Zsófi Szemző

Zsófi Szemző currently lives and works in Budapest, her hometown. She studied at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest  between 2003–2008. Later she moved to Paris where she studied at ENSCI, Paris, gaining a Mastère Spécialisé en Création et Technologie Contemporain, with the bursary of the French government (2008–2009).
In 2016 she created the show called I sleep to wake up, I get up to lie down with Judit Szalipszki at the The Studio of Young Artists’ Association (SYAA). In 2015 she was a participant of the artists' colony of Miskolc (Hungary) and traveled to Marseille (France) with the Erasmus scholarship. In 2014 she founded Co-op, a cultural and social space with Judit Csatlós and Daniela Krajcova as part of the Slightly tinted exhibition at SYAA and worked on a solo exhibiton Forgetting continents, on the theme of sustainability. In 2013 she started her doctoral studies at the University of Fine Arts, Budapest and also she participated in the exhibition Hidden visions. In 2012 she received a travel grant to New York with the bursary of the Budai György Foundation & Alma on Dobbin. In 2011 she had two solo exhibitions: Something is missing at Liget gallery and Feint Real-estate Agency at Inda Gallery Budapest, and contributed to the Subjective Atlas of Hungary (published by HVG Books) as part of a workshop at Kitchen Budapest.
She is a member of SYAA, a professional organisation, which has been functioning for more than 5 decades, always giving dynamic responses to current art and social issues. Szilvia Nagy and Judit Csatlós described her work as "Szemző's Cargocults is the special hybrid of social science, science critique and fiction, that is able to turn science into magic".

Artist statement

1260 seats: 786 prayer chairs for men and 474 for women. Later the number changes to 1332, other sources say 1372. I was interested in those 80 years of the Rumbach Street synagogue that were filled with life, in the kind of life that was going on here, in this space, those who frequented this space for generations. For decades, this space has been half in ruins and empty.
"Be fruitful and multiply"
Happy faces of people from the 1920's, 1930's, 1940' who might have inhabited the spaces of this synagogue in Budapest, living their believes freely. The Hebrew word mitzvah refers to precepts and commandments commanded by God.

Camerawork, editing: Viktor Markos 


See the building: Rumbach Synagogue