I’ll be giving a lecture tonight on my research this year in Budapest. This is quite a sobering thought–not just because of my bad case of stage fright–but because it signals my 9-month research grant is over. Actually I’ve already presented at the Fulbright conference and turned in my final paper, so this lecture is just for fun more than anything else. But it has been such a rewarding experience that I hate to see it end.
The past nine months I’ve been looking at representations of national identity in contemporary Hungarian art, which is a polarizing topic within Hungary and a complex matter in any nation, perhaps especially in the former Eastern Bloc. Within this still rather broad field, I focused on critical, Conceptual artworks that I argue enlarge the notion of collective identities outside of the traditional nation-state framework. From an outsider’s perspective, like mine, it has been a fascinating education into Hungarian thought and culture.
So, please, if you’re in Budapest, come join for the lecture! If you want to learn more about my project, check out the website Context and Identity in Contemporary Hungarian Art. You can go the academic route and read my essay, or go the fun & lite route, perhaps with a few posts about meetings with artists.