NOVI SAD ORPHEUSES | ÚJVIDÉKI ORFEUSZOK
Új Symposion (1965—1992)
at Ferenczy Museum Center, Szentendre, Hungary
11 February – 29 April 2018
Új Symposion was a progressive, experimental literary and artistic journal with a strong visuality in Vojvodina, the Hungarian region of Yugoslavia. Our main ambition with the exhibition was to interpret the editorial principles of the journal, the montages one can see on the pages, and the aspiration to equally represent a whole group of art branches by the visual design. Hence our goal to expose all the artworks, documents, photos, audiovisual elements and the characteristic, powerful graphics of the journal simultaneously.
The exhibition title Novi Sad Orpheuses is an allusion to the halfwit guitarist coming from the cozy countryside, a character of Wilhelm-songs or the Countryside Orpheus (the epic poem’s title playing with the Hungarian name of Novi Sad, ’Újvidék’ and the Hungarian word ’vidék’ which means countryside) by Ottó Tolnai, the most important writer of the journal and the Hungarian literature of Vojvodina; and to the songsters of Vojvodina who were editing the journal, writing novels and poems. Wilhelm himself – a painting by József Pechán – settled down at the entrance of the exhibition welcoming visitors with a broad grin.
Visitors were stopped in front of the Wilhelm painting by a cubicle representing the journal’s logo and the rhyming Brâncuși statue. The cubicle served as an audiovisual medium: one could hear the voice of poet Ottó Tolnai telling the story of the simple logo made from two semi-circles and a layer of Brâncuși’s forms gently copied on them. In the 2018 logo of the exhibition we metaforized the connection between the journal and the exhibition: the hand reaching for the pieces of the logo highlights and refreshens the significance of the journal Új Symposion.