An international contemporary art event, OFF-Biennale Budapest is the largest civil, independent arts initiative in Hungary. Organized on a grassroots basis, OFF-Biennale is based on self-organization and a voluntary collaboration of artists, groups of artists, curators, gallerists, and collectors, among others.


The city of joy

September 29 – November 5, 2017

Today's program highlights

24.10- 07.11
Copy Of 2 Eszter Sipos The Humble Pie S

Be Impossible, Demand the Real

The path of a bullet rushing back from its point of impact to its creation; in parallel, with the tools of visual art, the hidden story of a one-time socialist munitions plant becomes visible. Building on archival research and featuring a connected installation, this film places the forgotten story of the periphery back into the global narrative of the military industrial complex.
19.10- 24.10
Gaudiopolis workshop

Mathemorphosis I. - Common Knowledge

Become a PI in Mathematics - workshop for junior high and high school students. We will also prepare geometric sandwiches and write punk-lyrics. In Hungarian.
18.10- 04.11
Gaudiopolis workshop Related Event
J T Kokn Pe Maszkok2

People Players – “Adventures, Creativity – play along!”

Similar to tribal rites and lifestyles, but also drawing on modern technologies, we will create images, masks and music instruments, which we will also play with: • Without paintbrushes, we will create imprints with our hands in a form of a common cave-painting • With the help of a special mask, everyone can turn into anyone they wish • We will fabricate instruments and we will play them, furthermore, we will also amplify them so that others might also hear how they sound Finally we will make a parade with mask and instruments, and we hope that we will also use these once you are home.
13.10- 31.10
Leggya R Tenyessz Nyulat3 Szabadosluca

Air Factory – Reclaim the Air!

Something's in the air. The atmosphere is getting worse, filled with transparent lies. We can't wait any longer! It’s time for a climate change! In October 2017 an international art-conspiracy will be revealed and its dirty linen aired in public. A group of people have conspired to build a refreshingly industrial Air Factory in an empty office space on Üllői street. The factory produces air to efficiently influence the atmosphere.
13.10- 31.10
Exhibition Hide and Seek

Run Free

In the form of a several-day workshop, Piotr Wysocki and Dominik Jałowiński organized a meeting between two groups in permanent conflict: traceurs (practitioners of parkour) and the police opposing them. In Radom, Poland, at the location of the brutally quelled 1976 workers’ protest, the two groups joined their talents to achieve a common goal, the creation of a choreography to which both parties contributed with what they were best at. During the collaboration, disagreements once considered fundamental were now questioned, everyday routines were put aside.
10.10- 03.11
Hide and Seek Exhibition

From Fake Mountains to Faith (Hungarian Trilogy)

Szabolcs KissPál’s installation examines the nature of political ideologies. As a case study, it aims to reveal the historical antecedents to which the current Hungarian state traces back its concept of the nation, and how it enforces this in society. The artist leads the viewer along three narrative threads from the irredentist movements of the mid-war period to the current state religion and its allusions to blood and motherland, which is also laden with pagan overtones. The work was produced with the help of the grant of Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst and Stiftung Niedersachsen in 2016.
09.10- 29.10
Gaudiopolis workshop

Guided tour for students - Somewhere in Europe, Gaudiopolis

Gaudiopolis or the City of Joy was a children’s republic founded by Lutheran pastor Gábor Sztehlo in Budapest after WWII. Gaudiopolis was the home of several hundreds of severely traumatized orphaned and homeless children. The City of Joy not only gave them shelter but also the opportunity „to remove social barriers and become autonomous, self-confident adults, who strive for self-awareness and are capable of self-criticism, are skilled and educated”. Between 1945 and 1949, the period of highs hopes and grave disillusionment, it seemed possible to create a new, free and democratic world. The exhibition presents the history of Gaudiopolis and other similar projects launched by enthusiastic, courageous and persevering individuals and groups who believed in a better and more just society, and who wanted to renew the political and cultural life in the country, reform education and build a new country – somewhere in Europe.
06.10- 05.11
Exhibition OFF-Budapest
Arkt Mu Ve Szeti Ella To Eger

ALTERNATIVES. A cultural-community experiment

How can a creative group in today’s world find a place for refreshing architectural and artistic pastime in a small Hungarian town of Eger’s scale, characterized by general (and also cultural) emigration?
 Only if they create a suitable environment for themselves. The exhibition examines those artists both young and old who have local roots (relationships) and have had a significant impact on cultural life. This includes both those artists who emigrated from Hungary and those who remained, as well as the role they played in improving the community and Hungarian society.
05.10- 31.10
Teleportgal Ria Nekem Trianon Logo

For me, Trianon...

