Artur Żmijewski led a three-day workshop in Budapest, during which he sought to find an issue together with the participants to which all of them could relate. The group worked together on searching various ways to connect with the issue, and gathered possible solutions to solve/articulate the phenomenon. The last day of the workshop saw the realization of three team works. The following interview with Artur Żmijewski was conducted by one of the workshop participants, artist Lilla Szász.
The Csakoda collective was founded in 2011 by artists Dominika Trapp and Márton Dés, after they were invited to realize an exhibition in a cultural center in rural Hungary. It was here that they came up with the idea of forming a dynamic group with a changing number of participants, who would primarily exhibit in cultural centers, further away from the elite art scene, but more in touch with local audiences. I interviewed Dominika Trapp about shifts in their praxis since 2011 and their most recent project in the framework of the art festival Nocturnal Interchange at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros.
In 2014 Andrea went to Budapest Pride again. Dressed in a priest’s cassock, he blew bubbles and blessed the crowd from atop the float named as the “International Gay Lobby.” A piece of cardboard dangled in front of him—outlined with the shape of Greater Hungary, patterned with the red-and-white bars of the House of Árpád, and in the center of which a large cock was splashed that easily could be decoded as a biker. The result: two months of rabid harassment (online, at work, at home, etc.) and a civil lawsuit against him that eventually was dismissed.
Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus were invited by tranzit.hu to realize a process-based action as part of the first OFF-Biennale Budapest that took place on April 25-26, 2015. In the following interview, I asked the Bucharest-based artists about enactment as a strategy, the relations of immaterial works and museums, and the sustainability of an “off-scene.”
The “System of National Cooperation,” as the government of Viktor Orbán named itself in 2010, has polarized every segment of society, not excluding the sub-system of contemporary culture and art. As the most effective means to serve this end, the Hungarian Academy of Art (HAA) has not only divided the community of artists and cultural workers owing to the circumstances of its founding and continuous institutional existence, but each of its programs, open calls, or invitations also imply yet another provocative pressure to make a statement: are you with or against us?
The tactical media campaign Abortourism took the form of a fictional travel agency operated by a group of artists in Budapest. The project was preceded by thorough research: its creators surveyed abortion laws, pregnancy termination and contraception technologies in various European countries. Based on this research, the agency set up fictional travel packages containing the costs of abortion (be it an operation or a pill), travel, and accommodation. Started in late 2014, the project called attention to the existing phenomenon of abortion tourism, a special form of health tourism, and, through this, to privileges, repressions, and taboos surrounding reproductive rights.