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Beata Hock (Budapest), Visionaries, activists and realities: buildings disappearing and appearing in Budapest

My point of departure when considering public space-related art practices in Budapest is that social responsibility and criticism solicited by many such projects can only be presumed in environments where the citizens have rights to claim, or where voluntary public appearance is a self-evident act – concepts and attitudes that are not unambiguously present in a post-totalitarian context. My inquiry is directed to how the emerging interest in public art, art as activism and activism itself develops in post-socialist Hungary, wishing to explore the potentials of both activist initiatives and politically oriented art projects in an environment where inhabitants do not fully exercise their rights as citizens. The particular issue I wish to focus on is art/activist projects engaging with the urban redevelopment processes in downtown Budapest.

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