László Végh Archive
Budapest József körút 34, Hungary 1085
Originea colecției și activitățile culturale reprezentate
Dr. László Végh was considered an unusual character in Budapest in the 1960s, because both of his clothing and his attitude, but this was not what made him well-known. In addition to running his radiology practice, he composed the first concrete and electronic musical works in Hungary. He both composed and performed modernist, experimental music, which was outside the canon of official culture. He held presentations in different subcultural spaces, typically in private apartments. He organized gatherings (he called them soirées), at which people listened to music, read, had discussions, held costume-balls, or engaged in other performance events. The mood at these gatherings was similar to the atmosphere of house parties, as the number of participants usually necessitated the maximal utilization of the given space.
With the help of his connections and his tape recorder, he constructed an archive, which became an unmatched collection of experimental music and event-related documents. As the channels of official culture provided only limited access to the cultural products of “Western” modernism, personal ways of sharing knowledge within the private sphere and the exchange of information during the informally organized gatherings were important methods of knowledge-transfer in Hungary in the 1960s. Through his continuously broadening archive, Dr. Végh provided access to information that was not easily available in a format related to community experiences. The utilization of a tape recorder, which was an item in short supply at the time, had a strategic significance also, as sound-recording was not legally classified as copying, so it was not an indictable offence.Another newly discovered fact offers a distinctive perspective on all this: at the age of 20 he was blackmailed by the authorities, and for more than ten years he was an informant for the secret service, primarily on parochial and medical affairs, but for a shorter period on cultural connections also. However, he realized early on that his handlers only asked questions about matters of which they already knew from a different source, so he reported selectively on the things that were important to him. In the end, the handlers noticed this and closed him out from the network. This was roughly when his activity as a mediator of the arts really began. The home gatherings initiated originally by the secret service broke away from service-control, radicalized, and provided continuous inspiration for the young artists who visited the events. The complex nature of this phenomenon is captured by Emese Kürti in her reflections on the observations of Ferenc Hammer: “by sharing his archive socially, Dr. Végh performed a double function: he provided the continuity of a ‘Western’ type of modernism and he created the illusion of democratic publicity” for his transgenerational audiences.
The digitalization and cataloging of the part of the archive related to visual arts, action art and literature this part were completed in the framework of the research program of Emese Kürti. This part of the collection contains sound recordings, memos, manuscripts, documents, letters, photos, slides, drawings, posters and invitations and has recently been donated to the Artpool Art Research Center where it will become accessible for researchers. The rest of the archive consists of musical recordings, scores, and musicology literature.
- altele: 100-499
- fotografii: 100-499
- manuscrise (memorii, jurnale, note, scrisori, ciorne, etc ): 10-99
- suveniruri (postere, foi volante, timbre, etc.): 100-499
- înregistrări audio: 10-99
- înregistrări muzicale: 1000-
Acoperirea geografică actuală
Budapest József körút 34, Hungary
Evenimente importante în istoria colecției
Tipul de acces
- complet inaccesibil publicului
Autorul(ii) acestui articol
- Beöthy, Balázs
Kürti, Emese, interview by Beöthy, Balázs, December 06, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection