Chapel Studio of György Galántai at Balatonboglár - 1972

[chapel project] [context 1972]

4 January 1972 - Galántai informs the police station of Balatonboglár and the State Insurance Company about the burglary to the crypt which took place in November1971.

6 January 1972 - The chief executive to the Balaton region of the Somogy County council replies to Galántai’s letter (dated from 21 December 1971): “I do hope that the relationships, arrangements and plans mentioned in your letter - if realized - will help settle the matter of the exhibitions in an appropriate way.

13 January 1972 - The head of the department of culture to the county council asks the president of the local council to report whether, “in accordance with the relevant health regulations,” the chapel serves the purpose of a studio or an exhibition space. Concerning the future of the exhibitions, he expects the local council to take a stand shortly.

8 February 1972 - In his reply, the president of the local council informs the cultural department of the county council that the operative health regulations apply to the use of the chapel adding that despite their promise, “the local council cannot construct the water conduit and the toilet for the chapel in 1972” as the amount budgeted for the development of the churchyard in 1970 was redistributed to other areas due to the problems that arose in 1971 concerning the exhibitions.

20 February 1972 - Former executive to the local council of Balatonboglár, János Salamon, confidentially informs Galántai that in his opinion the current “official and personal differences” make putting the chapel in order impossible this year.

27 March 1972 - The district police station of Fonyód refuse to set up an inquiry about the burglary that took place in November (4th of January) as “no well-grounded accusation can be made.”

From April 1972 on, discussions are held and a correspondence is started among György Galántai and Sándor Pinczehelyi (Pécsi Muhely / Pécs Atelier), István Haraszty, László Beke (Czech - Slovakian - Hungarian meeting), Bálint Szombathy (Group Bosch + Bosch) and others about the summer programs and their technical details.

17 April 1972 - Galántai lodges a complaint with the district prosecutor’s office against the resolution of the district police station that refused to make an investigation.

20 April 1972 - Due to the lack of proper legal regulation concerning the authorization of the Chapel Exhibitions, the Somogy County Council pass a stringent decree. In a letter they inform all cultural institutions of the county about the new regulations in regard to the procedure of authorizing exhibitions and cultural programs.

May 1972 - Spontaneous actions in the chapel about which Dóra Maurer makes a series of photographs under the title"Once we went". Participants: Miklós Erdély, Tibor Gáyor, György Jovánovics, Dóra Maurer, Tamás Szentjóby.

3 and 11 May 1972 - Drawing up the list of artists taking part in the first (judged) exhibition of the year and the discussion of the catalogue in Budapest.

5 May 1972 - Galántai informs the Advisory Office for Fine Arts of the date of the first exhibition of the year and sends the list of the participating artists. András Orvos organizes the exhibitions.

13 May 1972 - Galántai leaves for Balatonboglár to order the electric light installation of the chapel.

15 May 1972 - Galántai informs the cultural department of the county council about the judged exhibitions and inquires about the indispensable health regulations with the Office for Public Health/Köjál to the county.

16 May 1972 - Having found Galántai’s complaint about the burglaries well-grounded, the county public prosecutor’s office set aside the resolution which refused inquiry against the unknown culprit (27 March) and order the district public prosecutor’s office to set up an investigation.

18 May 1972 - Owing to their strong disapproval, it takes a long time for the jury-members (invited by the Advisory Office for Fine Arts) in judging only part of the works chosen to be exhibited at Balatonboglár and ultimately they are unwilling to confirm the minutes. Another jury is called for 29 May.

29 May 1972 - The Advisory Office for Fine Arts finally accept the works chosen for the first two exhibitions at Balatonboglár. Their judgement is backed up by a statement expressing the judges’ principled position.

29 May 1972 - The cultural department of Somogy county agree on displaying the judged works on condition that “the local council should decide whether the chapel is to be considered an exhibition space or a studio”.

4-9 June 1972 - Knowing that he cannot count on the local council, Galántai orders the installation of electricity for the chapel at his own expense.
Preparations for the summer exhibitions: bricklaying and whitewashing following the installation of electricity, making pedestals. The broken glass is reported to the State Insurance Company.

7 June 1972 - Deeply concerned about the future of the exhibitions, Galántai makes up the rules of the chapel which he expects to be kept by everyone.

7 June 1972 - Designed by Károly Schmal, on the grounds of the decision of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts, the invitation cards and placards of the first two exhibitions are prepared and posted.

8 June 1972 - Transportation of the works to be exhibited and other objects from Budapest.

9 June 1972 - The Office for Public Health/Köjál inform Galántai that, according to the National Construction Resolution, as an indispensable condition at the organizing of exhibitions an outhouse should be set up.

10 June 1972 - Electric lights are installed in the chapel provisionally.

11-21 June 1972 . - The exhibition accepted by the jury opens under the title "K-358/72."
The artists exhibiting are: Péter Bácsay, Sándor Csutoros, László Haris, István Ilyés, Sándor Kígyós, József V. Molnár, Oszkár Papp, Emil Parrag, Péter Prutkay, György Szemadám, Árpád Fenyvesi Tóth.

13 June 1972 - The local council starts to convert the churchyard into a park, putting in benches as well.

14 June 1972 - Galántai applies to the head of the department of the fine arts of the Ministry of Culture for a permission to display the works of the Yugoslavian artists.

17 June 1972 - Concert of the group Kaláka.

19 June 1972 - Galántai informs the head of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts that the planned exhibitions subject to judgement will not take place for technical reasons. The Advisory Office acknowledges his message in a letter dated from 21 June.

20 June 1972 - Representatives of the department of culture of the county check up on the works exhibited in the chapel. They have some works removed as they are not included in the minutes of the department. They disapprove of the use of the crypt and the collecting box, the selling of catalogues, etc.

21 June 1972 - The electricity works install electric light in the chapel officially (now there is electric lighting, and it is possible to use electric devices such as a slide projector and a tape recorder).

22 June-1 July 1972. - "K-358/72." (second part)
Exhibition of András Baranyay, Attila Csáji, Sándor Csutoros, Eta Erdélyi, Tamás Farkas, Ernő Fóth, György Galántai, Ádám Kéri, László Lakner, András Orvos, László Pajzs, Róbert Swierkiewicz, Dezső Váli.

22 June 1972 - The president of the local council as well as the representative of the district party committee pay a visit to the chapel during the preparation for the next exhibition. The president of the local council reveals that the county department of culture intends to shift onto the village the responsibility of deciding whether the chapel should be considered an exhibition space or a studio.

23 June 1972 - Three representatives of the county department of culture check up on the chapel: “showing no interest in the exhibition, they were only trying to find fault.” They again disapprove of the use of the crypt and the collecting box.

23 June 1972 - With the approval of the district public prosecutor’s office the district police station stop the inquiry about the burglary and damage reported in November 1971. The reasons given: beside what was found before “the lease contract of the offended party does not include the crypt.”

23 June 1972 - The district department of culture learn that the group Kaláka made an appearance in the chapel on 17 June without permission. The director of the community centre asks the president of the local council to officially certify that the “Chapel Exhibitions are an authorized program” otherwise he will not grant permission for the further programs.

24 June 1972 - A pantomime by János Karsai under the title “Life is complicated!?’

24 June 1972 - The president of the local council informs the director of the community centre of Balatonboglár that programs organized by private individuals cannot be authorized.

25 June 1972 - György Somlyó recites his latest poems.

25-26 June 1972 - The youth department of the Hungarian Television shoot a film in the chapel and its surroundings to be shown in the program “Téka” on 6 July.

26 June 1972 - András Orvos enters in the workbook of the chapel: “the evening of 26 June, summing up. [since 11 June] there have been 266 notes in the visitors’ book. This means that approximately 500-600 people have visited the chapel.

26 June 1972 - Galántai applies again, to the head of the department of the fine arts of the Ministry of Culture, for permission to display the works of Yugoslavian artists’ group Bosch+Bosch.

27 June 1972 - With one of his colleagues, the president of the local council keep a further check on the exhibition on the evidence of the minutes. They disapprove of the lack of the toilet and water conduit, and the political nature of the programs.

27 June 1972 - This time the president of the local council checks the chapel exhibition together with the director of the community centre and the head of the district department of culture. They report that “the exhibition was ordered and disciplined. The crypt is used as a store-room but this concerns the parties of the contract.”

28 June 1972 - Cultural executive to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Loránd Bereczky, pays a visit to the chapel. He expresses his disapproval of Galántai’s not having registered the leased property with the police, and informs him that permission should be asked from the district department of culture for the organization of exclusive programs, as well as from the president of the local council for the judged exhibitions. He adds that the chapel can be expropriated any time.

30 June 1972 - From the diary: “At dawn or rather at night, a group of four turned up (drunk) and wanted to come in. They made loud noise, knocked over the stone in front of the entrance door, then left.”

1 July 1972 - Galántai finds that “cooperation with the state organisations is impossible.” Under the given circumstances, the authorization of the programs planned for the rest of the summer seems to be utterly unimaginable. He thus decides that instead of “Chapel Exhibitions,” he will call the programs CHAPEL STUDIO. From then on he considers the rules applying to private property effective.

2 July 1972 - Galántai informs those concerned about his declaration of the chapel as a private property by posting his “letter work” with the label CHAPEL = STUDIO, reproduced in 146 numbered copies.

6 July 1972 - The the local council department of culture of Pécs and the Museum Janus Pannonius judge the works of Pécsi Muhely (Pécs Workshop) and István Haraszty. They send the minutes to the department of culture of Somogy county.

6 July 1972 - Hungarian Television shows the film shot in the chapel and its surroundings on 25-26 June in the program “Téka”.

6-9 July 1972 - "DIRECT WEEK" exhibition and events (organized by Gyula Pauer and Tamás Szentjóby). Participants: László Beke, Miklós Erdély, Gyula Gulyás, Miklós Haraszti, László Haris, Ágnes Háy, Tamás Hencze, Péter Lajtai, Péter Legéndy, József V. Molnár , Gyula Pauer, Margit Rajczi, Tamás Szentjóby, Endre Tót.

6-10 July 1972 - The members of Pécsi Műhely/Pécs Workshop (Ferenc Ficzek, Károly Halász, Károly Kismányoky, Ferenc Lantos, Sándor Pinczehelyi, Kálmán Szíjártó) carry alternations of landscape in the chapel’s surroundings for their planned exhibition (the works can be seen throughout summer).

7 July 1972 - The diary reads: “at night. 4 policemen in civilian clothes…, they waited until we entered then they came in… on the way up to the chapel, 3 policemen in civilian clothes were watching us walking towards the chapel.”

8 July 1972 - In the course of the program “Direct Week,” performances, actions and events are held by the participants of the “Avant-garde Festival” banned in Budapest.
Participants: Béla Adamis, László Beke, Gábor Bódy, Miklós Erdély, Gyula Gulyás, Péter Halász, Ágnes Háy, Tamás Hencze, Péter Lajtai, Péter Legéndy, László Méhes, Gyula Pauer, Tamás Szentjóby.

9. July 1972 - Sign-action by György Galántai. Using the sign as a medium of information for art purposes (e.g. painted on the tower of the chapel).

10 July-3 August 1972 - An exhibition of Pécsi Műhely/Pécs Workshop (Ferenc Ficzek, Károly Halász, Károly Kismányoky, Ferenc Lantos, Sándor Pinczehelyi, Kálmán Szíjártó, Katalin Nádor) and the kinetic sculptures of István Haraszty.

15-16 July 1972 - Sign Action by György Galántai.
He paints one sign onto the tower of the chapel, and others by the paths leading to the exhibitions and the churchyard.

16-17 July 1972 - The youth department of the Hungarian Television shoots a film in the chapel under the title “Kaláka”.

18 July 1972 - On the evidence of the minutes, the head of the district council department of culture checks the works of the Pécs Worjshop exhibited in the chapel.

18 July 1972 - In reply to Galántai’s letter dated from 26 June, the head of the department of the fine arts of the Ministry of Culture states that organizing and coordinating international exhibitions “is the duty of the state organisations in charge” thus the ministry do not approve of the private initiative of displaying the works of the Yugoslavian artists’ group.

20 July 1972 - Supported with a slide show, István Haraszty lectures on the avant-garde exhibitions and his mobile sculptures.

20 July 1972 - Giving Attila Csáji as a reference, Galántai asks Mrs. Lajos Kassák to put the works that are planned to be displayed at the exhibition “In Memoriam Kassák” at their disposal.

