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In August 2023 I conducted a public art intervention at one of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s events. In collaboration with the Museum in relation to the panel discussion “WHYY’s acclaimed podcast, The Statue, and its influence on our city and the role of public art today” that happened inside the Museum. Our addition to this project was called the "Rocky Instant Photobooth Activation". Two artists from our group Phillymade were present (Tyler Davis and me) offering visitors to the Museum and attendees of the panel a chance to have their instant photos taken with the famous Rocky statue. Participants received their photo to take home with them for free.

Listen to the podcast: "The Statue, the story of a monument to the greatest Philadelphian who never lived, from WHYY Digital Studios."


For East-Central European countries emerging out of the period of state socialism, it was only after 1989 that the civic sphere and civil society could make themselves felt as constructive elements of democracy. An agent of the development of the democratic order, civil society represents a significant force in opposition to political power, for instance in its capacity to thematize sensitive social questions, form public opinion, assert values, and keep the government in check.

“Conceived by the Hungarian Government as a commemoration of the German occupation of Hungary in 1944 and according to the inscription dedicated to the “memory of victims”, the monument in Liberty

Square has been a scene of protest against the falsification of history. The protest has taken the form of a counter-monument that contests the official meanings of the government-sponsored composition and especially the notion it conveys depicting Hungary as a victim of German occupation. Whereas the officcial monument evokes traditional forms and its aesthetic is neo- classical, the counter-monument consists of ephemeral features such as gradually accumulated written messages and everyday artefacts, and it is constantly built up by protesters. The counter- monument not only challenges the adjacent official monument and its notion of Hungary as a victim of German occupation; importantly, it defies the legitimacy of the official conception of victimhood by direct references to the suffering of Hungarian Jews at the period.” *

The Human Platform initiated the creation of an informal group consisting of civilians, activists, artists, art historians. The purpose of this group was to draw public attention to the problems and controversial meaning of the monument commissioned by the government, as well, as to prevent the building of the monument in its planned form, if possible.

The group’s first flash mob involved placing stones, candles, mementos and two white chairs on the appointed site of the monument. The chairs symbolized the need for public dialogue. Later, when the construction of the monument was in progress, the group brought 12 white chairs onto the square and started the series of discussions that are continuing unfalteringly to this day.

To contribute to the Living Memorial, I used drawings of one of my relatives. These are Joseph Kalmans’ portraits from 1944, when he was one of the prisoners of the Nazis. Kalman happened to be talented in drawing, and he drew up to 65 portraits of soldiers during the long months of the deadly march. Hungarians themselves, the soldiers served the Nazis to guard the Jews in the labor force and other imprisoned civilians. The graphite pencil drawings have been kept with care by our family since WWII – which he survived miraculously – and this show represented their first showing in 70 years. They were all copied and taken to set up on the fence at the Liberty Square. monument at the site of the Living Memorial; this was my historic action. After the news that the site would become a construction area,
the personal memorabilia was fenced off, along with the space for the public memorial, and the gathered crowd knocked down the fence with the installed drawings. Later, transformed into little paper flags, the portraits were stuck next to the stones and candles.

“In memory of victims”: Monument and counter-monument in Liberty Square, Budapest Ágnes Erőss


This project highlights my experience in using art to link students from different disciplines. The “Flying Art Courses” initiative, an independent, non-profit art/educational project set up by Attila Menesi, an artist and colleague in Budapest, fosters pop-up events, lectures and workshops that occupy different universities around the region and engage students of other disciplines in contemporary art.

I was invited to conduct a 2 days workshop. My workshop targeted students of media and communication, accompanied by the students from the art department at the University of Pécs.
I outlined a broader theme of tableau – which stands for a form of art piece, (as if in a painting)
a group of people are attractively arranged. The theme channeled a political situation, which was about whether to discriminate the one who discriminates others is appropriate or not.



The series is conceived and curated by Janos Korodi, published by, and generously supported by Tranzit* and acb Gallery**, that have made possible the research and production of the series.

