The Slovakian National Museum – the Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia charted during the past five years memorials of Hungarian provenience in Slovakia which originated after 1989.The exhibition is a part of a documentary activity of its curator Gábor Hushegyi and refers to an unprecedented boom of a memorial creation in a nationally intermingled region of southern Slovakia in the past two decades. The typology of the Hungarian provenience statues in Slovakia is varied and the exhibition stresses several essential types: the rehabilitated memorials, which came back to their original or new places after 1989, the monuments of the national history and symbolical statues of the national awareness. From the many issues, that became frequented in the past two decades, the most noticable by its extent and intensity, is the issue of St.Stephen. Twenty six statues of the first king of Hungary were found in the documentation, twenty three ways of his image are presented at the exhibition by way of a photo documentation and two statues. The memorials of Hungarian provenience in Slovakia prove the plurality of artistic strategies also inside the minor community, the first prefers the domestic, i.e. the Czechoslovakian tradition of memorial creation, the second prefers the current official artistic doctrine of Hungary, the third looks for new forms of memorials in public post corresponding to the present.

The exhibition stresses the first and the third strategy by representing the work by Juraj Bartusz, György Lipcsey, Július Mag and a young sculptor Andrej Csillag. The photo documentation offers a point of view of Hungarian artists. The realized and unrealized projects and the models of artists are supplemented by photographs by the exhibited and other artists. The external reporters of Hungarian television STV and reporters of Duna TV in Slovakia provided archival documents about the process of memorial installation and the ceremonial unveiling.

A memorial is first of all a mean of a symbolical communication, a represented issue, a historic moment or a personality and the final form of the memorial rather testifies to the customers, sponsors, a selection board, compromises of the artist as well as to the character and the historical significance of the issue. Also the so-called Hungarian statues in Slovakia, especially those symbolical ones, have a strong political charge and after the Velvet Revolution, memorials of war victims and of until then prohibited personalities and events of Hungarian history were finally realized. At the turn of the millennium, the presence of symbolical artefacts was strenghtened: the 1100 years´ anniversary of arrival of the Hungarians into the Carpathian basin, the celebration of St. Stephen and the Hungarian nation in the common Europe and Trianon. Out of this development, which has domestic and foreign – political aspects, we can conclude, that the monuments of national history and symbolical statues of national awareness are not going to be united but rather separated in the future. In the relationship between the Slovakians and the Hungarians, there are still missing common red-letter days, even such significant events as 1968 or 1989 still have not entrenched, as well as some distinct issues in the work of Hungarian provenience. Although the public post is almost filled and everything is marked, there are still some free public plinths, so let them have reserved for common and particularly quality statues for the future.

one comment for “Symbols in space – our new monuments”

  1. franta says on30. May. 2011:

    this is a problem of “crisis of identity”


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