Galeria Centralis, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives / Platán Gallery (Lengyel Intézet) / Toldi Mozi

History Restaged

History Restaged brings together artists whose practices address the necessity of critical thinking, of individual and collective responsibility. Through employing strategies of re-staging, where the line between documentary and fiction collapses, the selected works employ film, literature, archival and art historical references to revisit historically significant events and unsettle our conventional notions of reality.

Venue:  1. Centrális Gallery (OSA); 2. Platán Gallery (Polish Institute)

Address: OSA (1051, Budapest, Arany János u. 32. ) Polish Institute (1061, Budapest, Andrássy út 32.)

Opening hours: EDIT

Exhibition openings:

Polish Institute- Platán Gallery:  5 p.m. 24 April

Centrális Gallery: 6 p.m. 24 April

Our principle in dramaturgy is staging and ongoing reflection, as well as transition between fictional and documentaristic narration. Bringing in various different references from art and film history, as well as archival and literary ones, a re-interpretation of historical events of the recent past is urged, questioning the often conventional or idealized notions we have of them. Integrating a variety of artistic strategies, filming procedures and artistic approaches, the exhibition connects historical narratives from the past seventy years in many ways in space and time, allowing a complex reading of a fragmented history of a period.

The exhibition displays Susanne Kriemann’s aerial photography series of 2012 (227569, 2012), invoking the 1948–1949 Berlin blockade, the first major conflict of the Cold War, as well as Zbigniew Libera’s self-portrait diptych depicting the artist as a social outcast (Freelancer, self-portrait, 2013). The majority of the artworks in the exhibit, however, consists of video installations or artworks using moving images.


For the artists, the emphasis is on the practical and technical nuances of image and film-making, mixing genres and styles, as well as references from the history of film, which are not only an inspiration for visual representation but also a critical device.

Sven Johne (Some Engels, 2013; Elmenhorst, 2006) and Meiro Koziumi (Portrait of a Young Samurai, 2009) apply the repetitive structure of casting and screen tests to examine controversial and sensitive historical questions. While Johne’s works, leaning into tragi-comedy, analyse the East German heritage and the vanishing of a state from the perspective of the present, Koizumi reflects on the genre of sentimental Japanese war films that saw a renewal in the 2000s and their straightforward nationalist propaganda.

The works of Heidrun Holzfeind (Mexico 68, 2007) and Carlos Amorales (Supprimer, Modifier et Preserver, 2012) give a prominent role to interviewing, a fundamental tool in TV reporting and documentarianism. Holzfeind’s installation confronts the archival photo documentation of the 1968 student protests in Mexico with interviews conducted with the then activist participants 40 years after the events; the focus of Amorales’ video is the critical examination of law as the independent, rational and compact system operating society.

All of the exhibiting artists consider it to be a fundamental question how to reflect authentically and critically on current political and social problems through analysing historical events of the recent or more distant past. The relationship between identity and trauma, power and the evil are in the focus of the work of the Israeli-American painter, film director and writer, Roee Rosen, who often blurs the boundary between reality and fiction in a grotesque way.

The installation is a selection from the works of the artist collective founded by the fictive poet and artist Maxim Komar-Miskin, which consists of ex-Soviet immigrant writers, film-makers.

The group’s mockumentary videos (The Buried Alive Videos, 2013) are perfectly constructed social satires, interwoven with references from art history, philosophy and politics, targeting consumer fetishism, media manipulation and political violence.

The Cairo-based Maha Maamoun has a preference for working with iconic and populist visual quotes taken from Egyptian mass culture. Her Night Visitor: the Night of Counting the Years (2011) is a montage of amateur YouTube videos documenting one of the most significant events of the Arab Spring, the siege and occupation of the headquarter of the Egyptian state security; 2026 (2010) merges two negative utopias, when inserting excerpts from Mahmud Osman’s futuristic novel, The Revolution 2053, into the iconic scenes of Chris Marker’s Le jetee.

Participating artists:

1.   OSA: Carlos Amorales (MX), Heidrun Holzfeind (A), Sven Johne (GER), Meiro Koizumi (JP), SUsanne Kriemann (GER), ZBbigniew Libera (PL), Maha Maamoun (EG), Roee Rosen (IL), Clemens von Wedemeyer (GER)

2.   Platán Gallery: Zbigniew Libera (PL), Sven Johne (GER)

Project coordinator: Flóra Gadó

Organizer Institutions: Open Society Archives (OSA), Polish Institute

Additional information:

Carlos Amorales (MX)
1970, Mexiko City, lives and works in Mexico City

Heidrun Holzfeind (A)
1972  Linz, Austria, lives and works in Vienna

Sven Johne (GER)
1976, Bergen, Germany, lives and works in Berlin

Meiro Koizumi (JP)
1976, Gunma, Japan, lives and works in Tokyo

Susanne Kriemann (GER)
1972 in Erlangen, lives and works in Berlin

Zbigniew Libera (PL),
1959 born in Pabianice, Poland, lives and works in Warsaw

Maha Maamoun (EG), lives and works in Cairo

Roee Rosen (IL),
1963 Born in Rehovot, Israel, lives and works in Tel Aviv

Clemens von Wedemeyer (GER)
1974, Göttingen, lives and works in Berlin