On Parallel Histories and Nonsynchronous Constellations

Panel Discussion

Date: 13 December 2022, 19.00

Venue: Galeria Studio, Warsaw

Participants: Dóra Hegyi (tranzit. hu, Budapest), Dorota Jarecka (Galeria Studio, Warsaw), Enikő Róka (Kiscell Museum–Municipal Gallery, Budapest), Magdalena Ziółkowska (Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź)

Projects that uncover the history of exhibitions, artistic actions and manifestations in Central and Eastern Europe, presented both in official and private spaces, have been ongoing since the mid-2000s. This panel discussion draws on the lessons of 1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism, a research and exhibition project that was a joint venture of contemporary art organization and the Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, which holds a collection of 20th-century Hungarian art. Each institution runs a programme with the history of exhibitions in its focus: that of concentrates on art events in the so-called “second public sphere” (Parallel Chronologies), while the Municipal Gallery has carried out several research projects that looked at the museum’s collection history during state socialism.nt, 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 is connected 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 research projects into micro-histories, as well as their presentation. In this panel, we will not only discuss the changing perspective on studying artistic practices and their context in countries behind the Iron Curtain, but will also compare parallel tendencies of art in state socialist Hungary and Poland and look at the applicability of the methodology in question.

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