Tagged: hungary

Focus: Public Art in Hungary (Edited an compiled by Hedvig Turai): Interviews by Erzsébet Tatai

Art historian Erzsébet Tatai questioned three Hungarian artists who are strongly involved in public art. Róza El-Hassan conceived the public art event, Moszkva tér or Gravitation. Although Tibor Várnagy and Miklós Erhardt did not take part in the events of Gravitation, they have been actively involved in public art projects since the 1990s. All three started their careers at different times and with different backgrounds; however, their activities kept converging in the past few years.

TIBOR VÁRNAGY (1957) artist, curator, art critic

Since the 1980s, Tibor Várnagy has been an important representative of alternative art in Hungary. His activity is … Read more

Focus: Public Art in Hungary (Edited and compiled by Hedvig Turai: From Great Utopia to Real Utopias

< rotor >, “real*utopia”, Graz (May 24 through October 26, 2003) 

This summer the most significant contemporary art events in Europe could be characterized with such notions as the “Balkans” (In search of Balkania, Balkan Consulat, Graz; Blut und Honey, Vienna), “war” (Kunst und Krieg, Graz; Attack, Vienna), and “utopia”.

Utopia, in turn, is connected to the idea of public art. Almost the whole continent has been touched by this notion’s ripples. Presently at the Venice Biennial, it is represented by an independent section in the Arsenal.

The Valencia Biennial (curated by Loránd Hegyi) is also organized around this idea, … Read more

The Hungarian Patient: Comments on the “Contemporary Hungarian Art of the 90s”

Two years ago, when the editor of a Hungarian academic journal in art history asked me to write about “the contemporary Hungarian art of the 90s,” I agreed to do so without the slightest hesitation, and proposed a paper on the changes of the institutional framework of the period. Later, when I was setting off to research, I realized that none of the components of the apparently innocent phrase “the contemporary Hungarian art of the 90s” was clear enough to be taken for granted.

How could we define the period of the 90s and the generally established category of contemporary

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Romanian Autism – Bucharest Architecture and its Histories

Luminita Machedon and Ernie Scoffam, Romanian Modernism – The Architecture of Bucharest, 1920-1940, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

Except for an extended, and largely favorable, review in The Times Literary Supplement, the book and its topic, Romanian Modernism, have so far passed largely unnoticed by those interested in art and society of Central and Eastern Europe. This is not the book’s fault, but rather the symptom of a larger malaise; for example, none of the major recent histories of modern architecture (Curtis, Frampton, Jencks) ever mention the architecture of Central and Eastern Europe, or do so briefly … Read more

“It’s Yesterday’s Train That’s Late” : Underground Rock and the Changing Face of Art Theory in Hungary

Trabant-icon of Hungarian underground rock
Jeno Menyhart, one of the most articulate personalities of the Hungarian underground rock scene, once remarked somewhat cryptically that “it is yesterday’s train that’s late”. He said it in a resigned voice, shortly before his emigration to the United States in 1994, as we were sitting in the new, American-style “Chicago” café, located on the largest boulevard in central Budapest, right across from the New York coffee house. Jeno and I had been talking about how the circumstances of daily life had changed in post-socialist Hungary, and how consumerism had come to shape our urban … Read more

The State of the Art: Hungary

As is the case anywhere in the world, in Hungary, the institutions of art are based on three foundations: the artist, the work of art, and the audience. The relations that operate between these three imply different types of institutions. In order to document the situation of contemporary art in Hungary properly, a few words have to be said about the 1980s. During that period, there were three main players in the Hungarian art world: the state museums (the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Applied Art, the Hungarian National Museum, and a few other … Read more

Two Recent Hungarian Films

Tükrözõdések (Mirrorings) – Directed by Istvan Darday and Gyorgyi Szalai. 1998.

Presszo (Espresso) – Directed by Tamas Sas; written by Gabor Nemeth. 1998.

Tükrözõdések is an ambitious and complex experimental film by Istvan Darday and Gyorgyi Szalai. A dense pictorial compilation of the oblique memories and imageries from a dying scientist’s (Teo Fabricius) life. The scientist, suffering from the near fatal injuries of a car crash as well as an unidentified terminal Œailment’ incurred during his work in Chernobyl, has his life threatened by a doctor/Mafioso for some knowledge he possesses about the nuclear disaster. This bizarre film blurs the … Read more