SCCA

 

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SCCA - Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Budapest

ICAN  BUTTERFLY EFFECT (1996)          | MAGYARUL

 

SOROS CENTERS FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS (SCCA) NETWORK

Between 1992 and 1999, the SCCA Network functioned as part of the Soros Foundations network, with a mission to support the development and international exposure of contemporary art in Eastern and Central Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, and Central Eurasia as a vital element of an open society.

At the end of 1999, the members of the SCCA Network created ICAN: International Contemporary Art Network, registered in The Netherlands as a public benefit association. C3: Center For Culture and Communication, which was registered as an independent foundation at about the same time, is a founding member of ICAN.

SCCA-Budapest – Program History

1985-1991
Soros Foundation Fine Arts Documentation Center

The Soros Foundation Fine Arts Documentation Center was established in 1985 in the Budapest Mûcsarnok (Kunsthalle), as cooperation between the Mûcsarnok and Soros Foundation Hungary. The framework of the Soros Foundation, in the area of fine arts, was to support modern Hungarian culture which was banned or at least forced into the background by official cultural policies; in essence, support those Hungarian artists in “counter-culture” circles. It assisted avant-garde spirited art through scholarships, purchases, and helped in the organization of exhibitions and the publication of catalogues. The Fine Arts Documentation Center, under the direction of an Advisory Board, functioned as a resource center offering information on twentieth century Hungarian artists to students, scholars, collectors and dealers from within Hungary and from abroad. Slides, photographs, biographical data, catalogues, press clippings and bibliographies were collected and compiled at the Center. The commencement of such an activity was of vital importance at that point in time when the authoritative gestures of cultural policy (that categorized arts as those supported, those tolerated and those banned, according to prescribed criteria regarding both content and style) had already begun to break down, yet there was not much support for progressive art, especially not for making visual documentation of important oeuvres and art events.

1991-1996
Soros Center for Contemporary Arts (SCCA), Budapest

In 1991, the Center expanded its activities under the name SCCA, and in addition to the preparation of comprehensive documentations, organized exhibitions and different art projects, managed a grants program for contemporary Hungarian artists and arts institutions to support the organization of contemporary art exhibitions and the printing of catalogues. From June 1996, with the creation of the C3: Center for Culture and Communication, the activities of the SCCA have been incorporated in the programs of C3. The artists' portfolios and the audiovisual database as well as the up-to-date collection of international information have been continuously placed on the on-line arts magazine, exindex, launched by C3.

From the end of 1991 until 1999, 19 additional SCCAs were opened in 17 Central and Eastern European countries, with goals and activities similar to the Budapest SCCA. The SCCAs were open art centers maintaining information on international grants, scholarships, arts programs, competitions, exhibitions and other events. They also offered the visual arts community a library of exhibition catalogues of local artists' work and a collection of contemporary arts publications. Most SCCAs organized an annual exhibition of local contemporary art and offered a grants program for artists living in their catchment area. In order to increase the international art world's access to the contemporary art of Eastern and Central Europe, each SCCA maintained comprehensive documentation on significant artists in its country and published information about its work on websites and the Internet. A vital element in the work of the SCCAs was the educational program, including the organization of seminars, conferences and lectures, the provision of grants to attend conferences or take up internships abroad.

MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE SOROS FINE ARTS DOCUMENTATION CENTER/ SCCA, BUDAPEST

1985-1988

Dr. László Beke, Chief Curator, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
Dr. Loránd Bereczky, Director, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, art historian
Márta Kovalovszky, Curator, King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár
Prof. Lajos Németh, Head of the Art History Department, Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest
Dr. Júlia Szabó, Art Historian, Art History Research Department, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
Dr. Jean-Cristophe Amman, Director, Kunsthalle, Basel
Dr. J. Carter Brown, Director, National Gallery, Washington
Dr. Michael Compton, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Gallery, London
Dr. Thomas M. Messer, Director, Guggenheim Museum, New York (Chair)
Meda S. Mladek Art Historian, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Dieter Ronte, Director, Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna

1988-1990

Dr. László Beke, Chief Curator, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
Prof. Lajos Németh, Head of the Art History Department, Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest (Chair)
Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, Director, Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna
Márta Kovalovszky, Curator, King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár
Katalin Néray, Director, Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest
Dr. Dieter Ronte, Director, Sprengel Museum, Hannover

