GENGHIS KHAN AND HIS HEIRS
Hungarian National Museum, second floor
Until September 2.

THE MONGOL INVASION
Until September 30.
Hungarian National Museum, Pulszky room



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GENGHIS KHAN



GENGHIS KHAN and his Heirs

THE MONGOL EMPIRE


800 years ago, a new nomadic power emerged on the Eurasian steppe. By uniting the Mongol tribes, Genghis Khan (originally called Temüjin) created a Mongol Empire. He subdued the Russian princes, his troops conquered Persia, Asia Minor, Korea, South-East India, Indonesia, China. One of the largest empires in history, it spread from the Pacific Ocean to Central Europe at the peak of its power. Genghis and his heirs put down their names in mankind's common history book indelibly.

      It is, however, the fate of books that everyone reads them differently, depending on age, gender, accumulated knowledge. The pages of the Mongol Empire may equally suggest the "Pax Mongolica" of religious and cultural tolerance and the almost complete devastation of a country, depending on where they are read in the world.

      After Bonn, Munich, Schallaburg and Istanbul, this exhibition presenting the history of Mongolia up to the 20th century on the basis of outstanding art works from the major Mongolian museums and great European collections may be a real sensation for the Hungarian public interested in history, too. The selection of over five hundred exhibits conjures up ages and figures which and who live on as legends in the common cultural history of humanity.

      Compared to its original appearance in Bonn, the exhibition has been slightly modified in each venue, but it certainly acquired the most substantial "added value" in Budapest. The presented material is enriched not only with new objects from Mongolia but also with the finest pieces kept in leading Hungarian collections. A curiosity of the Hungarian adaptation is the separate "historical supplement" evoking the Mongol invasion and its latest archaeological finds. The visitor can get to know closely the Janus face of our past in this dual mirror: Hungarian history preserving the memory of the ravaging Mongol troops for a thousand years on the one hand, and the universal historical role of the often tolerant leaders of a world empire of wide vision, on the other.

      After the giant shows of fine arts in recent years, now an exhibition of history lures the visitors of Budapest to a museum. With such cultural events of the highest standards, these institutions of culture often denounced as conservative and slightly dated have also entered the noble rivalry the winner of which is always the visitor, the public interested in culture.

      We hope that the exhibition entitled Genghis Khan and his Heirs - the Mongol Empire will mark the beginning of a sequence of exhibitions that will bring to the Hungarian National Museum the culture historical treasures of the great civilizations of the world, allowing anyone a glimpse of the unparalleled historical adventures of humanity's past.


     

THE MONGOL INVASION



 
The Mongol armies invaded Hungary in March 1241 AD, and left in the spring of 1242. This period of one year was deeply engraved into Hungarian historical recollection, as the very existence of the country seemed to be dubious. The mournfully rich legacy was preserved not only in the recollection, but it is strengthened by the archaeological finds in Hungary. The material presented at this exhibition is a selection focusing on four topics.

I. Attack and defence

Right at the start the Western and the Eastern weapons of the age are exhibited side by side. Amongst these finds, there can be seen the only Cumanian equestrian burial found at Csengele, near Szeged. The successful defence of the castles and strongholds was mostly not a matter of building material. Several of the old county centres (e.g. Abaújvár) were able to resist the attacks, and newly built private castles (e.g. Füzér) could also provide shelter for the population.

The course of the battle of Muhi is introduced by an animation film based on the contemporary account of Thomas, archbishop of Spalato.

II. The devastation of the settlements

The fate of the settlements on the route of the armies is not known from the chronicles. Archaeological excavations of the last decade discovered proofs of devastation which were shocking to the researchers. Now the visitors might see these disinterred flashes of the past, depicting the houses with their residents or refugees and their installations at the moment of destruction. Their belongings, tools and utensils of some households, are also exhibited. These properties were often hidden at places thought to be safe, e.g. in churchyards, but their owners never returned. The fate of the settlements decided that of the churches as well. Amongst the equipment of the churches destroyed during the Mongol invasion foreign or domestic bulk goods and individual products can be found. 

