Tamás St.Turba: Czechoslovak Radio 1968 (1969); brick, glue, sulphur; unlimited multiple, Tamás / IPUTNPU-Archives

Attila Csörgő, Squaring the Circle , 2012. Courtesy Attila Csörgő, ©dOCUMENTA (13). Photo: Nils Klinger

István Csákány, Ghost Keeping , 2012. Courtesy István Csákány, ©dOCUMENTA (13). Photo: Henrik Stromberg


Hungarian participation at the dOCUMENTA (13)

Kassel, Germany
9 June – 16 September 2012
Artistic director: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic and non-logocentric vision that is skeptical of the persisting belief in economic growth.

The exhibition in Kassel aims at engaging with a site and, at the same time, producing a polylogue with other places. In Kassel, besides the traditional main venues of documenta, the Fridericianum, the documenta-Halle, and the Neue Galerie — museum spaces and white cubes — dOCUMENTA (13) takes place in a variety of other spaces that represent different physical, psychological, historical cultural realms and realities. Besides these, more events are taking place during the summer: seminars, lecturers, exhibitions in Kabul / Bamiyan (Afghanistan), Kairo / Alexandria (Egypt), and Banff (Canada).  

Hungarian participation at the dOCUMENTA (13)

Hungarian presence at the dOCUMENTA, the most prestigious international exhibition series, has never been as pervasive and strong as 2012 in its more than fifty-year history. Three Hungarian artists – Tamás St.Turba, Attila Csörgő, and István Csákány – were invited to participate at the exhibition, and Lívia Páldi, an art historian and curator, presented her own project. As a prelude to the 2012 exhibition, dOCUMENTA (13) and Hatje Cantz are publishing a series of notebooks, 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, in which the essays of three Hungarian writers – György Lukács, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, and Péter György – will appear.

We are very proud of being the only official Hungarian partner organization of dOCUMENTA (13). The artistic director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev was invited to Budapest in 2010 to participate in ACAX’s Check-in Budapest curatorial visitors’ programme. ACAX supported the realization of the new, large-scale installations made for the exhibition both financially and professionally.

Tamás St.Turba’s work Czechoslovak Radio 1968 – which was created in 1969 around the ideas of solidarity and resistance after the Soviet occupation of Prague in 1968 – is exhibited in the rotunda (Brain) of the Fridericianum, the main venue of the show. Attila Csörgő’s light installation Squaring the Circle belies the age-old truth by making the impossible possible and turning a square into a circle. This playful yet complex work – located in the Karlsaue Park – creates square from the shadow of a circle with the help of a special mirror. István Csákány’s installation, the Ghost Keeping, is located in one of the halls of the Hauptbanhof. The work is a carved wooden model of a sewing workshop slightly bigger than life-size. Headless figures are standing in front of the well-prepared machines. Their presence creates a sharp contrast with the everyday reality of the invisible workers.

To Be Corrected – Abstracts for a Hörspiel is Lívia Páldi’s radio play about Breitenau that will be broadcast on July 22 and is also presented as “public listening” at the Ständehaus. It is a collage of notes, reflections, observations, and excerpts of conversations that departs both from looking at Breitenau as a historical site of correction and from its institutional history and development as a memorial site, museum, and archive. The audio work references a selection of documents, objects, photographs, textual/literary materials, films, documentaries, and artworks, as well as talks with Gunnar Richter, Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar, Mechthild Bereswill and Karen Wagels, Ines Schaber and Avery F. Gordon, Bernhard Lauer, Clemens von Wedemeyer, and Péter György.

The dOCUMENTA (13) publication 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, includes essay by three Hungarian authors. Péter György’s essay, The Two Kassels: Same Time, Another Space is about the layered history of Breitenau. Looking toward dOCUMENTA (13), György sees a paradigm shift in the curatorial concept, which will use as one of its sites Breitenau, a former Benedict cloister near Kassel that has served for various purposes (as a camp in the Nazi years and as a girls’ reformatory until the 1950s): a shift to the connection of the contemporary art world with local history. Gáspár Miklós Tamás, a philosopher as well as former and actual dissident and one of the three Hungarian authors of 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, examines the character of “innocent power” in his essay. Power is per se destructive, and its effects are visible in different kinds of ruins, such as romantic ruins, war ruins, and ruins created by contemporary art. The two essays of György Lukács, Notes on Georg Simmel’s Lessons and Sociology of Art, has been partially reproduced from the collection of letters and text fragments of a notebook discovered in 1973, known as the “Heidelberg Suitcase.” Both essays are published with an introduction by Lívia Páldi, the Director of BAC – Baltic Art Center, Visby, Sweden and Agent for dOCUMENTA (13).

Accompanying programmes:
15 July 2012, 20:30 / Gloria Cinema
Béla Balázs Stúdió – Tamás St.Turba & Dezső Magyar: Centaur, Agitátorok (The Agitators)
Centaur, Tamás Szentjóby, Hungary 1973–75 / 2009, 39 min., Hungarian, English subtitles
Courtesy by IPUT-Archive / Tamas St.Turba
(Supporters of the film restoration: Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest / ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, tranzit. hu)
Agitátorok (The Agitators), Dezső Magyar, Hungary 1969 / 1971, 78 min., Hungarian, English subtitles
Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute, Béla Balázs Studio
The screening is introduced by Adam Kleinman, Agent for Public Programming, dOCUMENTA (13).

22 July 2012 Lívia Páldi: To Be Corrected – Abstracts for a Hörspiel
7 pm: Opening
8 pm: Discussion with Avery F. Gordon, Gunnar Richter, and Ines Schaber, moderated by Livia Páldi. (English)
10 pm: Public listening: To Be Corrected – Abstracts for a Hörspiel.
Or tune in to hr2 kultur (FM 93,7).
After July 22, the play will also be available for download at www.documenta.de.

Photo Credits:

Tamás St.Turba: Czechoslovak Radio 1968 (1969); brick, glue, sulphur; unlimited multiple © Tamás St.Turba / IPUTNPU-Archives

Attila Csörgő, Squaring the Circle, 2012, Light installation with mirror, lamp, water drop, water, aluminum container, 180 × 80 × 80 cm, Courtesy Attila Csörgő, Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13) with the support of ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, Department of Ludwig Museum—Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; Laboratoire Astroparticules, Université Paris VII; Fondation de France; Objet de Production, Paris
Photo: Nils Klinger

István Csákány, Ghost Keeping, 2012, Mixed media, Dimensions variable, Courtesy István Csákány, Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13) with the support of Horvath Art Foundation, Budapest; ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, Department of Ludwig Museum—Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; Zsolt Somlói/Katalin Spengler; Péter Szauer; Levente B. Málnay; Andrea Dénes/Balázs Árpád; László Gerő; Zoltán Bodnár; Dr. Imre Balogh; Pálfi György; Ahlers AG, Herford
Photo: Henrik Stromberg