Exhibition


a Kis Varsó műteremlakása

Red Tail and Blue Pencil – Case Studies of Censorship, with Some Contemporary Reflections

​If you don’t know what the red tail or the blue pencil symbols in the title refer to, it is time you immerse yourself in the world of artworks banned during the 1960s and 1970s in Hungary due to cultural-political considerations.

If you don’t know what the red tail or the blue pencil symbols in the title refer to, it is time you immerse yourself in the world of artworks banned during the 1960s and 1970s in Hungary due to cultural-political considerations. By examining concrete cases of censorship through contemporaneous, obscure archival documents, the exhibition provides insight into the history of a progressive artistic group, the Studio of Young Artists’ Association (SYAA), which has remained active to the present day. Furthermore, it provides a kaleidoscope-like cross section of works by artists who were regarded as dangerous. Reading the “blue-penciled” jury report books of the annual Studio exhibitions, one has many Aha! moments, not least of all because more than once the general public comes across works of art that a few decades ago were censored, but today are found in public art institutions. Symptomatically, the exhibition has been organized outside of the OFFicial institutional network, more specifically in an apartment, lest the ominous practice of banning exhibitions perchance reawaken.        

Alongside the documents selected and presented in an installation format, contemporary reflections will summon the mechanisms of the censorship of the now bygone era. Two of the three artist pairs invited to participate conjure specific events from the history of the Studio: one of them uses an intercultural meditative exercise to elaborate on the griefs experienced by artists in connection with the 1967 exhibition. The other evokes the censorial gesture with respect to the 1978 exhibition in a remake format. The third artist pair examines the institution of censorship on a more general level through the power practices of the 1970s.