As we arrived in Budapest (Simon, Vlado, Petra, Nataša, and I) and after the first contact with local artists, students, gallerists, we got a grasp of the big picture about the current political situation in Hungary. It happened that on the first day of our touring residence Hungary (president Orban) was hosting Turkey’s president Erdogan, so the whole city center was swarmed by police, while certain parts remained inaccessible to the general public, meaning that they were closed or locked down. By means of national laws, namely, the Hungarian government is shutting down most independent NGOs (financed from sources outside of Hungary); subcultures are nearly gone in Hungary, as well as politically committed art interventions and other artistic practices. Around halfway through our residence, the Hungarian government passed a new law, which states that homeless persons (there are many in Budapest) are not allowed to occupy public spaces in the city center.
Based on that situation we decided as a group to try and produce artworks concerned with the topic at hand, the current political situation in Hungary. We managed to collaboratively perform and produce two projects, the first one being a performative work of art and the second a public intervention. Apart from these two, there were several individual projects implemented as well, not all of them were connected to the current political situation in Hungary, so our work was quite versatile.
The performative project, entitled “25%”, was implemented at the opening of Art Fair Budapest. We arrived, equipped with our sale stickers advertising “Sale 25%”. The performance was actually not accepted as we anticipated, rather the contrary: at the fair, there were a lot of foreigners and tourists who were not familiar with the situation in Hungary.
The second project, entitled “Homeless go home home less go home let’s go homE”, was initially designed as a site-specific intervention. The site we were going to use for the intervention was an abandoned old house with the inscription “Acropolis” in downtown Budapest, but unfortunately, we could not enter because the doors were locked: the only way would be to break in, which we did not want to do. Instead, we searched for a new location and modified the project visually and contextually.