The Gömböc exhibition under the Central Dome of the Hungarian National Museum offers unique visual experience: along the circular perimeter stand 10 giant Gömböc pieces painted by contemporary artists. At the centre a Gömböc installation designed especially for this exhibition by Coandco Communications supports Gömböc 1802, carrying as sertial number the year when Count Ferenc Széchényi offered his rich collection to the nation.
What is Gömböc (pronounced as 'goemboets')?
The Gömböc is the first known homogenous object with one stable and one unstable equilibrium point, thus two equilibria altogether on a horizontal surface. It can be proven that no object with less than two equilibria exists.
If placed on a horizontal surface in an arbitrary position the Gömböc returns to the stable equilibrium point, similar to 'weeble' toys. While the weebles rely on a weight in the bottom, the Gömböc consists of homogenous material, thus the shape itself accounts for self-righting.
The single unstable equilibrium point of the Gömböc is on the opposite side. It is possible to balance the body in this position, however the slightest disturbance makes it fall, similar to a pencil balanced on its tip.
The question whether Gömböc-type objects exist or not was posed by the great Russian mathematician V. I. Arnold at a conference in 1995, in a conversation with Gabor Domokos.
Gömböc number 1802
The Gömböc in the middle of the hall is 200 mm in diameter and is made of fiberglass. This Gömböc was a generous donation by the inventors of the object for the permanent science-history exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum. In accordance with the management of the museum, the creators have decided to give the unique object the number 1802 the year when Count Ferenc Széchényi offered his rich collection to the nation. This with other important donations formed the base of the Hungarian National Museum.
The artwork is on display in the hall until 2nd of September 2012, then will be moved to its permanent place to the exhibition Scholarly Hungarians Who Made Up the 20th Century.
In 2009 the Budapest Music Center, responsible for Hungarian cultural content at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, announced a competition for the individual design and painting of a resin Gömböc model, which constituted the central theme of the national exhibition. The aim of the competition was to encourage the creation of a special, visually appealing design, which – adapted to the shape of the Gömböc – is capable of conveying Hungarian intellectuality and cultural traditions in an international environment.
The best ten works, selected by a professional jury (Vice-Rector of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák, Director of Mûcsarnok Zsolt Petrányi, Rector of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Gábor Kopek, and Director of Ludwig Museum Barnabás Bencsik), could be seen for the first time by the public in Mûcsarnok on 19 June, 2010 at the Night of Museums. The Gömböc exhibition was also on display in Shanghai 23 August – 5 September, 2010, in the Museum of Contemporary Art, as part of the Art Forum Hungary event series.