Péter Forgács

10 September 1950. Media artist and scientist live and work in Budapest. Studies at Academy of Fine Art, Budapest 1971/72. & 1974/77. Graduates in 1977. In the early seventies' Forgács works influenced by the Hungarian fluxus & concept art movement and various experimental theatre & filmmakers. Péter Forgács established the Private Film & Photo Archives Foundation 1983, Budapest, a collection of amateur films & snapshots of the 20th. Century Hungary, for culture & art studies. Researcher at the Hungarian Sociological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, on the ‘Private Film and Photo Research Project.’ As an independent film and video artist, Forgács begun in the Béla Balázs Film Studio (1978) Created his first 16 mm. film "Children Movie." and AKAI video tape the „I see that I look.” in 1978. From the eighties Forgács exhibits video performances like „Inauguration” (1980) or „Dixie & Pixie” (1983) and video installations:

The "Totem" (Kapolcs, Hungary,1993, Amsterdam Nederland Film Museum, Holland;
"The Case of My Room" video installation, Newcastle, Laing Art Gallery, U K, (1992),
“Two Nests” French Cultural Institute, Budapest. (1992),
The "Hungarian Video Kitchen Art" (at the SUB VOCE, Budapest 1991, & 10th W. W. Video Festival, The Hague, Holland, 1992).
The „Inventory” one man show at Kiscell, the Budapest Municipal Museum 1995
The „Pre Morgue” installation at ‘Butterfly Effect’ 1996, Budapest.
The ‘Hungarian TOTEM’ video installation was exhibited in Tokyo, Shiseido Gallery (1996) and at the 1996 Sao Paolo Biennial.
The „Dream Inventory” has been presented as part of the „Beyond Art and Science” Austro- Hungarian Exhibition at Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 1996 and at Graz, Landes Museum 1997.

Scholarships, lectures, presentations:

scholarship and exhibition (Partenope) Rome, Hungarian Academy.

Associate professor of University of California, Central European Studies Budapest.

In collaboration with poet György Petri & graphics artist György Galántai, created the book, „Petrified for East" (1990) at the School of Art Visiting Artist Program, at ASU, Tempe, USA.

Lectures in Netherlands Film Museum Amsterdam „Teens Doc.” Conference

“Wittgenstein Tractatus” Lecture and performance at the Netherlands Film Museum Amsterdam

Lectures & presentations. Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, New York.

Lectures and presentations. Chicago Art Institute, School of the Art.

Lectures & public presentations. Berkeley University and at the Pacific Film Archive.

‘Tractatus’ lecture. KAO University, Tokyo.
Presentation at INPUT 96 Guadalajara, Mexico

Lecture at RAI-EUROVISIONI conference on Hungarian Documentaries, Naples

“Documentaries and History” Seminar at IDFA Conference, Amsterdam
Lecture at the ROME EUROVISIONI conference “Creative Documentaries and New Technologies”

CalArts, Los Angeles,
Visiting Artist presentations, and lecture Presentation at INPUT Stuttgart,
Flaherty Film Seminar NY, USA
Past as Present (on Amateur Film) conference, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

lectures and film presentation, KIASMA, CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM, Helsinki

