Stirred by the recent series of demolitions and reconstructions in the eighth district in Budapest, Hungarian art collective Merge Invisible have sought to commemorate the beautiful old buildings that were razed to make way for cheap new construction. In their Nefelejcs Projekt, the group has painted a mural of what appears to be a black and white X-ray of what once was. After collecting data from the Budapest City Archives and asking neighbors to reconstruct their memory of the area, the group turned to a local gallery to help recruit sponsors and volunteers to paint a life-sized portal to the past.
The finished mural, which took a full week to complete largely due to the poor condition of the wall, has an instant appeal. The cartoonish white lines beautifully pop against their black backdrop, instilling each drawn, two-dimensional space with a lively glow. Light fixtures, furniture, appliances, decorations and signs of a full life, from a parked bicycle to an off-kilter lampshade, emerge unashamedly from the fictive void, exposing the inner workings of a living, breathing home. Sadly, the image is but an imprint of a kind of space that no longer exists. But this lovely homage to departed architecture united a community in their efforts to remember and reconsider the past.