21 July 1972 - The president of the local council sends a detailed report about the programs of the Chapel Studio to the county department of culture. He again asks the upper organisations for information about the rules applying to the exhibitions.

21 July 1972 - While judging the art teachers´ exhibition in Fonyód, the county chief executive of culture alerts the regional executive of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts to the current exhibition of the Chapel Studio in Balatonboglár, which they then visit together. The regional executive of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts condemns the exhibition in his memorandum.

27 July 1972 - Despite her promise, Mrs. Lajos Kassák cancels the exhibition “In Memoriam Kassák” planned for August.

27 July 1972 - István Haraszty and György Galántai start a collective action with the visitors called “You Open The Exhibition Today.” In the evening, supported with a slide show, György Galántai lectures on the previous exhibitions.

28 July 1972 - On the action “You Open The Exhibition Today” Galántai takes photographs of the entering visitors - documenting the reactions that express a sense of responsibility.

28 July 1972 - The head of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts asks the head of the department of the Ministry of Culture to initiate the rescission of the lease contract of the chapel with the State Office for Church Affairs. “The exhibition, as we could well see in the case of Haraszty’s biomobiles, is already a means of political resistance.“ In addition, he calls the top executive’s attention to the planned exhibition of Kassák’s works.

28 July 1972 - The performance of Brobo Company with the participation of László Borsody, István Márta, János Szikora, Endre (Szkárosi) Horváth.

30 July 1972 - Galántai and Balázs Galkó prepare the outhouse which meets the regulations of the Office for Public Health/Köjál (l. 9 June).

30. July 1972 - The performance of Kassák Ház Stúdió/Kassák House Studio (Péter Halász, Éva Buchmüller, Anna Koós, Miklós Kovács, István Szeghő, Marianne Kollár, Can Togay)
Program: Péter Lajtai: The Breakfast of Adolf Kurtz and István Bálint: Seven Clown Stories.

5 August 1972 - The concert of the Dowland choir: “old madrigals: Palestrina. Works of Lassus, Schütz and Monteverdi, and impressionist choral works (Debussy, Hindemith, Poulenc), József Soproni: From The Wine of Dionysus and a spiritual”.

6-13 August 1972 - Group Bosch+Bosch (Szabadka, Yugoslavia): the exhibition of László Kerekes, Slavko Matkovic, Predrag Sidjanin, László Szalma, Bálint Szombathy, (a film).

6 August 1972 - Ilona Péter recites poems, Mihály Balázsovics hands out his dog-tag poem.

14-25 August 1972 - Exhibition of Imre Bak, András Baranyay, Sándor Csutoros, Ernő Fóth, György Galántai, Tamás Hencze, Ádám Kéri, István Nádler, László Paizs, Béla Szeift.

15 August 1972 - Péter Türk: Experimentes with Question-marks, Obsolescene Action. György Galántai: Sign Action.

18 August 1972 - Gyula Rózsa writes in daily paper Népszabadság: “there are two remarkable events at lake Balaton that must be mentioned: the shuggy-haired initiative of the young men at Tihany and Balatonboglár.”

20-30 August 1972 - The exhibition “In Memoriam Kassák” does not take place, a selection of previously exhibited works is put on display instead.

25 August 1972 - Galántai puts the new entrance door in and puts out a notice saying “Private” to keep off undesirable persons.

26-27 August 1972 - A meeting of Czech, Slovak and Hungarian artists organized by László Beke. Participants: Imre Bak, Peter Bartos, László Beke, Miklós Erdély, Stano Filko, György Galántai, Péter Halász, Béla Hap, Ágnes Háy, Tamás Hencze, György Jovánovics, J. H. Kocman, Péter Legéndy, János Major, László Méhes, Gyula Pauer, Vladjimir Popovic, Petr Stembera, Rudolf Sikora, Tamás Szentjóby, Anna Szeredi, Endre Tót, Péter Türk, Jiri Valoch.

30 August 1972 - Closing, transportation of works to Budapest.

September-October 1972 - Galántai exchanges letters about the burglary with the county and district police stations, the county public prosecutor’s office, and the State Insurance Company.

24 October 1972 - The public prosecutor’s office to Somogy county turn down Galántai’s complaint about the stopping of the investigation about the burglary on grounds that “the perpetrator of the crime could not be identified.”

(English translation by Ágnes Ivacs)

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