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Zsolt KESERUE, visual artist, 1968


How did the change in regime influence your professional activity and interest?

It was in 1990, at the age of 22, that I officially began to get closer to what my work is based on today. Although it is true: I was still only approximating it from a considerable distance: the Drawing-Geography Faculty of a teacher training college in the countryside. From where, however, in comparison to my previous positions in teaching ironworks and locksmith training, which required no qualifications and placed me in the countryside, my future still looked a bit brighter.

I would have imagined the change of regime at the end of the ‘80s to be a bit more radical than the blurred process it actually ended up being. On top of that, the camp I supported did not get voted most popular during the first elections, which, at the time, filled me with considerable skepticism with regards to the mental milieu of the country.

Then, entering the bubble of higher education, I quickly lost track of direct social and political processes. In essence, we didn’t really give a shit about daily politics during the eight years following the regime change, while I was a college/university student.


What cornerstone events or publications in art / politics / public life / the professional sphere do you remember, and which of these influenced you, directly or indirectly? Through what channels and from what sources have you received your knowledge about this period?

Between ’88 and ’90, I studied drawing in Dunaújváros at the Amateur Studio of István Birkás, who, in addition to supervising our work, also continuously informed us about the network of the opposition, as well as about a new foundation (Foundation for Modern Art) whose goal was to open a museum quarter of modern art in Dunaújváros (just like in a Danish town). So we instantly catapulted – with alternative and contemporary musical accompaniment – into the very attractive milieu of what we called “the West.”

All this seemed realistic, viewed from the basement of Uitz Hall.


Has your picture of the regime change and its ideas been altered – if yes, in what way, and as a result of what – in the past 20 / 10 / 5 / 1 year(s)?

Just as I have already put it into song in one of my works, the second half of the ‘80s seemed very exciting and open – one might say promising – in Dunaújváros, which was my city of residence at the time. All this in spite of the fact that the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP), the Hungarian Young Communist League (KISZ), as well as the Pioneer and Socialist Brigade movements were also in existence during these years. These phenomena served as an excellent target of hatred, even if you were, to some extent, part of their operations. But this hatred also had facets that accommodated the inspired operations of so-called alternative musical, art and theatre groups.

All things considered, however, in view of the past 20 / 10 / 5 / 1 years, I think the said time interval can be best characterized as a period of dicking around.


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