Zoltán Kékesi, Szabolcs KissPál, Máté Zombory: Flag for Hungary, 1945, 2015.

OnCurating, Zürich
Zoltán Kékesi, Szabolcs KissPál, Máté Zombory

"Conceived especially for this issue of OnCurating, this team of cultural researcher, artist, and sociologist re-imagine anew the history of Hungary by incorporating the legal mechanism of a Reconciliation Commission. Calling upon a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Hungary of 1945 in the spirit of the one developed in South Africa, they seek a commission investigating »political crimes committed before 1945. The idea is to replace or complement the model of retributive justice applied in the post-war trials in Hungary (and elsewhere in Europe, most prominently in Nuremberg), with a more restorative model.« Their proposal, which they intend to continue to develop and present in other formats and spaces, consists also of a sketch for a new Hungarian national flag, one that pays tribute to the country’s diverse nationalities and ethnic groups." (Avi Feldman, curator)

Prezentáció az Eleven Emlékmű közösségi kezdeményezés keretében, 
fotó: Csoszó Gabriella

Intés (Reminder), 2014.
index-link, Budapest
Kékesi Zoltán - KissPál Szabolcs

1944. április 30-án jelent meg a 10.800/1944. számú miniszterelnöki rendelet, amelynek értelmében a rendelet mellékletében felsorolt, zsidónak tekintett szerzők műveit a magyarországi könyvtárakban össze kellett írni, majd be kellett szolgáltatni, hogy aztán központilag bezúzzák őket. Országosan csaknem félmillió könyvet gyűjtöttek össze. A Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem könyvtárában megtalálható Lukács György „Nietzsche és a fasizmus” című, 1934-ben kiadott könyve – ez a könyv kétségtelenül az összeírás egyik túlélője.

Az akkori Országos Magyar Királyi Képzőművészeti Főiskolán 1944. május 9-én készült el a rendelet hatálya alá eső szerzők könyveiről szóló kimutatás – ezek a könyvek ma is szerepelnek a könyvtár állományában, tehát a beszolgáltatásukra nem került sor. Lukács György fent említett könyve nem szerepel a kimutatásban; a leltárkönyv adataiból valószínűsíthető, hogy csak 1945 után került a könyvtár gyűjteményébe.

Detail from the exhibition, photo: 
Gabriella Csoszó  

False Testimony, 2012-2013.
Invaliden1 Galerie, Berlin / Open Society Archive, Budapest / Kunstkabinet, Jewish Cultural Center, Amsterdam
Hajnal Németh and Zoltán Kékesi  

The subject of the exhibition is the 
Tiszaeszlár Trial of 1883 and its aftermath. Following the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl Eszter Solymosi on April 1, 1882, in the Hungarian village of Tiszaeszlár, local rumors and suspicions of Jewish ritual murder led to a high-profile murder case in the summer of 1883. Relying heavily on forensic medicine, the prosecution’s case was not proved against the 14 male Jewish defendants, who were proclaimed not guilty on August 3. The trial was closely interwoven with the birth of modern antisemitism in Hungary: shortly after the verdict and a spate of antisemitic riots around the country, Hungary’s first National Antisemitic Party (1883-1892) was formed. “Tiszaeszlár” later became an important element in the radical Right’s historical narrative and subsequent constructions of national martyrology.

In her short film False Testimony Hajnal Németh re-enacts an important moment of the Tiszaeszlár trial in a contemporary setting, the interior of an office, revealing the significance of this historical event for the present (see the KissPál - Marcos essay). The current exhibition elaborates the relationship between this historical event – which signifies the beginning of modern anti-Semitism in Hungary – and the present. 

The photographs "Silent Place 1", "Silent Place 2" and "Loud Place" were taken in two locations, the village of Tiszaeszlár and in the City Hall of Nyíregyháza. The later, shown empty and in its present state, is the very place where the Tiszaeszlár trial once took place. The former constitutes a double topography - a Jewish graveyard, abandoned since the Holocaust and enclosed today by a concrete wall without any sign referring to its identity, and a Christian cemetery, one that contains a false grave of Eszter Solymosi, the alleged victim whose body was lost during the trial proceedings, erected in the mid-90s and used to this day by radical right-wing organizations as a site for public ’commemorations’.

The photographs, videos and objects in the exhibition examine individual and collective memory and identity, and the processes of psychological 
identification and cultural transmission.