1990-1991

Dr. László Beke, Chief Curator, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
Prof. Lajos Németh, Head of the Art History Department, Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest (Chair)
Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, Director, Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna
Márta Kovalovszky, Curator, King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár
Katalin Néray, Director, Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest

1992-1993

Gábor Andrási, Director, Óbuda Társaskör Gallery, Budapest
Krisztina Jerger, Curator, Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest
Suzanne Mészöly, Director, SCCA, Budapest
Katalin Néray, Director, Ludwig Museum, Budapest (Chair)
Gábor Pataki, Assistant Director, Art History Research Department, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest

1994-1995

Péter Fitz, Director, Kiscelli Museum, Budapest
Krisztina Jerger, Curator, Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest
Péter Kovács, Curator, King Saint Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár
Suzanne Mészöly, Director, SCCA, Budapest
Katalin Néray, Director, Ludwig Museum, Budapest (Chair)

1995-1996

Péter Fitz, Director, Kiscelli Museum, Budapest
Krisztina Jerger, Curator, Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest
Péter Kovács, Curator, King Saint Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár
Katalin Néray, Director, Ludwig Museum, Budapest (Chair)
Miklós Peternák, Head of the Intermedia Department, Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest

VISUAL ARTS COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENTATION has been prepared for modern and contemporary Hungarian artists. The SCCA Board selected these artists, and commissioned local art historians to prepare the documentation. Each documentation is a comprehensive account of the artist's work, including biographical details, bibliography, copies of relevant articles, published catalogues, a list of group and solo exhibitions, a brief account of the artist's activities and lists of works in private and public collections. Between twenty to forty works are selected from each artist's oeuvre. One written page is devoted to the description of a single work, which is accompanied, by a black-and-white reproduction and a color slide. The documentation is available in both Hungarian and English.

VISUAL ARTS ARTISTS' FILE is a comprehensive, computerized slide registry of contemporary local artists. The SCCA maintained an alphabetically organized file of slides and documentation, including up to twenty slides of current work, current addresses, biographies, lists of exhibitions, catalogues, photographs, published articles. The artists have provided slides and other information for the Artists' File, and then selected two slides that they considered to be most representative of their work for inclusion in a more selective file. This selective file provides a comprehensive overview of all artists in the Artists' File for visitors to the SCCA. A visitor may view the selective file and then request additional slides and documentation from the Artist's File. The SCCA has also assisted visitors in establishing contacts with local artists.

EXHIBITIONS of local contemporary art were organized by SCCA-Budapest. The shows were primarily located in the Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, which hosted the SCCA office until 1996. Each year the exhibition explored a different medium, introducing new ideas, media, artists and theory. Participation in these exhibitions was open to competition, and was publicized nationally. An Exhibition Committee consisting of the Board and/or chosen by the SCCA Board selected fifteen to twenty-five artists for the exhibition. The Center organized and curated the exhibition, and published a bilingual catalogue in English and Hungarian.

1990
Architectonic Visions Today, Mûcsarnok, Budapest

1991
Sub Voce – Contemporary Hungarian Video Installation, Mûcsarnok, Budapest

1992
30 x 30 x 30, Merlin Theatre, Budapest

1992
Revisions – Contemporary Hungarian Art, Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide; Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia

1993
Polyphony - Social Commentary in Contemporary Hungarian Art, Site-specific works and installations

1994
V = A W, Csók István Gallery, Székesfehérvár

1994
More Than Ten, Ludwig Museum, Budapest

1996
The Butterfly Effect, Mûcsarnok, Budapest

VISUAL ARTS GRANTS were made available to local artists and institutions. In general grants were made available for the production of catalogues including text in English, to assist with exhibition preparation, and to assist in the finance of an art event. The SCCA Board was responsible for selecting the grantees. The guidelines and amounts of the grants were nationally publicized for three months. The grants were not a large amount of money, but rather subsidized the overall exhibition, event, or catalogue costs. Grants were not available to commercial artists or for the execution of art works.

AN INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE LIBRARY, with information on international opportunities have been maintained by the SCCA for visual and performing artists, art historians, critics and curators. The SCCA distributed information from a variety of international foundations and organizations, international grants, scholarships, events, competitions and exhibitions. The catalogue library of local and international artists and exhibitions has also been maintained by the SCCA. The collection concentrates on contemporary publications. Owing to the exchange of publications among members of the SCCA Network, the library incorporates a variety of catalogues from the different countries of the network.

 

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