artists & participants
The Balázs Béla Studio (BBS) – an utterly unique formation, not only in Eastern Europe but also beyond it - started first as a film club in 1959 and was refounded in 1961 as a film studio that worked both inside and outside the structure of Socialist state filmproduction. In nearly five decades it (co-)produced more than 500 films in all genres from short features and lyrical documentary films, through long documentaries, major feature films, experimental films and video, to animations and documentations.
Several representatives of Hungarian cinema started their career at the BBS, among them Istvan Szabo, Sandor Sara, Judit Elek, Zoltan Huszarik, Bela Tarr, Janos Xantus and Ildiko Enyedi and Gabor Body.
As its most decisive change, at the end of the 1960s the Studio opened its doors to "outsiders" from various fields. These artists, musicians, theatre professionals, writers and sociologists, not only contributed to a different view on documentarism – highlighted by the Series on Education I-V. (dir: Istvan Darday-Gyorgy-Laszlo Mihalyfy-Gyorgyi Szalai-Laszlo Vitezy-Pal Wilt) or The Resolution (dir: Judit Ember, Gyula Gazdag) – but turned BBS into a center of experimentalism with many of the influential representatives of the Neoavantgarde scene, including Akos Birkas, Miklos Erdely, Tibor Hajas, Agnes Hay, Dora Maurer, Tamas Szentjoby, Zoltan Jeney, Laszlo Vidovszky, and Laszlo Najmanyi.
The exhibition The history of the Balázs Béla Studio naturally offers a chronological approach; therefore, the layout of the exhibition is partly determined by a temporally based periodization. The formulation of the different installation spaces and groupings of films, along with the supplementary material, are built around such concepts as archiving, community, creativity, or censorship. Considering various projects from the last decade which studied the social history and art of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Other Voices, Other Rooms montages events, protagonists, places and scenes, showcasing episodes primarily through select archive material, photographs, and texts both in relation to the context of BBS, the Hungarian Neoavantgarde scene, and the exhibition history of the Kunsthalle Budapest. The show proposes one possible constellation out of the numerous approaches that may help in positioning the Studio's legacy within a broader cultural horizon.
With selected film programs and documentations, the exhibition presents works by Miklos Erdely, Janos Major, Gusztav Sikuta, as well as photographs by Gabor Dobos, Zoltan Gazsi, Istvan Gaal, Karoly Gink, Karoly Kelemen, Andras Koncz, Lorant Mehes, Lenke Szilagyi, Sandor Sara, Tamas Fener, Janos Veto, a new commission entitled Push-button Period Map by Sandor N. Bodo, two new photographic series by Gabriella Csoszo, and a "Trailer Wall" edited by Zsolt Keserue.
Screenings, BBS Nights and collateral events One of the exhibition halls is converted into a cinema and lecture room, with screenings in 16 / 35mm representing the entire history of the Studio.
On Thursdays, screenings are combined with talks and panel discussions with invited guest speakers to reveal a more detailed view of the Studio's operation and its local and international contexts.
The exhibition also accommodates a space with changing programs, presenting artists and invited guests. In addition, the BBS Archive, which is usually researchable in the Kunsthalle's library, will be moved into – and thus create part of – the exhibition, offering eight stations for watching films and searching the database.
Edited by film historian and critic Gabor Gelencser, a comprehensive reader featuring 22 essays entitled BBS 50. Essays for the 50th Anniversary of Balázs Béla Studio is published in parallel with the exhibition.
The first of the BBS DVD series Agitators (dir: Dezso Magyar) is available for purchase.
Curator: Livia Paldi Exhibition design: Andrea Bak Screenings and collateral events curated by: Sebestyen Kodolanyi Co-organizers: Béla Balázs Studio Foundation, Hungarian National Film Archive
Other Voices, Other Rooms - Attempt(S) at Reconstruction
50 years of Balazs Bela Studio
Kuratoren: Livia Paldi, Sebestyen Kodolanyi
Künstler: Miklos Erdely, Janos Major, Gusztav Sikuta, as well as photographs by Gabor Dobos, Zoltan Gazsi, Istvan Gaal, Karoly Gink, Karoly Kelemen, Andras Koncz, Lorant Mehes, Lenke Szilagyi, Sandor Sara, Tamas Fener, Janos Veto, Sandor N. Bodo, Gabriella Csoszo, Zsolt Keserue ...