Selected solo exhibitions, installations, performances

1979    "STANLEY & LIVINGSTONE” performance.
YOUNG ARTISTS CLUB (YAC) BP: with Gusztáv Hámos & László Lugosi Lugo
1980    "INAUGURATION" video performance
(YAC) BP: with László Lugo Lugosi, István Mártha, and Lajos Somoskői (Soma)
1981   "New York - BUDAPEST" paintings, Young Artists Club (YAC),
Budapest Photos by László Lugó Lugosi
1982    "Chlorophyll” performance
with László Lugo Lugosi at YAC Bp.
1983    "Dixi & Pixi" video performance
Kassák Culture Center, with Dixi, Group 180, László Lugo Lugosi
1984    "Black Hole" Performance,
‘Plánum’ International Avant-garde Festival, Budapest, with Tamás Tóth / bass guitar
1985    "Snapshot from the Island" performance
with Tibor Szemző Apollohuis Eindhoven, The Hague, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Vienna.
   "Work Desk" Video performance.
Ernst Museum, with Tibor Szemző
1985/86   Pig paintings
One man show in Apollo Huis, Eindhoven, Holland
1987   Xerox Graphics - ‘Partenope’ group exhibition , Accademia d'Ungheria, Rome, Italy
1988   Paintings & photography.
One man show in FOTOHOF GALERIE Salzburg, Austria
1989    "Private Exits" performance,
with Szemző Tibor. TÖNE & GEGEN TÖNE FESTIVAL. Vienna, Austria
1990   New Paintings by HUNGARIAN CONTEMPORARY ART Group Exhibition, Palais Universitet, Strasbourg, France
1991   "Hungarian Video Kitchen Art" installation,
Sub Voce Exhibition, Art Palace. & 10th World Wide Video Festival, The Hague, Holland 1993 "Thee á'El Greco" Video Installation.
Homage El Greco Exhibition, Budapest / Museum of Fine Arts.
1992   "The Case of My Room’, VIDEO installation Laing Art Gallery, “The Shifting Borders“ (Newcastle, United Kingdom)
   Video installation,
Institute Français, Budapest
1993    “Two Nests and Other Things" Prague, Hungarian Culture Institute Gallery.
   "TOTEM" video installation
Music: Barnabás Dukay, Kapolcs village, Hungary
   "Hungarian Totem" video installation.
Nederland Film Museum, Holland Amsterdam
1995    ‘Inventory’ one man show
at Kiscell Municipal Gallery ‘Dream Inventory’, Wittgenstein Inventory and ’Totem’
1996   Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo
"Hungarian Totem” video installation
  Sao Paolo XXVIII. Biennial, "Hungarian Totem”
  Postmasters Gallery, New York, "Hungarian Totem"
1996-97   ‘Dream Inventory’ Ludwig Museum, Budapest- Landes Museum, Graz, Austria „Beyond Art & Science” Austro-Hungarian Exhibition
1997   „Saloon, and Then!” installation,
Liget Gallery, Budapest Hungarian title “Szalon na!”
  „The Hung Aryan” (Hungarian title ‘A KASZT Ó!’) Video Installation,
Budapest Gallery, Budapest
1998   Roma INTER ACTUS 5 Accademia Ungheria "Hungarian Totem"
  "Hungarian Totem"
in Krakow Poland and Hungary… a triple dialogue group exhib.
  ‘Dream Inventory’
MUHKA Gallery, Antwerp. Belgium
  „The Hung Aryan” Video Installation
OBSERVATORIUM group exhibition, Gallery Ujezdowsky, Warsaw
1999   "Hungarian Totem"
FAUNA group exhibition Zachenta Museum, Warsaw.

Selected group exhibitions, installations, performances

1984    Planum International Avantgarde Festival, Budapest
1987    Partenope, Hungarian Academy, Rome
1991    Hommage to El Greco, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
   Sub Voce, (Hungarian Video Kitchen Art installation), Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), Budapest
   World Wide Video Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands
1992    The Case of My Room (video installation), Shifting Borders, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, England (UK)
1995    Hungarian Sculpture, Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), Budapest
1996    Analysis and Commentary: Central European Art (with Ivan Kafka, Prague, and Piotr Jaros, Krakow), Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo
   The Butterfly Effect, Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), Budapest


1978    I See That I Look (20 min., video)
1979    Children's Movie (25 min., 16mm film, BBS)
   Children's Theatre (20 min., 16mm film, BBS)
1985    Golden Age (music by Tibor Szemző; 20 min., video)
   Iron Age (music by Tibor Szemző; 50 min., video)
   Spinoza Rückwerz (5 min., 35 mm colour film, BBS)
1986   Portrait of Leopold Szondi (60 min., video, Hungarian TV)
1987    Episodes from the Life of Professor M.F (Portrait of Ferenc Mérei; 110 min., video, BBS)
1988    The Bartos Family (Private Hungary 1) (60 min., video, BBS-FMS)
1989    Dusi & Jenő (Private Hungary 2) (45 min., video, BBS-FMS)
   Either-Or (Private Hungary 3 ) (43 min., video, BBS - FMS)
1990    The Diary of Mr. N. (Private Hungary 4) (51 min., video, BBS - FMS)
1991    Márai: Herbal (30 min., INTERLUDE series, FMS-HTV)
   D-Film (Private Hungary 5) (45 min., video, FMS-BBS)
  Photographed by László Dudás (Private Hungary 6) (45 min., video, FMS-BBS)
   Arizona diary -(video FMS-BBS with György Petri poet) 53 min.
1992   Wittgenstein Tractatus (co-directed with Tibor Szemző, composer) (32 min., INTERLUDE series, FMS-HTV)
  Bourgeois Dictionaries (Private Hungary 7) (49 min., video, FMS-BBS)
1993    Culture Shavings (43 min., video, FRÍZ-HTV)
   Domweg Gelukkig (Simply Happy) (46 min., Lumen film, The Hague)
   Conversations on Psychoanalysis A documentary series (FMS HTV - BBS 1988-1993)
1. Freud & Vienna 53 min.
2. Sándor Ferenczi & the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis 53 min.
3. The Psychoanalytic View of Man 55 min.
4. Psychoanalysis & Society 53 min.
5. Psychoanalysis as Therapy 58 min.
1992-94    „The Notes of a Lady” (FMS BBS Private Hungary 8) 48 min.
1994    “Meanwhile Somewhere” 1940-43...” BBS-HTV 52 min. “An Unknown War” series 5/3 a
   ‘Simply Happy’ DOMWEG GELUKKIG 46 and 72 min. DOCUMENTARY FILM. Lumen Film production, Amsterdam
1996   „The Land Of Nothing” video BBS - HTV Private Hungary /9 62’min.
  „Free Fall” BBS HTV Private Hungary/10 75’ min.
1996-97   „Class Lot” Private Hungary/11 (Private Socialism/1) 52’ min. Quality Pictures kft - BBS - HTV production
1997   .. otherwise” video with Zoltán Vida 1’30” min
  „The Maelstrom” A Family Chronic „De Maalstroom” 60’05” A Lumen Film production for VPRO TV, Holland
  “Kádár’s Kiss” Private Hungary/12 (Private Socialism/2) 52’ min. Quality Pictures kft - BBS - HTV production
1998   „The Danube Exodus” 60 min. produced by Cesar Messemaker LUMEN FILM, Amsterdam for VPRO TV, HOLLAND

