„On parallel histories and nonsynchronous constellations” – panel discussion inspired by the publication „1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism” on contemporary curatorial strategies and archival research on art and exhibitions history.
13 December 2022, 19.00 o’clock
Participants: Dora Hegyi (tranzit. hu, Budapest), Dorota Jarecka (Galeria Studio, Warsaw), Enikő Róka (Kiscell Museum–Municipal Gallery, Budapest), Magdalena Ziółkowska (Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź)
Projects uncovering the history of exhibitions from Central and Eastern Europe, artistic actions and manifestations, organized both in official and private spaces, have been in the making since the mid-2000s.
This panel discussion takes the project 1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism as a starting point, a research and exhibition project, which was a joint venture of the contemporary art organization tranzit.hu and the Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, which holds a collection of 20th-century Hungarian art. The program of both institutions has a focus on the history of exhibitions, tranzit.hu mainly discussed art events in the “second public sphere” (Parallel Chronologies), while the Municipal Gallery in several research projects looked at collection history during state socialism.
Taking the year 1971 as a starting point, the exhibition presented two micro-histories, two contemporaneous bodies of artworks. One of the groups comprised works by artists who adapted to the demands of socialist realism in the 1950s, and were able to modernize their art. The other belongs to the generation of neo-avant-garde artists and to the formation of the underground scene. 1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism showed the complexity of a historical period in which the state-supported art system and the “tolerated,” self-organized art scene existed in parallel and were linked to each other.
This exhibition concept can serve as a model to other Central and Eastern European microhistorical research projects and their presentations. In this panel we will not only discuss the changing perspective of studying artistic practices and their context in countries from behind the Iron Curtain but compare parallel tendencies of art in state socialist Hungary or Poland and look at the applicability of the methodology mentioned above.
Dóra Hegyi is an art historian, curator and critic based in Budapest. Between 1996 and 2005 she worked as a curator at the Ludwig Museum Budapest. Since 2005, she is director of tranzit. hu (https://hu.tranzit.org/), member of the transnational network based in Eastern Europe, tranzit.org. She is initiator, curator, and editor of exhibitions, educational, research and publication projects that consider art as a field of critical debate that can mediate between different fields and disciplines and function as catalyst for change. Recent projects include as co-curator and co-editor Parallel Chronologies. Collection of Exhibitions in Eastern Europe online archive sSince 2012); Creativity Exercises. Emancipatory Pedagogies in Art and Beyond (2014-19); War of Memories (2015); Mezosfera online magazine (since 2016); Imagining Conceptual Art (2017); 1971– Parallel Nonsynchronism (2018-19), Space of Opportunities (2019-). She is Member of AICA Hungary.
Dorota Jarecka is an art historian, author, art critic, and curator based in Warsaw. She is an associate of the Institute of Literary Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Jarecka co-authored (with Barbara Piwowarska) the book Erna Rosenstein. I Can Repeat Only Unconsciously (2014). She has co-edited a number of publications on women artists, including Krystiana Robb-Narbutt. Drawings, Objects, Studio (2012), Natalia LL. Doing Gender (2013), and Ewa Zarzycka. Heyday (2016). Her book on relations between left-wing policy and art in Poland after the Second World War entitled Surrealizm Realizm Marksizm. Sztuka i lewica komunistyczna w Polsce w latach 1944–1948 (Surrealism Realism Marxism. Art and the Communist Left in Poland 1944–48) was published in 2021. Since 2016, she has been the program director of the Galeria Studio in Warsaw.
Enikő Róka is an art historian, museologist and researcher based in Budapest. She worked for the Hungarian National Gallery between 1996 and 2014 where she was the Head of the Collection of Prints and Drawings (2000–2009), and Head of Research (2010–2014). Since 2014 she is the Head of the Kiscell Museum–Municipal Gallery. She wrote her dissertation about the history of a fin de siècle art collection. Specialist of 19th and 20th century art and architecture, she published several essays about the relation between art and ideology, propaganda, and the nationalism in art. She curated many exhibitions, as XIX. Art and Nation. Image and Self-Image (Hungarian National Gallery, 2010), 1971. Parallel Non Synchronism (Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, 2018). Her curatorial approach and practice are based on the theory of the critical museology dealing with the history of the museum’s collections and the process of institutionalization of the artworks. She is a member of the ICOM-Hungary commitee, author of articles about contemporary museology.
Magdalena Ziółkowska is an art historian, critic, and curator. Recent projects include editing the reader Plasticity of the Planet. On Environmental Challenge for Art and Its Institutions (2019). She is currently the head of the Department of Textile Art in the Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź, where she curated Bownik. Undercoat accompanied by the artist’s monograph (2022). She is a member of AICA International, and a contributor to Artforum and Mousse magazine.