Activated Roles of Curating in Hungary

In this interview, Eszter Szakács, a young Hungarian curator, interviews three curators, of different generations, working in Hungary: Hajnalka Somogyi, Adele Eisenstein, and Márton Pacsika. These discussions explore recent changes within the cultural policy of the Hungarian government and, more specifically, how they affect curatorial work.

Adele Eisenstein is a freelance curator based in Budapest, Hungary. She emigrated to Budapest in 1990, where she worked for the Balázs Béla Studio and Toldi Cinema. She was also a curator of the alternative art spaces “Turkish” Bath and Folyamat Galéria in Budapest. She is a former editor of the art journal Praesens (2002-05), and has written, translated, and edited numerous books and catalogues, and hundreds of articles. She is former chair and current board member of Amnesty International Hungary. She is curator of the group show Out of the Museum and into the Street (Pavelhaus, Steirische Herbst, 2013,

Márton Pacsika is an emerging curator based in Budapest. He was a co-founder and curator of the Demo Gallery, Budapest (2010-2012), and is currently a board member of the Studio of Young Artist’s Association and of the Labor Gallery committee. His main fields of research include twentieth-century Hungarian Progressivism, cultural policy, and socially engaged art.

Hajnalka Somogyi is a freelance curator based in Budapest. She holds a Diploma in Art History from ELTE Budapest, and an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, NY. She was a curator at the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest (2009-2012) and at Trafo – House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest (2001-2006). She co-founded the independent initiatives Dinamo and Impex, both in Budapest.

Eszter Szakács is a curator and researcher based in Budapest. She currently works at the contemporary art organization tranzit. hu in Budapest, where she curated the project of The Pseudo Race Group Liberagility (2012). She is the editor and working group member of the ongoing collaborative research project Curatorial Dictionary. In June 2013, she was a resident at the Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway. Previously she worked at the M?csarnok/ Kunsthalle, Budapest, as an assistant curator (2008–2010). Her main fields of interest include the histories and discourses of curating, cultural translation, and the political in art.

Hungary in Focus: Conservative Politics and Its Impact on the Arts. A Forum