Still from the video

The Idol of Denial2013.
Kunsthaus Dresden 
Tehnica Schweiz

“When different layers of our history overlap, crystalline structures emerge that in a seemingly accidental way set patterns and places in relation to each other. Traces, spirits of past times encounter each other, they appear simultaneously like complex collages. These collages are perceived by everyone and they form our identities.” Gergely László & Péter Rákosi 

The film The Idol of Denial was created based on such a crystalline (historical) constellation in the Hungarian town of Kecskemét. The synagogue built there right next to the town hall in the 19th century was used as a stable by SS officers and the interior was entirely destroyed. Of the 1,431 Jews who lived in Kecskemét, 1,222 died during the Second World War. At the end of the 1960s, a house of science and technology was installed in the entirely gutted building. Among the crucial sights are fifteen true-to-original plaster casts of Michelangelo’s most important statues from the largely destroyed Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. 

In the former synagogue, one can now view copies of Michelangelo’s statues that are otherwise spread throughout the world: the Dying Slave from Paris, David from Florence, the Madonna from Bruges – and the famous Moses statue created in 1545 for the grave of Pope Julius II in Rome (San Pietro in Vincoli). It is the starting point of the filmic work by the Hungarian artist duo TEHNICA SCHWEIZ created for Vot ken you mach?. The sculpture of the founder of religion whom Michelangelo depicted with horns is not only one of the most prominent anti-Semitic images of art history but was also a crucial source of inspiration for Sigmund Freud’s last work Moses and Monotheism (1939).

The lecture in Hungarian is composed in the literary tradition of the Melitzah, a mosaic of fragments and sayings from the Hebrew bible, Rabbinic writings and the liturgy, and consists, in correspondence with this tradition, of quotations and cross-references. (...) The filmic mises-en-scène in the historical synagogue of Kecskemét shaped by the interior extensions of the 1960s revolve around the ban on images and on questions related to the recurrence of cultural stereotypes and constellations, not only in present-day Hungary, and to the way they are designated and overcome.

The lecture was compiled by Zoltán Kékesi together with Tehnica Schweiz

Detail from the exhibition: 
Dániel Szapú: Liquid echó, 2013.

Risk Factor. Intermedia 2.0, 2013.
MODEM, Debrecen
Curators: Zoltán Kékesi, Szabolcs KissPál

Exactly 20 years ago, in 1993, the Intermedia Program of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts started as an outcome of the academic students’ revolution of 1990. First amongst the Hungarian university faculties, the Intermedia aimed at exceeding the traditional academic education. An important element of this objective was to develop artistic training towards the techniques and forms typical of the 20th-century modernist traditions and those that had appeared through the expansion of the new media of the 90’s.

Through the works of former and current students, the exhibition introduces the various directions of artistic practices evolved over the history of the Intermedia Department. The almost sixty exhibited works are diverse in their genre and media usage ranging from experimental photos to videos, from computer based media artworks to simple conceptual objects and from performance documentation to complex community projects. The exhibition aims at surveying the broadly understood politics of art outlined through the particular attitudes and showing the ways the artists re-interpret their own social responsibility and role, their relationship to the public sphere and to the media used by them as a vehicle.

Az 1990-es „diákforradalommal” kapcsolatos levéltári anyagok az MKE könyvtárában, fotó: Kékesi Zoltán, KissPál Szabolcs

A negyedik modell?, 2013.
Labor Galeria, Budapest
Szervezők: Kékesi Zoltán, KissPál Szabolcs

2013. április 17. és május 3. között egy négy részből álló beszélgetéssorozatra kerül sor a Labor Galériában, amelynek fókuszában az akkori Képzőművészeti Főiskolán 1990-ben lezajlott „diákforradalom”, a rendszerváltás óta eltelt időszak intézményi tapasztalatai, valamint a művészeti oktatás múlt- és jelenbeli modelljei állnak. Az 1990-es diákforradalom az oktatás részleges megújításán túl az Intermédia Tanszék megalapításához vezetett. A kezdetektől alternatív oktatási modellekkel kísérletező tanszék idén ünnepli fennállásának huszadik évfordulóját, amire a beszélgetés-sorozat szintén reflektálni kíván: miként értelmezhető a jelen perspektívájából az azóta eltelt időszak? Az élő eseményeket egy mini-kiállítás kísér, amelyen néhány korabeli írásos és mozgóképes dokumentumot mutatunk be.