POST-SOVIET - The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002
July 16, 2020 - September 20, 2020

For more than a decade, photographer Lenke Szilágyi (who has also been working as a photo-archivist in the Archives for a number of years) has regularly traveled to the (former) Soviet Union, witnessing and documenting the fall of Communism and Post-Soviet realities not only in large centers like Moscow or St. Petersburg but also in the provinces (the Black Sea coast, the Volga region, Karelia etc.). Her photos are sensitive imprints of an era of constant change and a territory of eternal immutability. She depicts in her portraits the hopes and despairs of the time, while also adding her own witty commentaries in the diary entries accompanying the photos. This exhibition is the first major presentation of this collection.

Lenke Szilágyi started her career as a documentarian of the Budapest underground in the 1980s: her unique...

Faith - Trust - Secrecy - Religions through the lenses of the Secret Police
February 28, 2020 - April 5, 2020

This exhibition is about the ways in which Communist totalitarian states through secret police operations “captured” religion in images, graphics, texts and folders in order to control and eliminate those they deemed untrustworthy.

Faith and trust are two of the central foundations of religious community, but secrecy also represents a common feature of religions throughout history. The secret police, as their name suggests, depended on secrecy practices, whether real or simply performed, and as part of their undercover operations they sought to gain the trust of the communities they wished to infiltrate. Researchers of religion, both during Communism and today, also require the trust of the communities that they research, and they practice their own forms of secrecy to protect the identity of research participants...