The recent project of the Teleport Gallery investigates the impact of the Trianon Treaty on the young and mid-generation artists of the region. Does Trianon mean anything for the artist of the neighbouring countries, and if yes, to what extent is it visible in their ouevre? An incidental set of objects – a collection, which is intentionally not composed of artworks, draws a mental map, where the reflections of the artists could be influenced either by their minority or majority point of view, by their generational affiliations or their political opinion.
05.10- 09.11
Elore Menekulni N P Szabads G Fot Csosz Gabriella Freedoc 2016 10 08

Escape to the Future

5 opportunities for open, advice-seeking, live-screened interviews and visits: Questioner: FreeDoc / Gabriella Csoszó Living Archive / Ethical Questions / Anti-establishment Pedagogy I’ve reached my limits and my mission to help through my images, FreeDoc, has reached a turning point. We are already beyond strengthening the work and visibility of other national movements of democracy and transparency: searching for a new form, I turn to you for advice. Fleeing forward
03.10- 29.10
Hide and Seek Exhibition
Pan Chrzan

Society of Rascals (Towarzystwo Szubrawców)

The artists collective Slavs and Tatars presents an installation in the form of a pickle-juice bar, referring to the centuries-old kitchen tradition of pickling to ferment or turn sour the romantic conception of fatherland and power. The main characters of Pickle Politics, a cycle part of the project, are pickles, objects of national identity and pride in Eastern European countries. Pieces of the project introduce paternalist, nationalist visions from these countries with a sour, austere sense of humor, and advertise pickle juice, a well-known folk remedy as the sour, sobering cure for the delirium of power.
02.10- 05.11
Munka Vs Iskola Img 3086 Resize

Work vs Study

Work vs. Study is an exhibition in which the Intermedia students of the Budapest Fine Arts University summarized the results of the Work vs. Study program led by Prof. János Sugár. The program started in 2015 with an aim to analyze the actual dilemmas of being an art student in Hungary. The earlier phases of this program were exhibited at the previous end-of-semester shows, and now, during the OFF biennial it will be combined for one exhibition.
02.10- 31.10
Idegen A Of Szasz Lilla 3 Jpg

Stranger in the Middle of Nowhere

A foreign tourist is murdered in a small Hungarian town. The news shocks the public. The exhibition does not only focus on the stories of the victim and the murderers, but also on the small town itself and its citizens. Can it really be just a case of bad luck that such a horrible event can happen? Who bears responsibility? The murderers? The victim? Or society itself?
02.10- 05.11
03 Roza El Hassanphoto M Hkaclinckx High Res


Finding its roots in the ancient architecture of the Middle East (earthen dome, earthen architecture), the building stands in the intersection of several themes defining our times; eco-architecture, the relationship between cultural traditions and the present, or migration and housing, to highlight a few. The adobe dome, a symbolic location for creating a home, is interwoven with the artist’s childhood memories and with possible solutions to present-day crises.
02.10- 31.10
Gaudiopolis workshop
Idegen A Of Szasz Lilla 3 Jpg

Once upon a time?

A foreign tourist is murdered in a small Hungarian town. The news shocks the public. The project of photographer Lilla Szász and writer Judit Hidas investigates this case with the help of photos and documents. During the workshop we try to answer questions like: Who can be considered as a "stranger"? The program is in Hungarian.
01.10- 05.11
Hide and Seek Exhibition
Lw Rebels


At the time of the political changes of 1989–90, revolutionary events took place in the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. The students began a series of demonstrations to protest against the academic teaching ethos and socialist state structure of the institution. The students’ initiatives have served as a model for the greater changes in the political system of the country. In the framework of the project Rebels, artist duo Little Warsaw presents this research in the form of a photo-comic book and a new installation.
01.10- 28.10
Exhibition Hide and Seek
Ember Sari Turma X

The Taste of Distance

A group within the Hungarian community living in São Paulo call themselves Turma (i.e., ‘group’ in Portuguese). They typically enact their Hungarian identity through performances (of dance, stage plays, playlets, choral speaking, and informative lectures): they perform their Hungarianness, as it were, both on and beyond the stage. Having followed the life of the colony for a long time as a friend as well as a documenter, Sári Ember now presents a video installation about this insulated community living out moments otherwise frozen in time.
30.09- 05.11
Exhibition Hide and Seek
Grof Homunculus

