HMKV VIDEO OF THE MONTH

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© Csilla Könczei

Csilla Könczei: An Abstract Knowledge (Egy elvont ismeret)

Dortmunder U | 3rd Floor
10/2019

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents current video works by international artists for the duration of one month each. In October, we are presenting the video "An Abstract Knowledge (Egy elvont ismeret)" by Csilla Könczei – selected by Inke Arns.

Csilla Könczei
An Abstract Knowledge (Egy elvont ismeret)
Video, Super VHS, edited on Betacam SP (digitized), color, mono, 1993, 11:04 min.

Tibor Schneider (camera, editing), Thomas Stanko (music), József Bíró (actor), Géza Szőcs, Gyimesi Éva, Marius Tabacu, Enikő Koós (interviewees)
Courtesy: Csilla Könczei

In 1993, the artist Csilla Könczei interviewed various people who provided information about their experiences with surveillance by the Romanian secret service, Securitate. After the fall of communism, they wonder how they can live together with this unknown hostile third party who watched them and took notes on their lives. "We always referred to them as 'comrades' and they had no face." They also had no bodies, people whispered...and wrote instead of speaking. The first interview partner in the video is the Hungarian poet and writer Géza Szőcs, who was arrested multiple times by the Securitate. In 2012, it was revealed that his own father was a Securitate agent. Szőcs himself was the Hungarian State Secretary for Culture in Viktor Orbán's second government from 2010–2012. In 2016, after the government-initiated suppression of the major left-liberal daily newspaper Népszabadság, Szőcs protested against the closing of the online archive of this newspaper in particular and distanced himself from Orbán's politics. He refers to interaction with the Securitate as a "performance test series"—a series again gaining in significance today. (IA)

This video is a preview of the major exhibition Artists & Agents - Performance Art and Secret Services, which will be on view at HMKV from 26 October 2019. Csilla Könczei is one of the participating artists.

Csilla Könczei, b. 1963 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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