East and West at Lake Balaton
Even before the reunification of Germany, East and West Germany met regularly – for example at Lake Balaton. This Hungarian resort was a popular holiday destination for inhabitants of both German states and ensured that there were many German-German encounters between the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Péter Forgács and Gusztáv Hámos show what these meetings looked like in their cinematographic installation in the Museum for Art and Cultural History (MKK), from 8 May to 11 July 2010.
The exhibition “German Unity at Lake Balaton” is also an intermedia research project of the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (.CHB). It brings to life one of the most curious periods of German and European history. From the 1960s to the 1980s there was an “extraterritorial” meeting place on Hungarian soil, in particular around the large Lake Balaton. In countless deliberate or accidental personal encounters, East and West Germans – as one eye-witness put it – anticipated German reunification and prepared the way for the peaceful revolution.
The exhibition, initiated by the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin and created by the internationally renowned director Peter Forgács, focuses on the whole of this long, contradictory story and not only on its “happy end”: the summer of 1989 and the following months of upheaval in Europe.
The show consists of several media rooms with different themes. One of the exhibits in a cinematographic installation by Gusztáv Hámos and Péter Forgács composed of photos, filnms and eye-witness reports. Forgács is a media artist and independent film-maker from Budapest, who often incorporates amateur films into his work. His videos are part of the world’s great art collections, such as the Pompidou Centre, MoMA and the J. Paul Getty Museum. His involvement in the project makes it a multimedia show with a clear political agenda.
The Collegium Hungaricum Berlin was founded in 1924 and is financed by the Hungarian government. The exhibition was opened on 16 October 2009 in the rebuilt Dorotheenstraße Institute. Dortmund’s Museum for Art and Cultural History will offer the show more space and enable it to be extended with significant objects. Peter Forgács will again be in charge of setting up the exhibition.
There is an accompanying book to the exhibition, which is available in the Museum Shop for 19.90 €. The exhibition is part of the festival "scene: hungary in nrw".
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