tranzit is a network working independently in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Romania since 2002.
The network has a polycentric structure as a collective of autonomous local units cooperating across various borderlines – between nations, languages, media, mentalities and histories.
Each tranzit works under its own conditions in a variety of local contexts, using different formats and methods such as critical platforms, exhibitions and other artistic settings (musical, poetic, literary, performative), lectures, discussions, publications, research, mediation and nonconformist education.
tranzit generates deep experience in the local artistic and intellectual biotopes in relation with continuity, a reassessment of contemporary history (arising chiefly from the artistic catharsis of the 1960s and ’70s) and in challenging the canons, geographies and master narratives of postwar European (art) histories. The aim of tranzit is to act translocally, i.e. in constant dialectics between local and global cultural narratives.
tranzit’s experience with self-organized activities in progressive cultures dates back to the authoritarian society of the 1970s and ’80s and has continued through the hypertransformational period and the comprehensive reform of all strata of society in the 1990s and up to the present.
tranzit has been engaged in numerous international projects, such as Monument to Transformation 1989–2009; the Július Koller Society; the Free School for Art Theory and Practice; Manifesta 8; Sweet Sixties; Fiction, Rhetoric and Facts; Changer d’Image; Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module; the School of Kyiv and others.
The tranzit.hu contemporary art program has been running in Budapest since 2005. It creates platforms for discursive, research, and publication projects, and initiates collaborations on both international and local levels. tranzit.hu considers contemporary art an educational endeavor that supports the development of civic responsibilities. Consequently, art is researched, interpreted, and discussed at the intersection of different disciplines: in historical, political, and social contexts. Based on the Eastern European Neo-avantgarde tradition of critical art practices, tranzit.hu considers artistic activity a public issue, an attempt to participate in the public sphere.
Moving to its own office and program venue in 2011—the “open office” named Mayakovsky 102—tranzit.hu aims to create a space that is not simply a meeting point for artists and spectators, but a place where everyone is a participant. tranzit.hu aspires to contribute to the democratic and solidarity-based functioning of the art scene in Hungary, as well as to mediate between different spheres and disciplines by using the network capital of international curatorial practice. Besides dealing with urgent issues, its mission is to generate discourse around transdisciplinary and taboo topics, as well as to find appropriate forms for their discussion through public and participatory learning processes.
In its projects, tranzit.hu experiments with various themes and formats, such as alternative pedagogical and educational methodologies, forms of democratic cooperation, and critical thinking (Free School for Art Theory and Practice, Artists at Schools, Creativity Exercises). A number of its projects aim to advance the professional self-empowerment of members of the Hungarian contemporary art scene by initiating dialogues and fostering community building within the art field (tranzitblog, Catalyst Award, Action Days). tranzit.hu curates discursive exhibitions (Parallel Chronologies, Art Under a Dangerous Star, Open Doors: Tamás Király ‘80s) and produces online and off-line publications (Artists’ Texts from Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, 1947–2009; Art Always Has Its Consequences; Curatorial Dictionary; IMAGINATION/IDEA. The Beginning of Hungarian Conceptual Art. The László Beke Collection, 1971).