RESEARCH TANK: Emese Kürti

Disobedients. The Limits of Dissent in the Hungarian Experimental Art
24.11.2018, Saturday, 6 p.m.
Museum of the Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK

At the end of the fifties, the first experiments of concrete and electronic music were presented in the private spheres of Hungarian underground communities. The trends of the musical avantgarde emerged outside of the institutional framework, although the main figure and representative of the new music (composer and radiologist dr. László Végh)  acted in the grey zone of the contemporary culture and politics. „The double agent” of the neo-avantgarde – as defined by one of the initiatiors of the first Hungarian Happening – simultaneously served for the secret police and the circles of youth subculture and progressive art in Budapest. His ambiguous and double-faced position involved his defining role in the emerging actionism from the inspiration of the experimental music. This lecture will examine the interference of avant-garde music and actionism, the ethical paradoxes of different artistic generations, and not the least the layers of subversive myths in the sixties and seventies. 

Emese Kürti is an art historian, art critic and researcher, based in Budapest. Between 2009 and 2015 she worked for the Ludwig Museum in Budapest. Till september 2018 she was the head of acb ResearchLab, founded for the research and presentation of the neo-avantgarde tendencies. She holds a PhD in Film, Media and Contemporary Culture from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Her dissertation suggests a new interpretation for the emerging neo-avantgarde based on experimental music in Hungary. Her current research focuses on the experimental art of the sixties and seventies, and the poetical aspects of the actionism. Her recent publications include Screaming Hole. Poetry, Sound and Action as Intermedia Practice in the Work of Katalin Ladik (acb ResearchLab, 2017) and Glissando and Plucking Strings. Contemporary music and the neo-avantgarde in the underground spaces, 1958–1970, L’Harmattan, 2018).