Works in Public Collections

  • Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
  • Samlung Oppenheim, Bonn
  • Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, California
  • Museum of Modern Art (Video Collection), New York
  • Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Centre Georges Pompidou (Video Collection), Paris

    "Self-portrait" 1975; acrylic on canvas (210 x 140 cm)
    Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

    "Dusi and Jenõ" 1989, video 44'
    Samlung Oppenheim (Oppenheim Collection) Bonn, Germany

    "Márai: Herbal" video, 1991 & "Wittgenstein Tractatus" video (1992)
    Collection of the "Video Les Beaux Jours" Strasbourg, France

    Private Hungary series. The Bartos Family, Dusi and Jenõ, Either-Or, The Diary of Mr. N and Meanwhile Somewhere, The Maelstrom, Free Fall.
    Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley. Cal. USA

    Private Hungary series The Bartos Family, Dusi and Jenõ, Either-Or, The Diary of Mr. N, Bourgeois Dictionary, Notes of a Lady, 'Meanwhile Somewhere' & the "Wittgenstein Tractatus", Totem
    MOMA, Museum of Modern Arts, Video collection New York

    Private Hungary series The Bartos Family, Dusi and Jenõ, Either-Or, The Diary of Mr. N, Bourgeois Dictionary, Notes of a Lady, The Land of Nothing, Free Fall & "Tractatus",
    Collection of the Nederland Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherland

    'The Bartos Family' & 'Diary of Mr. N.'
    video collection Centre Pompidou & Musé d'Art Moderne,

    'Tractatus,' 'Bourgeois Dictionary,' 'Notebook of a Lady'
    Zentrum für Medien Kunst, ZKM, video collection, Karlsruhe, Germany

    'Free Fall' The Bartos Family, Dusi and Jenõ, Either-Or, The Diary of Mr. N, Bourgeois Dictionary, Notes of a Lady, The Land of Nothing, “Class Lot”, “Kádár’s Kiss”.
    Haus der Dokumentarfilm collection Stuttgart, Germany

    'TOTEM' video installation
    Ludwig Museum, Budapest

    'Free Fall'
    In Video collection, Milan

    The Maelstrom, Wittgenstein Tractatus, FREE FALL, Totem
    KIASMA kunsthalle, Helsinki.

  • Awards

    "Wittgenstein Tractatus" video /1992/ 32'
    Grand Prix Wroclaw Poland, Sound Base Arts Video Festival;

    Video Grand Prix Lucerne Switzerland: VIPER Film & Video Festival

    Film & Video Festival Strasbourg Video Les Beaux Jours Prix

    "Culture Shavings" Prix St. Germaine de Geneva video, 43
    Hungarian title: Kultúr forgácsok. Geneva, Switzerland, 5e Semaine Internationale de Video, 1993

    "Márai :Herbal" (FMS MTV) 30’ Hungarian title: Márai Füveskönyv
    2nd Prize Berlin Sport and Young film Festival

    Prix Menzione di Merito . FILM FESTIVAL Salerno, Italy, 45,

    "Dusi and Jenõ" (1989, BBS / FMS ) video 45,’ Hungarian title: Dusi és Jenõ
    Marseilles, France, 2nd "European Document Film. Biennial" Grand Prix

    "The Bartos Family "(1988) 61' Hungarian title: A Bartos család
    World Wide Video Festival, Grand Prix The Hague, Holland

    Hungarian Film Critics Prize
    The Best Hungarian Documentary Film: "Private Hungary" series

