• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Miklós Erdély

The confrontation and montage of differing theories and mediums characterizes Miklós Erdély’s entire oeuvre. As a young architect in the early nineteen-sixties, he began creating scientifically inspired poetic texts and montage films; later on, he came into contact with the Hungarian neo-avant-garde and Fluxus movements. During the second half of the sixties, he began staging his essentially theoretical and pseudo-scientific texts as performances and “actions” (such as “Three Quarks to King Marke,” 1968). Parallel to this, he produced pop art objects, photo montages, and—later on—arte povera-like environments with deep philosophical connotations. In these environments (e.g. “In Memory of the Council of Chalcedon,” 1980), he took everyday materials (plate glass, bitumen, tarpaper, matzo, lead) and reinterpreted them in light of various scientific, philosophical, psychological, political and mystical connotations. The seventies, then, saw him develop a specific theory of art that combined avant-garde montage theory with modern scientific theories and paradoxes from the fields of topology, set theory, quantum physics, relativity theory and quark theory.

Erdély’s work is decidedly non-object-centered, but it was also not a matter of the “simple” illustration of his own theory, as he considered the process of creation to be the essence of art. Based on this approach, he established a significant alternative art-pedagogical practice in Budapest. It was from this practice and his course (“Creativity Exercises,” 1975–1977) that the activity of the so-called InDiGo group developed, and even just this group’s name represented the melding of theoretical and practical innovation, such as interdisciplinary thinking and the exploration of new mediums such as indigo paper. Parallel to this activity, Erdély dealt intensively with filmmaking, in which he engaged with the language of film while also reflecting on such important issues as totalitarianism (“Spring Execution,” 1984) and racism (“Version,” 1979). During the eighties, alongside creating large scale installations (“Military Secret,” 1984), Erdély also “discovered” and reinterpreted the medium of painting which, unlike the postmodern zeitgeist, served to “illustrate” his art and theory as a kind of visual aid. His earlier graphic art (indigo drawings) and paintings had likewise been attempts to subvert the common sense and “naïve realism” (to quote Max Born) of everyday thinking.


1928–1986, Budapest / HU

MIklós Erdély studied Sculpture with Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest (Hungary) from 1946 to 1947 and took at the same time private Sculpture lessons with Dezső Bokros Birman. In 1951 he received a degree in Architecture from the Technical University in Budapest. Erdély started working as a site architect, and then worked from 1958 on as an architectural engineer in several planning firms. In the 1950s, along with his father, Erdély developed a new architectural (masonry) technique of photo-mosaic, which was patented in the 1960s. Even though he was rejected when he applied for admission to the Academy of Dramatic and Cinematic Art in 1960 and 1963, he did not abandon his ideas concerning filmmaking and wrote numerous screenplays and sound-montages. In 1964/65 Erdély worked as editor at the Hungarian Television. He was awarded the “Kassák-prize of the Atelier Hongrois” in Paris (France) in 1973. In 1978 Erdély established the INDIGO Group (abbreviation for Inter-Disciplinary-Thinking in Hungarian), the name referring to Erdély’s “discovery”: drawings realized with the aid of indigo-paper (copy-paper).

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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