X̣, a solo exhibition by Ferenc Gróf explores the connections between the human body and the written form of characters and texts. On the title page of Thomas More’s Utopia, first published five hundred years ago [first appearing in 1516 - PB], beside a map of an imaginary country a utopian alphabet can also be seen. New world, new people, new writing system. What does the hierographic origin of modern fonts say about them? The mise-en-scène of early modern anatomical theatre underlie the display of works but here instead of people, typefaces lie on the dissecting-table as accents and punctuation in a text of a utopia that has to be reconsidered.
30.09- 29.10
Pedagogiai Partizaakcio

Pedagogical Partisan Action(s)

During OFF-Biennale, the gallery space will function as a sort of hub for ideas concerning the role of art in education. Beyond the central presentation of two historic experiments of alternative pedagogy, a carefully selected pedagogical and children’s library will offer parallels and possible contexts for the films, interviews and archive material also shown in the space, as well as linking to other projects inspired by the pedagogy of the biennale on multiple levels.
29.09- 29.10

Somewhere in Europe

Gaudiopolis was one of the many smaller communities in Hungary that set out to build a better world on the ruins of the previous one. The exhibition will present the history of Gaudiopolis along with similar initiatives that most often were born out of the courage, perseverance and enthusiasm of private individuals (or smaller groups) who were driven by their beliefs in a just and equal society. The research and exhibition project includes both archival materials and works of contemporary art reflecting on the ideas and realities of a Children’s Republic, but will also explore the period of the 2nd Republic of Hungary.
29.09- 05.11
Hide and Seek Exhibition
Billing 01 Jpg

People Players

By game, as grownups, we mean looking for the possibility of alternative realities. We play because our intentions are dismissed by reality, and we play because this is something we refuse to accept. A game bolsters new skills and offers new perspectives, therefore—just as any form of learning—it does transform reality, in the end. The exhibition People Players revolves around the joy a game conveys, and playing, the soberness of discovery. A player is liberated and contemplative; they are inside and outside at once, they play and they see themselves playing.
29.09- 27.10
17v 1

City Theater

Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest. Socialism regulated life, as well as mobility and existence in the public space. Through the positions of artists from the region, the exhibition introduces examples of the directions and the possibilities of neo-avant-garde public art. Documentations of urban interventions, performances, and spontaneous social and artistic events are put on display in venues within walking distance of each other; the exhibition also includes action photos and urban minimal actions that were more modest, nearly invisible, owing to political austerity.
29.09- 05.11
Hide and Seek Exhibition

A Sense of Warmth

The narrator in Sven Johne’s movingly beautiful film works on a secluded island, which is a stopover site for migratory birds on their route from Scandinavia to North Africa. The idyllic environment and the community of scientists there, engaged in noble research, seem to offer an ideal escape for the burnt-out protagonist, who has become jaded because of the paradoxes and abuses of the modern world. However, the island gradually loses its original innocence and becomes increasingly similar to the world that she sought to escape.
29.09- 05.11
Gaudiopolis workshop
Screen Shot 2017 09 11 At 13 49 56


We offer a wide range of art pedagogical programs so that every visitor can find a framework in which first-hand experience can be gained regarding how contemporary art contributes to a democratic society. Fundamental to the programs is the agency of the participator – rather a partner in or an equal to the artist in the work-process – as well as the notion of playing.
28.09- 24.10
Vakacio Hodi 3


Actions within Hungarian cultural politics in recent years have not only made the situation of newcomers to art more difficult, but have also forced them into a position of reaction. This constant struggle is exhausting, difficult work in which personal skills and creative energies are subordinated by the power against which we define ourselves. This exhibition emphasizes the role of self-awareness, the joyfulness of art, playfulness, solidarity and free-thinking in the resistance to socio-political problems.
28.09- 27.10
 2 Het Mutargya Sajohoz

The Artwork of the (2nd) Week, OFF-Biennale edition

The Artwork of the Week was a series of discussions organized previously by the Little Warsaw collective. The Artwork of the (2nd) Week is this project’s continuation, incorporating the fresh approaches and perspectives of a new generation. Workshop and exhibition discussions will provide insight into the backgrounds of OFF’s participating projects, as well as space for dialogue between the creators and audiences.
27.09- 28.10
Forecasting Nicoline Van Harskamp Your S In Solidarity 2012 Production Still From The Gathering

Forecasting a Broken Past

How should we build better communities for the future? The political vocabularies of past times have emptied out, their meanings changed, and their ability to help in this mission has been exhausted. The notions of Communism, community, civil society, participation, sustainability and the “better future” have been successively desecrated, becoming so corrupted that now they are nearly useless. How would we be able to proceed from here?