Somogyi Néplap [Somogy People’s Daily], Kaposvár, 8 July 1971

In a Rented Chapel - Illegal Exhibitions and Events

Some Avant-garde Artists Defy the Law

We are dumbfounded by the new Balatonboglár Chapel exhibitions. Why did a group of new Hungarian Avant-garde artists escape to a forlorn shrine whose crypt had once guarded dead bodies and where hooligans hang out, especially in summer? Why have a good number of people steeped on this private property, believed to be a «no man’s land» but, which is currently rented – from the church – by György Galántai, a painter from Budapest? Why did they start mounting illegal shows here under the title of Boglár Chapel Exhibitions? ...

Nor do we understand how the supervising authority – its highest degree of jurisdiction belonging to the cultural department of the Somogy County Council – possibly allowed (for almost a year) this unlawfulness, the illegal exhibitions, performances and events.

That the supervisory body must be clueless is the only conclusion I can draw from the letters in front of me right now. The Balaton region’s officer of the Somogy County Council’s cultural department sent letters, one on 2 and another on 14 July 1971, regarding the case of the chapel exhibitions to the Balatonboglár local council and the Directorate of Museums in Somogy County. The letters contained the same information: Dr János Hock inquires what organisation (individual) organises these exhibitions and events, who gave permission to hold the events advertised in the already printed brochures, who gave permission for the planned events, and what is the content of the programme and who are its participants? The officer asked the directorate of Museums in Somogy County too to clarify these matters...

We can read the following in the answer written by the chairman of the Balatonboglár council, “I have contacted the main organiser, György Galántai, in connection with the operation of the Balatonboglár chapel exhibitions, several times, asking him to produce the official permission, but all my attempts failed since said individual stays in our village only very rarely and for short periods.”

We are also unable to understand the administrative process.

As regards the case of the chapel exhibitions, it is a simple affair. Pursuant to government decree 23/1963, individual artists and groups are only allowed to mount fine and applied art exhibitions in Hungary with the permission of and after the jurying by the Lectorate[1].

Accordingly, the chapel where György Galántai organises regular exhibitions and events cannot be regarded a private area.

The Lectorate is shocked by the opposition shown by the artists participating in the chapel exhibitions after having personally witnessed the illegal exhibitions on 2 July, we were informed by Éva Barta, deputy head of the lectorate.

A LEGAL DEBATE cannot be started with the populous group of the Balatonboglár chapel exhibitions unless they retreat to the territory of lawfulness. Instead of a legal debate, a procedure will have to be started against these people.

B. H. [Barna Horányi]

[1] Fine and Applied Arts Lectorate: the ministry’s organisation responsible for jurying – transl