Levente Sulyok, modern art, contemporary art, contemporary painting, contemporary american painting, contemporary hungarian art, contemporary hungarian painting, conceptual painting
2007-present POD PAD experiments  

Ideology Primer 72"x72"x72" 2017


Differing from the usually commercial context of my work, Ideology Primer takes propaganda directly from a political context.

Ideology Primer is both the least and the most personal work I completed over the past decade. On a primary level, it is an anti-war reminder that happens to be made on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Having been raised in Hungary at the tail end of the communist regime, and living in the US since the early 1990s, I am a product of both dominant political ideologies of the 20th century. While the Cold War era antagonism between Communism and Capitalism seemed to have become a thing of the past since the early 1990s, recent global events ignite those tensions once again. My grandfather was a POW after WWII, and spent 3 months in Soviet-controlled Auschwitz before spending 3.5 years in a Siberian concentration camp. Most survivors will tell you that war is never the answer. It is most often the product of aggressive propaganda, manipulation of facts, and layers of misunderstanding between (often only seemingly) different contexts.



The installation consists of a US-made Brunswick Phonograph from 1917, which plays a 1937 Soviet recording of one of Stalin’s propaganda speeches. The record and the phonograph are slightly incompatible, and the needle of the player will eventually erode the grooves on the record. Facing the phonograph is a pedestal with built-in speakers holding a record player made in the USSR in 1975. The Soviet machine plays a 1962 US recording called “Sound Effects: U.S. Air Force Firepower” released the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The playlist consists of real field-recordings with the first track titled “Nuclear Bomb Explosion, Yucca Flat, Nevada”. Because the voltage of the record player had to be converted twice in order to work with the US power supply, the record player spins slightly faster than intended and therefore ‘misrepresents’ the content. Behind the record players are framed record covers of the above records, as well as a copy of Orson Welles’ fake radio show based on the famous H.G. Wells novel called “War of the Worlds”.