11 February 2019

‘1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism’ at Kiscell Museum

Endre Domanovszky: Unification of Pest Buda and Óbuda, 1973, sculputre in the front: Jenő Kerényi
‘1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism’ at Kiscell Museum
Endre Domanovszky: Unification of Pest Buda and Óbuda, 1973, sculputre in the front: Jenő Kerényi

The starting points of the exhibition 1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism are two contemporaneous bodies of artworks, which demonstrate the parallel tendencies of art in state socialist Hungary, during the so-called Kádár era (1957–1989). It examines the complex relationships of two defining generations of artists, without giving aesthetic or historical judgment. The exhibition endeavors to reveal and present artworks and the contexts in which they were produced: different and simultaneously existing concepts of art, opposing positions, disputes, and ultimately the complex relationship between state power and art.

Endre Domanovszky: Hunting, 1972
Endre Domanovszky: Summer
Context section 1968-73. Erzsánet Schaár, Sisters

Both case studies date from 1971, and based on this, they are embedded in a broadly understood period between 1968 and 1973. One group of works are by artists who adapted to the demands of Socialist Realism in the 1950s, and were able to progress and modernize their art following the thaw of cultural policy after 1956.

The other group of artworks represents the self-organized scene through László Beke’s Imagination project of 1971 and by works collected through a municipal museum for a finally unrealized conceptual art exhibition inspired by Beke’s project.

Context section. Works by Jószef Somogyi (left) and Gyula Hincz (right). Artists representing Hungary at the 1970 Venice Biennale
In between genre section. Works by Gyula Gulyás (left) and András Baranyai (right)
Installation view. Imagination, László Beke collection, 1971 (right), Imaginations. Works collected for the 1971 unrealized exhibition in Székesfehérvár
Context section 1968-73. Works by Dóra Maurer and László Lakner
Context section 1968-73. Works by Sándor Pincehelyi and Endre Tót
Context section 1968-73. Works by István Haraszty: Cage (left) and Béla Kondor: Happening (right)

The two micro-historical case studies of 1971 are linked together by a chronology, which, through documents and original artworks, demonstrate the parallel art events of an era (1968–1973) defined by cultural policy, the direct intellectual context of the showcased projects.

The two Imagination actions as well as the exhibition and collection history of the Budapest History Museum, displayed in one building in two locations, draws attention to phenomena which took place simultaneously but bifurcated later in historical memory. The exhibition project thus ultimately underlines the complexities of reconstructing the past. This is referred to by the subtitle of the exhibition, borrowed from Ernst Bloch: parallel nonsynchronism.

Installation view of the Imagination collection. In the front sheets by Péter Donáth
Interior of Cabinet 71 by Tamás Kaszás with works by Jenő Kerényi (front), Endre Domanovszky (background)
József Somogyi
Gyula Hincz: -- (left), Science (right)
Interior of the "Give and Take" Room. Béla Kondor: The Saints Marching into Town, 1971-72 (left), István Haraszty: Red Button, 1972
Interior of Cabinet 71 by Tamás Kaszás with works by Gyula Hincz and Endre Domanovszky


Exhibition1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism
Place / venueBudapest History Museum, Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery
DatesOctober 13, 2018 – February 28, 2019
Curated byDóra Hegyi, Zsuzsa László, Zsóka Leposa, Enikő Róka, László Százados
PhotosGyörgy Orbán

See also