JELZÉS A VILÁGBA – HÁBORÚ ∩ AVANTGÁRD ∩ KASSÁK
SIGNAL TO THE WORLD – WAR ∩ AVANT-GARDE ∩ KASSÁK
Lajos Kassák’s first journal A Tett (The Action), launched in 1915, was primarily an artistic and political attack on the culture of war. With a left-wing, socially-committed outlook, it employed social criticism and the novel principles of journal publishing to stand up to prevailing wartime discourse of stigmatizing the enemy. The radical artistic and political standpoint represented by A Tett may not be immediately apparent to the modern reader. In the hundred years that have passed, the points of reference against which the journal appeared seditious, violating norms and even “threatening the interests of warfare” have faded away. The exhibition outlines the Hungarian and international contexts in which A Tett operated, showing how the journal did indeed constitute a “signal to the world”, the Kassák slogan chosen as the exhibition title. The purpose is not, however, to put on a reverential centenary celebration of Kassák’s journal. To present A Tett merely as a bold stand against the war or, concentrating on the aesthetics of the art it published, as a museum of attempts by the early avant-garde to seek a way forward, would be too narrow an aim. Drawing on primary sources, the exhibition reconstructs the context against which A Tett was making a politically motivated and artistically valid response. This context comprised above all the popular press, the culture of war, and artistic and political hinterland of the journal and the anti-war international art that was the conceptual basis for Kassák’s response.
Artist(s): Lajos KASSÁK
Place (country): Hungary
Place (town): Budapest
Institution: Kassák Museum
Uploaded by: Merse Pál SZEREDI (OAD Editor)