III. Hidden treasures

Not only valuable tools were buried for centuries but different amounts of "real" treasures consisting of silver coins and jewellery as well. Most of the treasures from the 13th century Europe survived in the Carpathian-basin. The collection for the current exhibition was selected from the findings of both recent and older discoveries. The treasure of Tyukod is especially exciting: this is the only hoard containing jewellery that can be linked to the royal workshop of Béla IV. Three objects of the few surviving products of this workshop are displayed at the exhibition: a buckle of a mantle decorated with peacocks from Bajna, and a pair of buckles decorated with tiny dragons found in Budapest. 

IV. After the Mongol invasion...

The remembrance of the Mongols leaving in spring of 1242 remained vivid and jarring for a long time. Plans were made to build a defence line along the Danube, but only two constituents of it were completed: the castles of Visegrád and Buda. Visegrád was built as a refuge for the nuns living on Margaret Island, one of whom was Margit, the daughter of Béla IV. Buda was also built as a refuge for the people from the neighbouring territories, but eventually, in a few centuries' time it became the capital of the country.

The Mongol invasion did not mark the beginning of a new era in Hungarian history but, in a sense, the following two decades proved to be exceptional: the monarch and his opposition relinquished their earlier precepts and interests and worked together on the restoration of the country - this kind of cooperation can be very rarely attested in Hungarian history.



Tickets for the Mongol invasion and the Genghis Khan exhibitions: Ft1000-2000.

Hungarian National Museum
VIII, Múzeum körút 14-16.
Tel: 338-2122.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm

Further information:
www.mnm.hu, www.dzsingisz.hu





George Benson & Al Jarreau: Givin’ it Up
Two stars on tour to introduce their album
July 17, 8pm,
Papp László Budapest Arena



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George Benson & Al Jarreau



Givin’ It Up was recorded between April and June, 2006.


This much-anticipated 13-track recording features each of the stars on a new arrangement of one of the other’s biggest hits – Jarreau adding lyrics to and singing Benson’s signature instrumental smash “Breezin’,” while the legendary jazz guitarist delivers a lovely instrumental version of the singer’s eternally charming hit “Mornin’.”

Givin’ It Up also includes delicious covers of Seals & Crofts’ "Summer Breeze" and Hall & Oates' Paul Young smash “Every Time You Go Away,” as well as stunning new jazz vocal versions of the Miles Davis classics “Four” and “‘Long Come Tutu.”

Serendipitously, pop legend, Paul McCartney, happened to be in the studio next door during one session and dropped in to join Benson and Jarreau on an impromptu romp through Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me.” Neo soul diva, Jill Scott, performs Billie Holiday’s timeless “God Bless the Child.” Rounding out the album is an instrumental take on John Legend’s GRAMMY award-winning soul smash, “Ordinary People” and four new compositions, including a new Jarreau and Barry Eastmond composition, “Let it Rain,” which features Patti Austin and Chris Botti.


Further information on the concert:
www.showtimebudapest.hu








PARADISE LOST - THE FIRST ROMA PAVILION
LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA

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The first
Roma Pavilion of the Venezia Biennale opened with the premiere of “Paradise Lost,” an exhibition featuring the work of sixteen contemporary Roma artists representing eight European countries by sixteen artist of which seven are Hungarian. The Pavilion is located on the piano nobile of the 16th-century Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, Calle delle Erbe 6103, in the Canareggio district.

The exhibiting
artists include:

Daniel BAKER (GB); Tibor BALOGH (H); Mihaela Ionela CIMPEANU (ROM); Gabi JIMENEZ (F); András KÁLLAI (H-GB); Damian LE BAS (GB); Delaine LE BAS (GB); Kiba LUMBERG (FIN); OMARA [ Mara OLÁH] (H); Marian PETRE (ROM); Nihad Nino PUŠIJA (BIH-D); Jenő André RAATZSCH (H-D); János RÉVÉSZ (H); Dusan RISTIC (SER-USA); István SZENTANDRÁSSY (H); Norbert SZIRMAI (H).