    “Notes of a Lady” Hungarian title: Egy úrinő notesza
    (BBS / FMS- Private Hungary 8) Montecattini Italy 45. MOSTRA INTERNAZIONALE DI CINEMA

    „Meanwhile Somewhere” Hungarian title: Miközben valahol
    “Lattücht” Prize DokumentART 95 Festival, Neubrandenburg, Germany,

    Honor Knight Cross of the Hungarian Republic,

    „Free Fall” Hungarian title “Az örvény…Budapest, 28th Hungarian Film Week,

    „Free Fall” Marseilles, International Document Film Festival ‘vue sur le docs’
    GRAND PRIX & CNC “Image de la culture” special award

    „Free Fall Berlin, PRIX EUROPA Grand Prize” Non-Fiction Program of the year

    „Free Fall” Leipzig, International Film Festival, , FIPRESCI Prize

    „Free Fall” Hungarian Film Critics Prize
    "The Best Hungarian Documentary-Fiction, and the Best Film Music of the year 1997”

    The Balázs Béla Prize of the Hungarian Republic

    The Danube Exodus” Documentary Film Grand Prix 30th Hungarian Film WEEK
    Krakow Int. Doc. & Short Film Festival, Silver Dragon prix and FIPRESCI prize,

    “The Maelstrom” Jerusalem International Film Festival,
    the MAYOR’S “Jewish Experience Prize” for best documentary film


    Forgács Péter Selected Bibliography

    Josef Woodard: "Hitting Home" (Private Hungary) in: Santa Barbara Independent 26/03/92

    Robert Fischer: "Suche Nach den...." in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung 12/10/90

    Jerome Mallien: "»Wittgenstein« Sourire á l’objectif" in: Derniere Nouvelles d’Alsac 23/03/93

    Jerome Mallien: „Forgács, la colére froide du concept” Derniere Nouvelles d’Alsac 05/04/95

    György Spíró: "Midnight or A Couple from the Attila Street" in Népszabadság (Budapest) 28/04/91

    Annick Péignégiuly: "Cine-journal d’une famille hongroise" in: Liberation 27/10/91

    Miklós Peternák: „Private Hungary” in: Belvedere (Budapest) 1991/1

    Pieter Bogaert: "Interlude Leven is Ijdelheid" in: Andere Sinema 1992/06

    Mieke Bernink: "De Tragiek van de Tijd" in: Screen 1990/54

    Laurence Follea: "Images d’Amateurs" in: Le Monde 1991/10/28

    Kees Hogenbirk Private Hungary in. DIURANA Amsterdam 1993/3

    Albert Wulffers: "Het Spel der Vergissen" Nederland Film Museum in: Themareeks/20 1993/10

    István Hajdu: „Exhibitionism in the Indiference of God” in: Balkon (Budapest) 1994/10

    J. R. „Nazi-troepen in de stad” in: NRC Handelsblatt (Amsterdam)10/11/93

    Anne-Marij Merhottein “Er was ens… “ Private Hungary. PHD at Film & TV Faculty Amsterdam Univ. 1996

    Raymond van den Boogard “Allemaal deschuld van de CIA” in NRC Handelsblatt (Amsterdam) 27/06/1997

    Hulb Stam “Nederladndse films in trek op IDFA” in: Volksrkrant (Amsterdam) 01/12/1997

    Vera Najgenova “Budapest Festival ‘97” in: KINO (Moszkva) February/1997

    Paolo Vecchi “Budapest: Produzione In Ripresa” in: L’Unita (Roma) 1997 02 16

    Christian Iseli Visualised Memories in: DOX /Denmark-Switzerland/ August 1997


    Kiscell Municipal Museum exhibition catalogue (Budapest) 1995

    Katalin Néray “Between Actualities and Utopias in Central Europe” Shiseido Catalogue Tokyo 1996

    Hirishi Minamishima “Christ in a Sock” Shiseido Exhibition Catalogue, Tokyo 1996

    Gerjan Zuilhof …”FREE FALL” 26th IFFR Catalogue Rotterdam, 1997

    Erkki Huttamo Historaa kotislokuvan välitykselä. in: Kaleva 02/22/97 Finland

    László F Földényi Analytic Spaces – Installation’s of Péter Forgács in: Hungarian Lettre International /29

    Antonia Naim FREE FALL in. Il Manifesto 23/09/1998

    Catherine Bangonnet FEE FALL in. Images documentaires n°28

    Kenneth Turan ‘The Most Personal Filmmakers’ in: Los Angeles Times. 1 December 1998,

    F. László Földényi. ‘Historical Therapy in Film’ in: Metropolis, 1999 summer

    András Forgách ‘The Destruction of Closed Gardens’ in: Metropolis, 1999 summer.

    Back Current Coordinates Exhibition