How to Historize the Neo-Avant-Gardes in Central East Europe?

The Department of Theory and History of Art cordially invites you to the discussion accompanied by a book launch “1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism” in frame of the project “Contemporary Thinking on Exhibitions and Curating” with Dóra Hegyi, Zsuzsa László, Enikő Róka, Lucia Gregorová Stach, Mira Keratová, Ján Kralovič, and Daniel Grúň


  • in room 220 (2nd floor), Hviezdoslavovo nám. 18



  • on Thursday April 27, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.



“1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism”, was a research and exhibition project, a joint venture of the contemporary art organization, and the Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, which holds a collection of 20th-century Hungarian art. Taking the year 1971 as a starting point, the exhibition presented two micro-histories, two contemporaneous bodies of artworks. One was composed of works by artists who adapted to the demands of socialist realism in the 1950s, and were able to modernize their art  following the thaw of cultural policy after 1956. The other is related to the generation of neo-avant-garde artists and to the emergence of conceptualism in the parallel culture. “1971 – Parallel Nonsynchronism” showed the complexity of a historical period in which the state-supported art system and the “tolerated,” self-organized art scene existed in parallel but were also linked to each other. The exhibition and its catalog presented the complex, non-linear relationship between these two generations, the simultaneously existing yet antithetical concepts of art, and connected the two micro-histories by reconstructing the changing cultural policies, institutional system, diplomatic endeavours, critical and art historical discourses, as well as the exhibition and collection histories of the era. This exhibition concept as well as the catalog also published in English can serve as a model for examining the transnational adaptability of specific historiographic methodologies for other research and exhibition projects on the socialist art scenes during the Cold War era. With the participants of the book launch we wish to discuss the changing perspectives on studying artistic practices of the former East, and compare parallel tendencies and the different cultural-political and institutional determining factors of art in state socialist Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Dóra Hegyi is an art historian, curator and critic based in Budapest. Between 1996 and 2005 she worked as a curator at the Ludwig Museum Budapest. Since 2005, she has been director of tranzit. hu (, member of the transnational network based in Eastern Europe, She is initiator, curator, and editor of exhibitions, educational, research and publication projects that consider art as a field of critical debate that can mediate between different fields and disciplines and function as catalyst for change. Recent projects include as co-curator and co-editor Parallel Chronologies: Collection of Exhibitions in Eastern Europe online archive (since 2009); Creativity Exercises: Emancipatory Pedagogies in Art and Beyond (2014-19); War of Memories (2015); Mezosfera online magazine (since 2016); Imagining Conceptual Art (2017); 1971: Parallel Nonsynchronism (2018-19), Space of Opportunities (2019-). She is member of AICA Hungary.

Zsuzsa László is a researcher and curator at Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI), Budapest. She is a member of the editorial team of ARTMargins Online, tranzit/hu’s board, and the Hungarian section of AICA. Her forthcoming dissertation discusses the emergence and critique of the concept of East European Art. Recent projects and publications she has co-curated, co-authored, and co-edited explore transnational exhibition histories, artist archives, progressive pedagogies, cultural transfers, and decentralized understanding of conceptualism and neo-avant-gardes in Cold War Eastern Europe, including Resonances: Regional and Transregional Cultural Transfer in the Art of the 1970s (2021‒2023), What Will Be Already Exists: Temporalities of Cold War Archives in East-Central Europe and Beyond (2021), 1971: Parallel Nonsynchronism (2018/22), Creativity Exercises (2014/15/16/2020), Sitting Together (2016), and Parallel Chronologies (2009–23).

Enikő Róka is an art historian, museologist and researcher based in Budapest. She worked for the Hungarian National Gallery between 1996 and 2014 where she was the Head of the Collection of Prints and Drawings (2000–2009), and Head of Research (2010–2014). Since 2014 she is the Head of the Kiscell Museum–Municipal Gallery. She wrote her dissertation about the history of a fin de siècle art collection. Specialist of 19th and 20th century art and architecture, she published several essays about the relation between art and ideology, propaganda, and nationalism in art. She curated many exhibitions, as XIX. Art and Nation: Image and Self-Image (Hungarian National Gallery, 2010), 1971: Parallel Nonsynchronism (Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, 2018). Her curatorial approach and practice are based on the theory of critical museology dealing with the history of the museum's collections and the process of institutionalization of the artworks. She is a member of the ICOM-Hungary committee, author of articles about contemporary museology.



The lecture is carried out within the project of the grant agency KEGA: 001VŠVU-4/2022 "Contemporary thinking about exhibitions and curation"