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The Lunch (in memoriam Batu Khan) – the first happening in Hungary

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Date: 25 June 1966

Participants and organizers: Gábor Altorjay, Tamás Szentjóby (with the cooperation of  Miklós Jankovics and István Varannai, with the help of Enikő Balla, Miklós Erdély, and Csaba Koncz)

Location: The cellar of István Szenes, Budapest

The happening was organized in the cellar of a private house by Gábor Altorjay and Tamás Szentjóby.
There were about sixty viewers. In addition to a short film and several photographs there are three detailed written descriptions of the happening: a review of the happening published by László Kamondy in the weekly magazine, Tükör; the recollections of Gábor Altorjay published two years later as an appendix to the article by Ottó Tolnai entitled “On the Newest Hungarian Poetry” in the Novi Sad Hungarian language magazine New Symposium; and a secret police report also written in 1968. All three texts differ at points regarding how and what happened, and what sense it made.

Documents:
Gábor Altorjay: The Lunch (in memoriam Batu Khan) (1968)
Anonym secret police officers: Summary report and action plan regarding happenings (1968)
The Lunch (in memoriam Batu Khan) – The first Hungarian Happening – n/8, b&w film, camera: László Gyémánt.


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Fluxus concert

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Date: Spring 1966

Participants: Vytautas Landsbergis (1932) and his students at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute

Organizer: Vytautas Landsbergis

Location: Vilnius Pedagogical Institute

In the 1960s, the musicologist Vytautas Landsbergis corresponded with his childhood friend, artist and initiator of the Fluxus movement George Maciunas. Maciunas laid out the ideas of this anti-art movement in his letters, and sent Landsbergis recordings of his favorite music and Fluxus performances, as well as Fluxus scores. Landsbergis used this material in his public lectures on modern music.

In 1966, Landsbergis organized a Fluxus concert at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute, where he taught at the time, together with the institute’s senior students (around 20). The event started with the New Music manifesto written and read by Landsbergis. The program of the concert that lasted for approximately 30 min. was comprised of the instructions sent by Maciunas, complemented with Landsbergis’s own ideas; Landsbergis also created the wall decorations that reflected the Fluxus spirit and set the atmosphere for the concert. Although this avant-garde movement did not take on in Lithuania (the mentioned concert remains the only notable Fluxus event), the dissemination of the ideas of Fluxus and modern music via Landsbergis’s lectures contributed to the emergence and spread of modern art forms.

Documents:

Vytautas Landsbergis: A Manifesto (1966)

Vytautas Landsbergis – interview: Fluxus in Vilnius (2007)


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