Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Sándor Révész – István Dobi – The Forgotten Head of State
Online book launch
András Mink, the historian talks with the author.
Who was István Dobi? It is not easy to decide who this seemingly familiar head of state really was, who at the end sank into obscurity. Perhaps ‘the youngest son of the poor man’, who struggled with poverty and nominally won half of the kingdom but could not even be a real king on his throne. Perhaps the politician, who understood Hungarian land and peasants the most, who by representing cooperatives though, has worsened the situation of those living from the land. Perhaps the puppet of Rákosi and Kádár, who struggled with alcoholism, and who clearly saw many signs of the system’s inability to function, yet his role consisted of handling the negligible cases eagerly. Perhaps one of our most popular head of state, since before ‘Uncle Árpi’, he was ‘Uncle Pista’ for the rural peasantry, and was even called ‘My Beloved Leader’ at times.
Behind the scenes of his life – his ascension and his quiet downfall –are all the peculiarities, compulsories, and compromises of the system. All such contradictions, the understanding of which brings the reader closer to the understanding of the history of Hungary.
Sándor Révész is a Pulitzer Memorial Prize-winning journalist and historian. Editor of Beszélő, then Népszabadság, currently a colleague of HVG, and the columnist of Mozgó Világ. Thousands of his articles and studies have been published in various Hungarian newspapers, as well as in newspapers in Esperanto.
From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919
Blinken OSA, Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Hungarian Calvary – Hungarian Resurrection is the title Oszkár Jászi, the Hungarian civic radical politician chose for his book on the history of the Aster Revolution and the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Jászi spent most of his life after 1919 as a political emigré; his book was published in Vienna in 1920. He concluded that for Hungarians, the Bolshevik attempt—which had “run amok,” as he put it—had for years to come discredited all democratic, liberal political ideas, movements, and any hope of a freer and more just society in Hungary.
Curated by András Mink
Co-curator: Mihály Dobrovits
Design by Virág Bogyó
From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary 1918–1919
Blinken OSA – Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Online Opening Event
October 15, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
opening remarks by
curator of the exhibition
opening remarks by
CSUNDERLIK Péter, historian
The event closes with two rarely seen/heard contemporary pieces.
Since the launch of Budapest 100, a successful Budapest based urban festival, the Goldberger House, where Blinken OSA operates, has opened its gates to visitors. This year too, Blinken OSA participates in the program. The Goldberger House and the festival are strongly linked: the idea of Budapest 100, i.e. to celebrate 100-year-old buildings in Budapest, came up when the Goldberger House was 100 years old.
The first Budapest 100 festival in 2011 was organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre and Blinken OSA Archives with smashing success. Since then this fantastic urban and civil festival has grown and has helped genuine urban communities to take shape. This year the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and the Goldberger House will open its gates to visitors again.
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 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.
July 6, 1999. The young exhibition space of the Archives, the Galeria Centralis welcomed the media and visitors to a mysterious event. The minimalist invitation previously sent out stirred up the imagination of the public that began to speculate whether what the Archives had come up with this time.
“Through the coincidental coming together of historic events, those listening to the arguments in the legal protest in Parliament passed a slip of paper from hand to hand with news of János Kádár’s death.” MTV 1. News. July 6, 1989.
On July 6, 1999, at 9:16 a.m., the occasion of the tenth anniversary of a historic coincidence, Centralis Galeria would like to invite you to a recollection of the chance event (Nádor u. 11., Budapest).
The event lived up to the expectations of the invitees, as those present could be part of a historical reconstruction of the “coincidence” of the death of János Kádár, a significant political figure of the 20th century, and a court decision serving historical justice.
For further details, see our virtual exhibition recalling the event.
Blinken OSA – Night of the Museums, June 27, 2020 – Online
This unprecedented Night of the Museums will be online, Blinken OSA offers a rich variety of cultural and artistic programs. There will be an interesting report about Hungarian museums, archives, and libraries titled The Laborers of Culture. Data on the Situation of Public Collections. It will be available online all through the night. What follows will be an interesting house tour by Iván Székely around the Goldberger House. After the tour, our colleague Örs Lehel Tari will give an interesting presentation on 1989 regime change.
One of the highlights of the program will be the online discussion between art historian József Mélyi and editor-reporter Júlia Ránki. The special edition of this conversation will focus, among other things, on the Night of the Museums, on the museum development project Liget, on new decrees and laws, and, above all, on COVID-19 and the museums. The discussion will be followed by an online public lecture by András Mink, historian, titled Where Did the Democratic Opposition Disappear?. There are no Nighs of the Museums without exhibition at Blinken OSA, so this year the exhibition titled POST-SOVIET – The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002 Virtual exhibition will be opened by Endre Kukorelly.
The exhibition opening will be followed by a film screening, and the online mode will give the chance to "repeat" some program elements for those who cannot speak Hungarian.