In 2013, I organized and worked as executive curator for a key project that addressed the serious and threatening impact of the government’s new policies on Hungarian educational and cultural life. I was invited to a public forum, a club called Pepita Ofelia in Budapest, that had been adapted for alternative art and political critique. The venue is home to the most progressive artists of all types, and has held the most famous writers’ readings and book introductions since its opening in 2012.

I invited five different artists or groups who engaged with the political atmosphere and reacted to the offensive threat from the government’s new policies. The series of events lasted over two months. The panels and exhibits catalyzed a broad public conversation, culminating in an event that brought the old activist artists from the late eighties to engage with youth activists of today. This event included Artpool Art Research Center as a source of important anti-communist documents of art-related political opposition from the 80’s.

The series received international attention.

STATE OF EMERGENCY video documentation

In May of 2012, I was involved in a mural-project in New York City. This work, a joint collaboration between the New School as well as the people of El Jardín del Paraiso community garden in the East Village, gave me not only an excellent sniff of the life of
an artist in New York, but also an opportunity to work towards both my own pleasure and the eye and respect of the local community. Here are a few words about the concept behind the mural project:

“To make the originals, I copied one of my paintings and mirrored it in the same time.
My guiding questions were: how do the copy and the original work together? How do they communicate with each other? How will the copy change the original and how will they be simultaneously identical and different? Would they work as the two parts of our brain? The originals were made through different methods, and I did the same while planning the mural, with the goal of creating an interactive painting session. I painted the left part of the picture, using traditional brush technique; then I encouraged the students and the volunteers from the garden community to paint the right part of it using spray-paints. This experimental way of creating a public art-piece like this mural transformed the original idea from a static, visual piece—the mural itself—into a new form of connecting people, an actual act of community-building, lifting us up to a new stage of being together.”

Watch a short video about the making of the mural


2×50×75 cm / acril, pastel on paper tape and velour paper / 2011


250"×130" / wall paint, spray paint / 2012



In a series of exhibitions, the “Budapest, Erzsébet tér” project appropriates the working processes of artist-run organizations around Europe in an attempt to map the fragmented international independent art movements. The project can be considered a crosstalk with other galleries, all inspired by the novel Berlin, Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin. The gallery space where the event happens is in Erzsébet Square, Budapest. “The way Döblin writes the separate segments of life in his novel, the way he builds a complete picture of the post-WWI situation, the 20's in Berlin – is exactly what inspired me how to get this done.”

The idea was to set up an exhibition in Budapest for Hungarian artists in September, 2008; simultaneously, other artists in different cities would also open their shows. The openings connected in real-time on a web-based platform for showing the art works and inviting commentary. Our choice was obviously Berlin. Three artist-run galleries were invited to demonstrate their work. At the public show in the Gödör Club Exhibition Space Budapest, we involved the audience, using a display and a console in the gallery. This crosstalk event is an exceptional virgin-eye filter, with a fresh and unique sense of the blind judgement made due to distance, the essential point of view of the stranger. The process, planned for an interval of a year, brought us closer to identify our positions in the international context of independent art movements.


In 1992, after the fall of the Communist regime in Hungary, youth such as myself lacked the sort of gathering spaces every generation needs (that era doubled it with the true excitement and airy euphoria of experiencing freedom that the given historical moment meant for us); demand arose for art galleries, concert venues, alternative cultural events and popular entertainment. In this vacuum, a collective of artists, myself included, set up a club in a vacant hangar by the Danube river, in a little bay and harbor in northern Budapest. The site-specific concept combined an art gallery, a movie theatre, and a concert hall. I organized cultural events on a weekly basis from art shows through concerts and screenings to drama plays. The space was a magnet for people from all walks of life, from the working-class neighborhood around the “Hangar” to downtown intellectuals. It was also a catalyst for further change: although the Hangar itself was ephemeral, in the six months of its existence it essentially incubated many of the most influential NGOs and cultural endeavours in Budapest that followed it.

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