The latest exhibition at Budapest Gallery, curated by art historian Lívia Páldi, tackles narratives of violence, scripts of social behaviour, and visual and political themes of violence from an intersectional perspective.

In January 2020, following the decision of the General Assembly of Budapest, the project “Memory of rape in wartimes: Women as victims of sexual violence” was launched with the ultimate goal to create a worthy memorial in the Hungarian capital. The memorial is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2024. Since the project’s launch, themes of war violence, public commemoration, and memorials as well as their broader context have been presented in several events, a mock-up exhibition, a lecture series, and a publication, fostering social and professional dialogue and debate. 
Starting with the end of  World War II, there have been numerous waves of sexual violence in global and local conflicts, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing military aggression have recently brought the brutality of war (sexual) crimes, traumatic losses, vulnerability and environmental destruction alarmingly close, while also demonstrating the power of broad social solidarity. The urgency of offering a nuanced examination of the complex phenomenon and operation of violence is due not only to the violence experienced in a rising number of military conflict zones, but also to the inequalities in patriarchal power structures, discrimination against LGBTQI+ people, struggles for bodily autonomy, equality and reproductive health, and the rise of domestic violence.
Exposure to violence and aggression is systemic. The health, justice and (family) law systems of the patriarchal state, which subordinate and degrade women, fundamental deficiencies of the legal system, and male-centric national and memory politics are all responsible for the perpetuation of (often state-sponsored) bias against women, the schemata of violence in public consciousness, and practices of victim-blaming. The international group exhibition at the Budapest Gallery presents experiences of violence, scripts of social behaviour, and visual and political themes of violence from women’s and queer perspectives. Works with a more abstract approach to the complex patterns of states and trap situations of abuse, fear-mongering and anxiety are juxtaposed with diary-like artefacts recording visceral reactions to the situation in Ukraine and to pervasive violence. 
Several artists deal with the enduring traumas of the region’s recent past, such as the Yugoslav wars. The political-ideological manipulation of collective memory, ethnically based violence, and collective responsibility are examined in this investigative, partly archive-based research within wider contexts and relations. These include artistic representations of Polish, Irish, and South American social movements and body politics activism that rewrite the strategies of solidarity and agency. The accompanying and educational programs developed in cooperation with artists, NGOs and human rights activists, such as discussions, talks, guided tours and workshops, seek to engage different generations and people of various social backgrounds.

Exhibiting artists: Kateryna Aliinyk, Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment—Mia Mullarkey, Rachel Fallon, Olia Fedorova, Jelena Jureša, Elektra KB, Hristina Ivanoska, Anikó Loránt (1977–2020), Milica Tomić, Dominika Trapp, Selma Selman, Anna Zvyagintseva
Curated by Lívia Páldi, art historian, Budapest History Museum, Kiscelli Museum, Municipal Gallery
Exhibition design by artist Katarina Šević
Coordinator of social relations: Diána Darabos
Photographs by Tamás G. Juhász / Budapest Gallery

On Violence
May 12 - July 30, 2023
Opening: May 11, 2023, 6 pm
Budapest History Museum - Budapest Gallery
1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158.
Open: Mon-Fri: 10-18.