The AnnArt festival was launched by Imre Baász in 1990 and had ten editions. Because Baász died in 1991, he was only able to take part in the first one, which was held on July 29, 1990. Both the time and space were important. The Saint Anne Lake (Szent Anna tó in Hungarian) is located in the Carpathian Mountains in the region of Romania called the Székely Land. It is the only volcanic lake in the country. Its charm lies in the breathtaking, almost unearthly spectacle and also in the legends surrounding the place. The event was planned on Anna’s Day, celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church with a procession. The special place and the special time both highlighted the ritual aspect of the gathering, which seemed to be taking place outside the historical and political timeframe, in a liminal place. There were five visual artists participating in the first AnnArt: Imre Baász, Attila Kopacz, Csaba Damokos, Gyula Fazakas, and Gusztáv Ütő; Sándor Csíki participated with music, while Bölöni Dix Endre with pantomime. The main motives were as follows: the cage, the rope, and the state of being locked and closed away. The documentation of the event consists of only a few photos, which reveal that the majority of the spectators were pilgrims who had gathered around the lake because of the religious procession.
One of the key performances of the first AnnArt was presented by Imre Baász. It was entitled If You give No Water, You get No Water, If You give No Bread, You get No Bread, If You give No Life, You get No Life.
After Imre Baász died in 1991 in an accident, his friends and pupils established the Etna Alternative Artistic Group, which was responsible for the organization of the next nine editions of the AnnArt Festival. The second AnnArt had seven local organizers (József Bob, Sándor Csíki, Csaba Damokos, Gyula Fazakas, Pálma Baász-Szigeti, and Gusztáv Ütő) and Gusztáv Ütő as host. Of the two international artists who were invited, only the sculptor and land-artist Paul Ap. Davies came (from Wales). He presented a huge map of Europe (7x10 cm) made of turf and stones. Since Baász’s funeral was held on July 19, most of the performances were dedicated to him. His widow, Pálma Baász-Szigeti copied one of her husband’s letters written from Finland onto several pieces of paper, which turned out to be obituaries, and she then hung them on a wire. But his memory was strongly felt even after the second AnnArt. In 1993, Teodor Graur dedicated his performance Among the Stars to him. He placed an inflatable mattress with dirt, paper stars, and a folding bed on it on the water and guided it across the lake. The process of leaving and reaching the shore encouraged remembrance by citing the old, pagan rites, which connected the living with the dead. The third AnnArt was held in 1992. The events included works of art from a wider variety of genres, including for instance experimental theater (Csaba Damokos, Tamás Tóth J.), minimalist gegs (Szabolcs Veress), and installations (Miklós Zoltán Baji). By the fourth edition, the organization and also the hosts became more confident; other related artforms were included, such as electronic music, experimental theater, and other intermedia works. The Figura Studio Theater’s (Gheorgheni or Gyergyószentmiklós) absurd and minimalist production Saint Anne Restaurant starring Tibor Pálffy and Attila Pázmán was one of the most celebrated works. In 1994, Medium 3 and the fifth AnnArt was held at the same time under the name “Trench Art Festival.” The merged event featured 170 artists from 25 countries working in more than 20 genres. Some of the artistic genres were presented and exhibited for the first time in Romania. The event also featured international celebrity artists like Bartolomé Ferrando (Spain) and Tatsumi Orimoto (Japan). The festivals in 1995, 1996, and 1997 had similar aims to the previous ones and counted as important meeting points for progressive, contemporary art. In 1998, the Open Section was created, where students could try out their own creative ideas. The last, tenth festival was organized at the time of the solar eclipse, which was fully visible from Romania. The organizers wanted to invite all the performers previously present during the nine editions, but this idea failed because of a lack of money.Through its ten editions, the festival has hosted altogether 121 artists from 26 countries with almost 250 performances and acts.
Harghita County Lake Saint Ann, Romania
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Starting year of event
Author(s) of this page
- Lőrincz, Lili