Zsuzsanna Ardó is European by existence, human by inclination, humorous by nature—and a visual artist, curator and writer by profession. Her arts project, Here There, Now Then has won an Arts Council Award, and has been selected for the Arctic Circle expedition of scientists, composers and artists.
Current projects include a solo exhibition about the Arctic, energy and climate change at the Royal Institution; and Creatives without Borders international curatorial project Mirror, mirror on the wall at the National Assembly in Wales, and the Africa, Europe, America exhibition at the Château du Bost in France.
She has been working on an opera libretto for C4 Ensemble composer Karen Siegel. Scene two featured by Opera on Tap, with Anne Hiatt, Alison Cheeseman, Seth Gilman and Alex Guerrero, at Barbès, 376 9th Street at 6th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC. Reviewed as endlessly clever and funny by Trav S.D. in Travalanche.
A voting member of the British Film Academy (also of the special BAFTA Chapters on Documentary, Films Not in the English Language, and Writing) for many years, she is the founder of Creatives without Borders for over a decade, to investigate contemporary culture critically and creatively. She has curated many installations and exhibitions, and has served as portfolio reviewer, mentor/speaker and worked on juries of various art competitions internationally, including the Neu/Now Arts Festival in 2013 and 2014.
Women of Light | Women of Shadow, is one of her ongoing visual/textual investigations of cultures in flux, identities on the periphery and the immigrant/migrant experience. Her work on Immigrant Identities was awarded the Deutsche Börse Award Artist in Residence at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.
She has been invited as artist in residence to the Montserrat College of Art, US, to give a public talk about her art, and review the work of senior art students. In Boston, she participated in the Fort Point Artist Community Open Studio. While working as artist in residence in Haiti at the Promart “2ème Atelier d'Art International Haiti", she started her curatorial project Africa, Europe and America, working with Haitian and international artists, and exhibiting with them at the City Hall Gallery in Port au Prince, Haiti. She has been invited to return to Haiti, where she is working on her curatorial project for exhibition in 2015 in France.
Throughout September to December 2012, her large-scale glass installation with public engagement about interacting with memory – Tears, Apples and Stones – was featured at the Contemporary Art Centre in the Samorin Synagogue in Slovakia, and discussed in the press. The installation includes music by Daniel Andor-Ardó and Jonathan David, two composers from the C4 Ensemble, New York. Her creative collaboration with the C4 Ensemble in New York continues in February and March with the world premier of the choral composition based on her poem: Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter… and Then. This poem is also performed in May at the Galapagos Arts Space and at the 21st Project in New York.
The Stars Touch the Sand: My Journey with Beduins in the Sinai Desert, her large-scale photography installation, was featured in February at Queen's College in Harley Street, London.
After the launch at the Brooklyn Arts Library in New York in March, East River Sizzle, her one-off artist book of paintings about the East River in Manhattan went on tour in Canada and the US, including Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The First Human Rights Conference in Support of Cultures in Tehran, 24–26 November 2011 hosted her European Roma photography exhibition and invited her to discuss her art practice with young Iranians.
As Artist in Residence at the Digital Art Centre in Spain, she collaborated on digital art and on a multimedia interactive feature based on her short story and photographs, with soundscape and music composed by Pakistani musician and journalist Musadiq Sanwal, published by Arts and Cultures in openDemocracy. Her photograph, “Shifting Sand of History on the Wall” was featured in their Photo of the Week series. Her work is in private and public collections and has been published internationally. As a visual artist, she has been invited to painting, mixed media and photography artist-in-residencies internationally.
She has had exhibitions in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Iran, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US, including the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Delhi, Amnesty International, Europe House, the British Film Academy and the Royal Institution, the European Commission, and the Pompidou Centre. Her recent paintings and installations featured in galleries include La Dolce Vita in Italy, Chronos and Kairos in Germany, and Earth, Bleeding in Austria.
Her books and articles have been published in various languages, in the UK, US, Hungary, Germany, Russia and Singapore. Culture Shock! Hungary, her social anthropology-cum-travel book, is in its third, expanded edition worldwide, illustrated by her photos. How to be a European: Go Hungarian, and Love Blues: Hungarian Rhapsodies are cultural satires on Hungarians, published with her English and Hungarian parallel texts. Some of her articles can be read here.