Curator:
Tímea JUNGHAUS, (Hungary), art historian, curator, Roma Cultural Participation Project, Arts and Culture Network Program, Open Society Institute–Budapest.

The Pavilion was commissioned by the
Open Society Institute, and is co-sponsored by the Allianz Kulturstiftung (Germany) and the European Cultural Foundation (the Netherlands).

According to Junghaus’ essay in the catalog that accompanies the exhibition, “I consider it far less important to use a politically correct term [‘Roma’] than to clean the word ‘Gypsy’ of prejudices and negative stereotypes, and to rehabilitate it by employing it in positive contexts.”

Music at the opening was provided by internationally renowned Hungarian
jazz guitarist Ferenc Snétberger. According to Akustik Gitarre, “Hardly any other master of the nylon string guitar combines such brilliant classical technique, interweaving South and North American influences with his Gypsy heritage, creating a global musical idiom.”

The first Roma Pavilion marks the arrival of Roma contemporary culture on the international stage and sends an important message: Roma have a vital role to play in the cultural and political landscape of Europe.



The Roma Pavilion is open to the public between 10 June – 21 November, 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m. Closed Mondays.

Further information:
E-mail: press.romapavilion@osi.hu
Telephone: +36.30.200-6031

www.romapavilion.org




Intervízió Television History Exhibition
Millenáris Park
Until August 17. 

 

Television is rapidly losing ground to internet applications, which might be one of the reasons why it has made its way to the exhibition space: the House of Future (JövŒ Háza) on Millenáris offers a comprehensive tour of the past and the present of the medium, but also introduces the latest developments by which the wonder of the 20th century attempts o enter the competition in the digital age.

TV has been with us for more than a hundred years already: the world's first electromechanical television system was proposed in 1884 by a German engineering student, Paul Nipkow. His technology was soon abandoned for electronic systems which eventually turned into the flat LCD and plasma screens of today, and which are said to lose their ground to the latest technology of organic light emitting diode (OLED).

Apart from the historical aspects of television, visitors can see how TV making used to work in the middle of the last century: cameras from the fifties and sixties, the first broadcast truck of the Hungarian television company MTV, as well as scenes from one-time popular TV series are on display, this latter surely counting on the biggest success.

The exhibition space also offers some interactivity : visitors can try to read news from the telepromter and present the weather forecast, both activities likely to augment the respect for the pretty weather girls and handsome news anchors whose job looks all too easy. In addition, several television programs are recorded at the site including Kultúrház, a cultural program on the public television channel, the local music awards of VIVA television as well as TV Taxi, this latter offering a comprehensive tour of program production.


Millenáris Park
II, Fény utca 20-22.
Tel: 438-5335, 438-5312.
Open: Every day 10am-6pm
www.millenaris.hu




Marcel Breuer - Design and Architecture
4 May – 2 September, 2007
Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Arts

(An exhibition by Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany)


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Born in Pécs, Hungary, Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) was one of the most influential designers and architects of twentieth century modernism. One of the raisons d’être of this large exhibition was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the artist – the exhibition has been travelling around the world since 2002. In Hungary, it is particularly important to shed light on Breuer’s oeuvre, up till now familiar mostly to professionals. The message of his œuvre, i.e. that architecture, preserving its traditions, must create a livable environment according to the needs of the people, is still valid in our time.

