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20 May 2009 presents Parallel Chronologies - Invisible history of exhibitions

© Lunch - In Memoriam Batu Khan. The first happening in Hungary. June 25, 1966, in the cellar of Istvan Szenes. Participants: Gabor Altorjay, Miklos Jankovics and Tamas Szentjoby

Parallel Chronologies - Invisible history of exhibitions


Exhibition opening: May 20
6 p.m. - LABOR
7 p.m. - Kretakor Bazis
On view: Tue and Thur 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Labor: May 26 – June 13
Kretakor Bazis: May 30 - June 13

International Symposium:
May 21 - 22, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Kretakor Bazis


LABOR, Kepiro u. 6. Budapest 1053
Kretakor Bazis, Gonczy Pal u. 2., Budapest 1093

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tranzit. hu ( organizes an exhibition and symposium with the title Invisible History of Exhibitions, which aims at the formation of a shared knowledge and discourse on Eastern European art exhibitions from the 1960s till now. The events in Budapest are connected to a series of exhibitions, discussions and publications initiated and organized by the What, How and for Whom? curator formation in Zagreb since Fall of 2008 on with the same title.

The larger framework of the project, Art Always has its consequences is a long-term international collaborative platform, that focuses on invisible, alternative histories through genres and forms of art practices such as artist text, archives, and conceptual design, which have had restricted international visibility and accessibility so far and thus are often missing from the canonized narratives of contemporary art in Eastern Europe (

The 'Invisible History of Exhibitions' project looks at the history and the current interpretations of the exhibition, as the dominant format of contemporary art production and presentation. 'History' in this context is interpreted as constructed narratives based on events that constitute shifts in the notions of art (art history) and the modes of its presentation (exhibition history). While in western countries mainstream art institution hosted curatorial group exhibitions that constitute the landmarks in the history of exhibitions, in Eastern Europe between the 1950s-1980s progressive art events could often only happen in 'second publicity', in private flats and off-site spaces outside of public art institutions so they are deeply embedded in the historical conditions of the public sphere. With this symposium we attempt to trace and introduce a different methodology to be able to include Eastern-European events in the international discourse on exhibition theory.

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Parallel Chronologies. Invisible History of Exhibitions – documentary and research exhibition

Parallel Chronologies investigates the exhibition as a cultural phenomenon and a genre on its own right focusing on the period determined by the state socialisms of the Eastern European region. The project intends to break with the usual ways both international and local art events and publications either ignore or exoticize this field. For this aim we present a network of professional relationships, exhibitions, events, and art spaces instead of the sheer display of artworks from the period.

The exhibition contains two archives dealing with neo-avant-garde art from Belgrade and Novi Sad. The prelom kolektiv has studied several significant events of the SKC, the Student Cultural Center in Belgrade in the 70s, and new media center has collected the most important documents of the neo-avant-garde in Novi Sad. The third section of the exhibition presents progressive art events from the 60s-70s in Hungary. The exhibition and event documentations from Hungary are structured around a research asking various Hungarian art professionals about the art events from this period they find the most significant in relation to their own practice. Instead of aiming at an objective history gained from the synthesis or reconciliation of differing individual points of views we rather would like to trace the idiosyncratic pattern of difference and accordance, the map of blind-spots and legends. The exhibition also addresses chronologies as important channels of mediating art events of an epoch. Chronologies play a defining role in transforming atomic events into histories and canons especially in the case of Eastern-European art events that happened in the second publicity during the 60s and 70s.

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Invisible History of Exhibitions - international symposium

The symposium organized in parallel with the exhibition addresses crucial questions in relation to auto-histories of Eastern-European underground art, self-positioning through international exhibitions, and reinterpretation of art history.

How can we remember, reconstruct, and recycle exhibitions in order to include them in our shared historical knowledge? How could historical research adapted to international curatorial discourses change the ever prevailing feeling of being ignored and belated of historically and geo-politically marginal art scenes? How Eastern-European art practitioners could take advantage of - and at the same time overcome the voyeuristic western market interest in communist past fueled by both post-colonialism and globalism? How can we make sense of the shared experiences of youth movements, sub-, parallel- and counter cultures, political activism and the fundamental differences concerning the legacies of neo-avant-garde?

Themes and sessions of the symposium:

1. Revisiting exhibitions: reconstruction and re-contextualization
2. Archives - the archive as exhibition format and exhibition archives
3. East European exhibitions as tools of identity-politics
4. Exhibition making as an emancipatory practice


Judit Angel (HU), Maja and Reuben Fowkes (GB, HR), Izabel Galliera (USA), Reesa Greenberg (CAN), Vit Havranek (CZ), Yelena Kalinsky (USA/RU), Julia Klaniczay (HU), (SRB), Viktor Misiano (RU), Cristian Nae (RO), Livia Paldi (HU), prelom kolektiv (SRB), Natasa Petresin-Bachelez (SLO), Isabelle Schwarz (DE), Keiko Sei (JPN/THA), Georg Schollhammer (AT), Emese Suvecz - Orshi Drozdik (HU), What How and for Whom? (HR), Andrea Tarczali (HU), Katalin Timar (HU), Magdalena Ziolkowska (PL)

Introduction and moderation: Dora Hegyi, Zsuzsa Laszlo

Detailed symposium program can be read on the website:
curators of the exhibition: Dora Hegyi and Zsuzsa Laszlo, Novi Sad, prelom kolektiv Belgrade
concept of the symposium: Dora Hegyi, Zsuzsa Laszlo, and Emese Suvecz

The exhibition Parallel Chronologies and the symposium Invisible History of Exhibitions is part of the international project Art Always Has Its Consequences co-financed by the Culture 2007 program of the European Union (partners: WHW Zagreb, tranzit. hu, Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, Novi Sad).

tranzit is a contemporary art program supported by the Erste Bank Group
supported by the National Cultural Fund, Hungary
Partners: Artpool Muveszetkutato Kozpont, Kretakor Bazis

Special thanks to: Hungarian National Gallery, Szent Istvan Kiraly Muzeum, Szekesfehervar, Foksal Galllery Warsaw, Balazs Bela Studio, MTI, Budapest Gallery, Dobos Archive, Laszlo Beke, Orshi Drozdik, Edit Sasvari, Tamas St.Auby and others

Technical support: Ludwig Museum – Contemporary Art Museum, Kretakor Bazis

Answers by: Gabor Andrasi, Judit Angel, Gabor Altorjay, Laszlo Beke, Balazs Beothy, Roza El-Hassan, Daniel Erdely, Miklos Erhardt, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Janos Fodor, Andreas Fogarasi, Eva Forgacs, Peter Fuchs, Jozsef Havasreti, Sandor Hornyik, Tibor Horvath, Tamas Kaszas, Sevic Katarina, Zsolt Keserue, Lilla Khoor, Szabolcs Kisspal, Gabor Klaniczay, Julia Klaniczay, Peter Kovacs, Marta Kovalovszky, Katalin Ladik, Dora Maurer, Andras Mullner, Laszlo Najmanyi, Gyula Pauer, Miklos Peternak, Realiste Societe, Katalin S. Nagy, Tamas St.Auby, Janos Sugar, Annamaria Szoke, Erzsebet Tatai, Gabor Toth, Tibor Varnagy