Medium I. (1981) and Medium II. (1991)
In 1981, Imre Baász managed to organize an international contemporary art festival showing European values and styles in communist Romania. His aims and orientations were purely apolitical: he wanted to shake up the Romanian and Transylvanian Hungarian art world, to dust off the old formal solutions, and to introduce progressive thinking into the region. Medium I and Medium II, under the political circumstances, both served as musters of possibilities. The first exhibition became a landmark, a point of orientation. There was nothing provincial in the local art show. It celebrated progressive, West European artforms.
However, a distinction should be drawn between the first (1981) and the second Medium (1991), because while the first was still held under communist rule, attracting the attention of the authorities, the second one enjoyed almost unlimited freedom of expression and also featured some of the important progressive performance artists of the international platform.Baász planned the strategy of Medium together with the members of the MAMŰ. 125 artists took part in the event, with 200 exhibited works, including some of the most daring and provocative genres of the times: installations, nonfigurative graphics, land art, concept art, abstract sculpture, animation, etc. The first Medium was a double event: it served as an exhibition and also as a meeting place for a conference, where the artists agreed on the possible directions for the following Mediums. The event was closely monitored by the authorities and the press. It was often referred to as a possible road towards an apolitical, artistic movement with a human face. The most important outcome of the first Medium was that it created fertile soil for the local experimental artistic scene. However, the unusual form and the provocative content of the exhibition exacerbated the hostility of the local authorities towards Baász, who lost his job after Medium I.
Sfantu Gheorghe, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania
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Starting year of event
Author(s) of this page
- Lőrincz, Lili