Ilona Németh and Documentary Practices in Contemporary Art


Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

14.10., 2014, 6 pm
Address:, Beskydská 12, 81105, Bratislava

Vít Havránek, art historian and curator, director of, Prague

Angelika Richter, independent curator and art historian based in Berlin

Zora Bútorová, sociologist based in Bratislava

Ilona Németh, artist, professor at AFAD, Bratislava

The discussion will be held in English.

We can say that in the 20th century, the status of documentary practices in photography and film was that of a veristic discipline mechanically capturing the moment. This veristic nature of documentary was appropriated by art, or it has temporarily became art under the pressure of artistic manifestations and interpretations. Following the documentary turn, the dilemma of the discourse on the moment’s verism and art’s authenticity loses its meaningfulness. One of the trajectories of the documentary turnaround is the documentary approach to the construction of memory and histories.
This is also the path taken by the work of Ilona Németh, entitled Rudolf Szabó (Rezső Szabó), (2014). Its main protagonist, the author’s uncle, ponders the peripeties of the leftist reformism in the wake of the soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. He is also describing his long-term activities in the field of national minorities’ equalisation during the Socialism era, as well as shortly after 1989. The panellists will discuss Ilona Németh’s work in the light of wider contexts – the differentiated view of the reformist movement in 1968, the documentary practices in relation to memory as a signifying chain, as well as in the relation between the real social engagement and its documentary representation.


Ilona Németh: Rudolf Szabó (Szabó Rezső), 2014, Video, 45’08’’. On the photo, from left to right: Abel Ravasz, Ilona Németh, Rudolf Szabó.

Ilona Németh and Documentary Practices in Contemporary Art