Imagining Conceptual Art

Laszlo Beke's 1971 Collection in an International Context

tranzit. hu presents at tranzitdisplay in Prague. László Beke’s project Imagination, the first collection of Hungarian Conceptual Art, compiled in 1971.

László Beke—the renowned Hungarian art historian and curator of several progressive art events of the 1970s—sent out a call to 28 artists, asking them to submit sheets that would fit into A4 document folders, following the concept: WORK = the DOCUMENTATION OF THE IMAGINATION/IDEA. Beke arranged and preserved the sheets he received in folder and they could be viewed in his flat. In the last ten years, due to the renewed interest in the collection, Imagination has been featured in several exhibitions, both in Hungary and internationally, as well as being presented as a publication in itself. The English edition was initiated and edited by tranzit. hu, and co-published by JRP Ringier.

The exhibition at tranzitdisplay looks at Beke’s collection in an international context, through other projects that also happened in the year 1971, as well as through the history of exhibitions of Conceptual art. The other legendary 1971 art projects on display—similarly to t the sheets of the Hungarian artists—can be interpreted as “exhibitions in a publication format.” One of them is the book Aktuelle Kunst in Osteuropa, published at Dumont Aktuell by artist and collector Klaus Groh, presenting East European artists of the time. The other exhibition projects highlighted are At the Moment (Zagreb) and At Another Moment (Belgrade) where the curators Nena and Braco Dimitrijević, experimented with the format of the exhibition in space and time. artists.The two exhibitions showcased works by artists from Yugoslavia and international representatives of Conceptual art. The Belgrade exhibition was also accompanied by a catalog, which will also be on view.

Another aim of Imagining Conceptual Art is to survey László Beke’s international art network unfolding from the 1970s. The exhibition also gathers information about the internationality of the art world of the time centered around less object oriented and increasingly dematerialized practices, which we now call, in a broad sense, Conceptual art.

A possible map of the reception of Conceptual art with a focus on geopolitical and cultural relations, will also be created for the exhibition.The timeline of the map starts from projects of the time, such as as Beke’s collection or artist Dóra Maurer’s activity supporting the international presence of Hungarian artists, and runs until today’s projects that revisit the period of the 1960s and 1970s. This section looks primarily at the history of exhibitions, including artistic and curatorial research projects,t such as’s Parallel Chronologies- An Archive of East European Exhibitions.

The exhibition also features reflections by contemporary artists Virág Bogyó, Judit Fischer, Szilárd Miklós, among others.

Works presented in the exhibition from the Imagination collection by Gábor Attalai, Imre Bak, Miklós Erdély, István Haraszty, György Jovánovics, Ilona Keserü, Dezső Korniss, László Lakner, János Major, GyulaPauer, Géza Perneczky, Sándor Pinczehelyi, Péter Türk.
Concept by Dóra Hegyi, Zsuzsa László, Eszter Szakács
The project is realized in collaboration with László Beke.
The Czech exhibition chronology is compiled by Pavlina Morganova.
Exhibition display by Zbyněk Baladrán

© Perneczky Géza: dialectical experience, 1971