academia (an exploratory journey)
Regime Changes 2019/2020 is a series of events organized by tranzit.hu, which – in the form of lectures, exhibitions, research presentations, thematic issues of journals – examines the real and symbolic changes that have arisen from political turns in the twentieth century to the present. How do standpoints and narratives survive underneath the surface to re-emerge in a new context and to be re-interpreted as the dominant discourse under another political regime? Case studies commissioned or adapted for the series present the shifting, ideologically charged, and often contradictory interpretations of political, social, and cultural events of the past hundred years.
The project academia (an exploratory journey) is conceived as a subjective documentation of the scientific collections of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in the form of images, videos, sound recordings and texts. They were created between the end of 2016 and the end of 2019 by Éva Bicskei, the curator-in-chief of the Art Collection of the HAS, when visiting 46 research institutes of the HAS in order to draw up an inventory of their artefacts. During this series of trips, she gained comprehensive insight into the various scientific collections, as well. At first, she recorded them incidentally which turned later into a systematic effort of documentation. Bicskei began to research the history of these collections and to interview the scientific staff and researchers.
These documentation trips took place at a time of an intense public debate concerning the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (its research network, its competitiveness) and academic research in Hungary in general. Finally, in September 2019, the research institutes were detached from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, despite protests, and transferred to a new, state-owned institution called Eötvös Loránd Research Network (Eötvös Loránd Kutató Hálózat, ELKH). The project is thus part of the wider public debate about scientific research that had gathered momentum recently; at the same time, it is also a personal coping with the radical changes of the recent period.
Concept, image, video and text: Éva Bicskei, Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Művészettörténeti Intézet, ELKH – Art Collection of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Curator: Dóra Hegyi, tranzit.hu
Installation: Tamás Kaszás
Graphic Design: Virág Bogyó
Kiscell Museum (an exploratory journey)
In parallel the exhibition Excursus. Kiscell Museum (an exploratory journey) presents newly commissioned documentary photographs unveiling the long-lasting problem of storage facilities at two of the major collections of the Kiscell Museum, functioning as part of the Budapest History Museum, comprising two separate collections: The Department of Modern Urban History, which holds artefacts relating to the city’s history, and the Municipal Gallery, an art collection.
The present, crammed condition of the magazines is the result of a long process; the stored material, and even the storage systems themselves, reflect the work of several generations of museologists and document major turning points in the history of the museum. Whilst our way of thinking about museums has changed significantly over the past decades, and considerable modernization have taken place in the presentation and mediation of the collections, their condition and the storage facilities have not improved – in fact some have deteriorated dramatically.
Concept: Roland Perényi, Enikő Róka
Texts: Anikó B. Nagy, Viktória Oth, Roland Perényi, Enikő Róka
Photographs: Csaba Villányi, Zalán Péter Salát
In collaboration with the Budapest History Museum / Museum Kiscell-Municipal Gallery.
Venue: Budapest History Museum, Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery, Oratory, 1037 Budapest, Kiscelli u. 108.
Cover picture: academia (an exploratory journey), an exhibition by Éva Bicskei in the Oratory of the Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery and tranzit.hu. Photo: Zsuzsanna Simon