From paradigms of art to the situation of art

Hungarian Academy of Arts (MMA) held a two-day conference with all of its eight sections with the title Paradigms in Art on 18-19 November in Budapest. Bulletin...
During the two days of the conference at Benczur House in Budapest about twenty specialists gave lectures and since the theme – paradigms is art – was rather wide, all the participants had considerable freedom to choose issues and, as it turned out, style as well. Many of the lecturers regarded the Kuhnian paradigm theory as starting point and addressed theoretical questions accordingly. Such was the case, among others, with Tamás Gergely Kucsera, Secretary-General of MMA, Vilmos Voigt, folklorist, Balázs Nyilasy, literary historian. Professor Nyilasy concluded that theories fly away, but questions always remain. Árpád Tőzsér poet, writer claimed that postmodernism was a fashion madness and that it would be better to talk about a literature of linguistic criticism. Endre Olsvay, composer considered the problem of applying the concepts of paradigm and paradigm shift upon music. János Golda architect pointed out that at the beginning of the third millennium it's not so about paradigm shift in world architecture, but more about a totally new situation. Professor Bertalan Andrásfalvy talked about the sustaining power and significance of folklore. Márton Falusi poet analysed the split between high and mass culture, the self-elimination of postmodernism and the isolation of the individual. Béla Márkus, literary historian made his point on the existence of polyphony against one-sided canonization. József Fekete J., writer maintained that there was no such thing as an ideal unity in Hungarian literature (because of his absence his lecture was read out). Professor Zoltán Jánosi expounded the main characteristics of the "Bartókian modell" which make it up-to-date.
On the second day of the conference there was a kind of shift in tone and a movement from the general theoretical questions to the concrete and burning problems. After the lectures of Sándor Balázs and Hedvig Dvorszky, art historians Gábor Nagy, poet and literary historian revealed the untenableness of postmodern theory with considerable passion. Ferenc Salamin, architect talked about the destruction and the effort of renewal of old traditional buildings in Tokaj-Hegyalja (a world heritage site in north-eastern Hungary) with stunning photographs in an almost elegiac voice. Then Gábor Szigethy, writer and director gave a free and dramatic speech about the past thirty years of theatric art in Hungary, which he saw as a process of falling into nothingness. He claimed that theatrical plays should not only show the distressing situation of the present, but suggest the possibilities of the future too, and this aspect has been painfully lacking. Chair of session in progress, György Szemadám reacted to the passionate words of Szigethy with neglecting the usual scientific objectivity and said that art had separated from transcendence and even artistic craftsmanship was in danger.
András Szekfü, film historian outlined the history of Hungarian artistic documentaries from the very first one entitled Hortobágy directed by Georg Höllering in 1935. Then Réka Sárközy, film historian outlined the history of Hungarian historic documentaries. Laura Iancu, poet and folklorist talked about the universal values of folkloric culture and wisdom. Sándor András also strongly criticized the postmodern theory and said that postmodernism is a phantom concept. Ede Terényi, composer and music historian expounded his theory on the three dimensions of music, namely the natural, the artificial and the spiritual (because of his absence his lecture was read out).
In her final words Margit Ács, writer, literary historian and member of the MMA board said among other things that all the lectures at the conference were going to be published soon in one special volume by MMA.
November 21, 2013  |  conference