Event When Art(ist) Speaks


At another time, at another place, I hope… ­ documentary audio drama

Szabolcs KissPál’s poetically titled documentary audio drama reveals a side of the world of artists that is normally hidden from the audience.

Szabolcs KissPál’s poetically titled documentary audio drama reveals a side of the world of artists that is normally hidden from the audience.The artist collected examples of requests by curators and the responses given to them to create a multi­participant dialogue. In this story, the correspondence between the artist and the curator, who represents the institution, in each case ends with a rejection. At the same time, presenting the exchange of mails in a public space raises the question of to what extent the otherwise hidden communication could be regarded as official, in other words, something that concerns the general public. The factual details of the correspondence (participants, locations for exhibitions, dates) are ‘blanked out’, making the dialogues abstract. In spite of that, through the controversial relationships between the mailing partners and between them and the institution, the current cultural political dimensions are depicted. This is further underlined by the occasional ‘background noise’ that appears behind the dialogues either introducing or linking them. Unlike in the dialogues, in the background noise, one can recognise certain notorious statements and sentences that have played a significant role in shaping the cultural political life in Hungary, mainly said by politicians; and also the audio documents of the collective, critical art performancesand actions that have recently taken place.

The choice of topic and the style of KissPál’s works are the result of a conscious decision. Thedialogues that have been made vocal inevitably evoke associations with current cultural political events and with the scenes and settings of the world of arts in Hungary. At the same time, behind this ‘peacock dance’ of the curator and the artist (inviter and invitee), this audio drama, scattered with sarcasm, outlines a more general phenomenon, namely, the contours of the structure and power relations of the world of arts. Taking all that into consideration, even when taken out of the context of here and now, the piece carries lessons to be learnt for the audience; both for those who know the ins and outs of the world of arts in Hungary and for those who are not familiar with its internal dynamics.