2002

Sex and Communism
2002, November 28 - 2003, February 16

The exhibition is a bold attempt to introduce this topic to the public for the first time in Hungary.

The ideological foundations of the questions of sexuality for the communist system were laid down by one of Freud's pupils, the Soviet professor Aron Zalkind. In his book The question of sexuality in Soviet society published in Leningrad in 1926 Zalkind says, 'Sexuality is only permissible in a form which promotes feelings of collectivism, class awareness, productive, creative and marital activity and the wish for cognition'. According to Zalkin's doctrines, one could only have sexual intercourse with a suitable partner and preferably not frequently so that one could concentrate one's creative energies on class struggle and the building of communism.

The exhibition wishes to present the gap between the official propaganda...

 
DPRK
2002, September 13 - 2002, October 27

Anyone who follows the news is familiar with North Korea the threat - the overmilitarized, unpredictable "rogue state" of Northeast Asia. This exhibition presents something far less known: North Korea the country, glimpsed from inside.

North Korea is, without a doubt, the most isolated country on earth. Out of view of the outside world, its 24 million people live under a regime that has become both more regimented and more pervasive than Stalin's.

The exhibition presents selected aspects of the North Korean system, such as the cult of personality surrounding the late leader Kim Il Sung; gargantuan monuments the regime has built to glorify itself; and the troubled state of the country's agriculture. Photos and newsreels recall Hungary's aid to North Korea - schooling war orphans and treating the wounded - during the Korean...

 
Forced Bathing in Hungary - Shaving, Stripping, Public Humiliation: Disinfecting Gypsy Settlements during Socialism
2002, June 13 - 2002, July 14

Health care campaigns aimed at 'cleaning up' Gypsy settlements began at the end of World War II and continued to persist until the political transition in 1989. This included 'cleaning' techniques such as close cropping and mass baths in caustic chemicals (among them DDT, internationally banned in 1968 for its poisonous carcinogenic contents). Although, according to documentation, lack of sewage, water conduits and unsanitary toilet conditions were widespread throughout society during the fifties, the state only punished the Romani community for its poor health conditions. The punishment, forced disinfections of entire communities in the form of shavings and bathings, that normally took place at dawn.

Forced bathings affected more than half of the Romani community of Hungary, according to the documents available. At some places...

 
Unerasable Communism
2002, April 11 - 2002, May 28

In conformity with my artistic interpretation of secondarily produced reality, in my newest series of the socialist period I have used the propaganda photos, printed matter and special technique: the idyllic and heroic lie topos of the Soviet epoch in Hungary as the most effective bearers of the Communist idea of kitsch are painted by eraser and the pictures are destroyed by eraser as well. The pictures, the ideas shown on them, the social practice and the political as well as cultural general taste born by the ideas are the unerasable negative traces of the epoch. By painting and erasing them I wish to share the aesthetic experience of getting rid of these traces with the public. Károly Kelemen painter

 
International Theatre
2002, March 15 - 2002, April 7

"Let us not be misled! Let us be perfectly clear about this: on March 15th 2002 Hungary, Budapest and the national culture will not be enriched with a new theatre. We will not gain anything; indeed, we will be made poorer - and at our own expense. What has been taken from us will be all too obvious: our new deficiency, all too visible. The original process of selection was open and honest: the relevant experts agreed on a design for what was to be one of the most important public buildings of its kind since the fall of Communism. That edifice was never built. Instead of a theatre, a monumental scandal was perpetrated on the banks of the Danube by people who were bold enough to put the nation and its culture to shame. Let there be no mistake about this: if, a few years hence, nobody remembers what stands beside the Danube, how it got...