: Dewpoint

Colour is the light of the soul An excerpt from a writing of Endre Mányoki Material, colour, soul, light – the toolbox of creative man. Of man who had been through Plato's Cave on his way to the surface, in the direction of the light; upon his return, he has tried to communicate something no words exist to describe, no memories can be formed of. It brings something that cannot be handed over. It brins the reflection in the creek, but the cave lacks even a puddle. It brings the Sun, but the cave only has fire.

But the fire: it exists. And even if there is no mirror-sheen of water, there is still reflection, and when that does not exist either, there are at least some shadows. There is movement, dancing, sounds and shapes. There is no light, but there are colours. The light of the soul infuses colours, the colours take on form, the forms move and the movement emits sound. Poetry speaks and a painting is placed upon the wall.

We see regions where we’ve never been. We peek out from a place where we’ve never hidden before. Something is dancing, a multitude, perhaps a mirage, such is its nature. We feverishly search in our innermost selves, in the depths of our soul: where have we seen this dance? We find memories, fairy tales and dreams, voices, and the way mom - or an actor, or an inner voice – tells it: wraith. We are frightened of the memories and we shivered, but the terror evokes a fairy and it is no longer important what we’d known of the wraith, an embodiment of light, flame, gas and explosion. Certainties, forebodings, frights and certitude, they come, they push and shove, they pile up on top of one another. Eruptive calm: we find something that it seems always belonged to us, but never managed to wriggle its way to true life.

As colour seeks light, emotion seeks instinct and consciousness seeks a concept. The depths always struggle to reach the heights, whereas the heights always seeks to seek out its origins in the depths. Man is in the middle, an embodiment of the depths and the heights, of consciousness and instinct. His essence is his existence. He is defined by his being. The venue of his existence is the relevant region. It is an infinite space, an infinity with borders, expanding on all fronts until reaching the border of a new infinity.

It is in this region that the mortal beauty of our human nature blooms and reforms over and over. This region is our home. It is a strange region: It is our soul.

The singular proof of the divine aspect of our human nature is the ability to create. We stare, dumbfounded, like the Bumford idol on the edge of the port in the direction of the unfolding sky, only the canvas keeps us from falling into darkness. Fear and amazement, mortality, pettiness – and the draw of the infinite: seemingly all encompassed by the single gesture of a single hand. A space, which opens the doors to other spaces. We lean beside Pilinszky to watch the windy stars, next to Veszelszky to the window of the painter’s nook. We stand on the mountain peak with Friedrich and with Csontváryval in front of the Baalbek. Hölderlin, Novalis, Mörike, Rilke, Attila József and Hamvas, Weöres and Tandori each call to their private universe. This is how our being expands to become complete. Thus our existence is the essence of being.

This is how the world is made. It does not happen by rolling forward on the assembly line of history, but rather like this: seeing vision - I believe it so. It is made of beggared colours and eruptive words, Bumfordian stone and sticky mash. Ágnes Kontra is a craftsman and a mage, a painter and an artist, seemingly obvious from a single gesture, from each and every movement.

Endre Mányoki - Writer, critic, Professor of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts


Photography: Gyula Czimbal