The Marcel Breuer retrospective created by the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein) is the first to present his design work and the models of his most important buildings together. In Europe, Breuer is primarily known as a designer while in America, as a teacher and architect; the exhibition aims at creating balance in the two different areas as well as introducing this great artist to the Hungarian audience. Furniture pieces, drawings, furniture catalogues and photographs of inner spaces designed by Breuer are collected to offer an overview of his design oeuvre. The exhibition presents almost all the results of his long career as a designer, organized chronologically, thematically and by material (wood, tubular steel, aluminium and plywood). In the ‘Tubular Steel’ section many original pieces illustrate Breuer’s experimentation with the new functional possibilities of the material. Breuer’s pioneering decision of using tubular steel for his furniture designs was not commercially successful at the start but it appealed to the European avant-garde – artists as Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy and Alvar Aalto started furnishing their private homes and offices with Breuer’s pieces thus making his tubular steel furniture an icon of modernism.

The exhibition renders Breuer’s architectural activity in three categories: Houses, Spaces and Volumes. 12 models specifically fabricated for this exhibition present his buildings, as the Breuer House I-II., the Whitney Museum, the churches and others, exemplifying the four basic building types in his oeuvre.

Sketches, floor plans and a huge number of photographs help to summarize the main creative elements and construction principles that characterize both his buildings and his furniture which is still being produced.


Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Arts
District IX, Komor Marcell utca 1. (Palace of Arts)
Tel.: 555 3444.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-8pm

www.lumu.hu
info@ludwigmuseum.hu


Pictured: Marcel Breuer in the Wassily chair, cca. 1927
Photo: Courtesy Constance L. Breuer




... And the Incas Arrived
Treasures from Peru before the Spanish Conquerors
18 May 2007 – 9 September 2007
Museum of Fine Arts


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The “And the Incas Arrived…” exhibition aims to provide a comprehensive view of culture and art in Peru before the Spanish conquerors. The nearly two hundred exhibited art works demonstrate the development and expressive forms of the art of the successive and overlapping cultures. Besides the historic and anthropological relevance, the artistic elaboration also makes these objects unique. The exhibition includes ceramics, textiles, as well as extraordinarily jewelries made of gold and silver.
The Spanish conquerors found a politically organized, centralized empire in the region of contemporary Peru, which was both geographically and ethnically diverse. Tahuantinsuyo, “the Land of the Four Regions” controlled by the aristocracy and the Inca worshipped as the Sun King, intervolved the age-long artistic heritage, rituals and religious images of different cultures. The thematic exhibition, with the help of material remembrances, leads the visitors from Chavín, which is considered as the “Mother culture,” to the successive cultures living in harmony with nature in different geographical landscapes – along the seashore, in the mountains and in the rainforests; and to the artistic formation of the Inca Empire. The exhibition demonstrates the different attributes of the individual cultures, the development of their artistic-aesthetic world views as well as their styles and applied technical solutions.


Museum of Fine Arts
District XIV, Heros’ Square
Tel: 469-7100.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday
10am-5.30pm

www.mfab.hu




WAMP – Hungarian Design Market


Since the summer of 2006 the Hungarian Design Market named WAMP takes place every months. (WAMP: abreviation from the Hungarian Sunday Design Market, Wasárnapi Mûvész Piac). More than 3500 Hungarians, tourists and ex patriots visit the Hungarian Design Market, the WAMP every month, to find unique, high quality design products from Hungarian designers. The WAMP follows the example of the London and New York markets and has as main objective to establish a regular forum for design and applied art products.

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The other main objective of the Hungarian Design Market is to create a more intense relationship between artists and people by transmitting values to everyone.  This objective has gained evidence since most artist believe that the main success of the market is the direct feedback from visitors.

A growing number of Hungarian designers are presented on WAMP. Currently more than 90 artists exhbit and sell their products, as more and more artists believe in the uniquiness of the event. A wide range of design objects, such as jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glassware, children's toys and games, cake design will be presented.

Venue: District V, Erzsébet tér, from 10am – 6pm

Further information (in English too): www.wamp.hu

Upcoming WAMP Sundays in 2007:

19th August
16th September
14th October
4th November
16th December (in-door venue)