“Crusted over” – Lili Tóth’s installations about the hardships of the homeless
How long can nature maintain an equilibrium? Does it need human intervention at all? And what about people who are forced to shape their environment? Lili Tóth’s spatial experiments are an attempt to explore the relationship of socially vulnerable people living rough to nature, and their opportunities for creating individual living spaces.
By trying to disregard certain aspects of our lives, we often choose to ignore major issues. These include the presence of people living on the streets or in woodlands. The homeless are extremely vulnerable to environmental forces, and their interference with nature is not so much an aesthetic impulse as a survival imperative.
The branches bear carved inscriptions of quotes from homeless people, which, in addition to the powerful message, also highlight the everyday challenges facing the homeless. The intertwining branches are a symbol of the links of marginalised communities and their symbiosis with the environment. The “controlled environment” – just like Lili’s installation – bears the marks of human interference, and at the same functions as a communication interface. Correct deciphering requires a better understanding of the originators of these marks.
Although there have been many projects designed to enhance social sensitivity, this one also involves a lyrical exploration and understanding of the root causes of the problem. The broken off branches used for the installation once belonged to a tree. Detached from a larger, organic, living system, they bear marks of their journey through life, injuries, fruitful and unfruitful, plentiful and tough times. Just like the persons you can see living on the streets.
The project was completed at the Graphic Design department of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. The course was supervised by Antal Lakner, with Beáta Sosity as consultant.