Rewritable Stories

2019. Mar. 23. - 2019. Jul. 07.

The exhibitions of ROTERS & SZOLNOKI: Wunderblock and Zsolt Keserue: National Textbook

The central question of the methodically constructed project of ROTERS & SZOLNOKI entitled Wunderblock is, what does the creation of personal and collective identity in theoften turbulent social-historical circumstances of the 20th century mean? The National Textbook founded and led by Zsolt Keserue concentrates on the development of critical thinking and the capability of reflectionby comparing the often contradictory narratives of historical memory varying from nation to nation.


Zsolt Szijártó / József Készman



What kinds of individual or social processes take place, if we unexpectedly face a traumatic and silent event in the past of our family or community? What kinds of documents mediate the forgotten or silent events of the recent past and how can they integrate into the memory of the individual or the community? How do expert groups and history books construct the official canonised reading of the national history? What kinds of alternative readings exist and how does the Hungarian history look from “foreign” perspectives? How can contemporary art and critical pedagogy participate in the reinterpretation of the past? The two exhibitions connected with each other in several threads and displayed as Rewritable Stories in the MODEM try to find answers to these questions.

The exhibition called Wunderblock1 (means wonder note book) focuses on the artistically interpreted documents of the family history of Katharina Roters, who has German and Hungarian identity. Through these documents, it becomes visible (and readable due to the texts by Tompa Andrea) how the identity of the individual is shaped by various institutions and compulsions, as well as, what kinds of fictitious or real escape routes exist from this situation. The installation that models the stratification of the memory compares the individual events to the similar identity-construction processes of social groups and the task of facing events of the recent past.


The artistic initiation called National Textbook, which is created and managed by Keserue Zsolt, reinterprets the issue of national identity with the help of critical pedagogy. With an archive that has been continuously increasing since 2010 and contains various foreign secondary school history books in its background. The parts of the archive about the Hungarian history are processed by secondary school students and their history teachers together at workshops, comparing the narratives of the historical memory that are different and often conflicting by nations. The exhibition focuses on an artwork of symbolic value, namely a collage book called National Textbook, which presents the events of the Hungarian history in chronological order, using relevant texts and pictures cut out from foreign textbooks exclusively.

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