Freeze Frames of Communism

1998, October 21 - 1998, December 18

A multimedia exhibition exploring the now half-forgotten medium of slidefilm ("dialfilm").

The golden age of slidefilm in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe was in the fifties and sixties.  In addition to catering to the “natural” audience of the medium with adventure stories exalting pioneer morality and animal fables symbolically addressing issues of “socialism”, the authors of slidefilms also targeted grownups with their didactic works.  Thus, the golden age of slidefilms produced a mass of silly tales about the emancipated communist woman working in the factory, the tricks and glorious successes of hog-breeding in socialist cooperative farms, heroic Hungarian sailors revealing a counter-revolutionary conspiracy, and the wise peasant and his son battling the potato beetles.

The exhibition focuses on the direct and indirect propaganda of Hungarian and Soviet slidefilms from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.The visitor will also be given insight into the process of developing and manufacturing slidefilms, while old projectors and other technical instruments will illustrate the evolution of the medium.  A number of slidefilms will be presented on the original viewing instrument, the slidefilm projector, while others will be shown with the use of modern computer and computer related technology, giving a new and unexpected twist to this old and almost forgotten genre.

Hungarian actor László Helyei will present a propaganda slidefilm at the exhibition’s opening on October 21, at 6:00 p.m.