Lecture on the project INVISIBLE HISTORY OF EXHIBITIONS, guest: László Beke, Budapest, at the Nova Gallery Zagreb, 6.02. at 7 p.m.


Nova Gallery, Teslina 7, Zagreb

Friday, February 6, 2009, at 7 p.m.


László Beke
«Imagination / Idea»

As part of the series of exhibitions "Invisible History of Exhibitions", the project "Imagination / Idea" (Elképzelés) was presented, which is one of the beginnings of conceptual artistic practice in Hungary. The project was initiated in 1971 by curator and theorist László Beke, one of the key protagonists of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde art scene. László Beke has worked as curator of the Hungarian National Gallery and director of the Mucsarnok Kusthalleu Budapest, and since 2000 has been director of the Art Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1971, Beke sent a letter to the addresses of 28 artists requesting that the artists send him their artistic contributions by mail within two months. The aim of the project was to create an "exhibition" that is realized mentally, but whose process is materially documented. Beke encouraged artists to equate the idea of ​​documenting work with the realization of work. The works were not genre-restricted in advance, the only formal requirement was that the work could be subsequently stored in a folder.

Invited artists included a number of the most prominent names of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde: Gábor Attalai, Imre Bak, Jeno Balaskó, András, Baranyay Attila Csáji, Tibor Csiky, Péter Donáth, Miklós Erdély, János Fajó, Ferenc Ficzek, Gadázály Guy Hencze, György Jovánovics, György Kemény, Ilona Keserü, Károly Kismányoki, László Lakner, Ferenc Lantos, János Major, László Méhes, István Nádler, Gyula Pauer, Géza Perneczky Sándor Tántázélá Tamí, Tamázélá Türk.

Artistic contributions range from formal experiments to conceptual montages and textual works. For example, Miklós Erdély sent a piece of cotton wool dipped in goose fat with the apparent intention of marking other contributions invested in the folder. Gyula Pauer initiated his own vocation which he addressed to other artists asking them to realize their work exclusively in the form of a description resembling a museological index. The works on display are part of László Beke's art collection, which has been shown to the public on several occasions, and at the lecture, Beke will present the "Imagination / Idea" project and his collection.


The series of exhibitions entitled "The Invisible History of Exhibitions" is part of a long-term, the collaborative project "Art Always Has Consequences" which is part of the "Culture 2007-2013" program supported by the European Union. Along with the curatorial team WHW, which is the main holder of the program, the project partners are Center for New Media kuda.org from Novi Sad; Museum Sztuki from Lodz, and tranzit.hu from Budapest.

The “Invisible History of Exhibitions” series explores exhibitions as specific places of critical presentation of art, production, and dissemination of knowledge. How individual exhibitions from Eastern Europe are positioned according to the "official" history of Western art and how it is inscribed in the environments from which they originated, how and to what extent they affect the work and organization of art institutions, how they contribute to the formation of cultural influences; The exhibitions are positioned in relation to ideological and economic frameworks, the dictates of the art world - are some of the issues that the project wants to explore. Through the research of archival materials and new productions, publishing activities, the project aims to present and contextualize some of the keys, but still insufficiently researched examples of socially engaged art production in Eastern Europe.

Gathering some of the paradigmatic historical examples of conceptual artistic practice from Eastern Europe: IDEA ART (1970, project initiator: Jerzy Ludwinski, Wroclaw) Imagination / Idea (1971, project initiator: László Beke, Budapest), MAY 75 (1975 - 1981, initiators) project: Group of Six authors) the exhibition "Invisible History of Exhibitions" is a continuation of the exhibition of Mladen Stilinović. The exhibition presents some of the most radical conceptual examples of collaborative platforms that take place outside the institutional framework involving a large number of participants and that have initiated innovative and autonomous production and circulation of works.

the exhibition is open until 6.2.2009.

support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City Office for Culture, Education, and Sports of the City of Zagreb, European Cultural Foundation

The exhibition is part of the project "Art always has consequences", organized with the support of the Culture Program 2007-2013 of the European Union: www.artalways.org

The organizers of the project "Art always has consequences" are the Center for New Media kuda.org, Novi Sad; Museum of Art, Lodz; tranzit.hu, Budapest and Sto, how and for whom / WHW, Zagreb

all events at the Nova Gallery are co-organized by WHW and AGM