Budapest Art Factory (BAF) announces the solo exhibition «In the Grass Grasshopper Sat»* by Vladimir Potapov who participated in the international artist residency program in June 2016. Potapov’s newly created body of work is an outcome of research into Hungary’s cultural history, putting forth a range of well-known figures from the Hungarian pop music industry of the past. The exhibition will be held from July 7 till July 27 2016.
Culture as an area of political manipulation during the Cold War has acquired a special significance. Cultural workers, in particular representatives of pop music, became an instrument of ideological propaganda, «troops on the front line», their songs came on the radio destroying the normal pattern of peoples lives, promising «a better life». In 1969 soviet singer Larisa Mondrus refused to carry out ideologically sustained «civil subjects», imposed by the Ministry of Culture USSR. In 1973, she was forced to move to Germany, at the same time leading Soviet newspapers were writing that she was «asking to come back in the USSR», but being refused by the Soviet Embassy, commits suicide.Nothing of the sort of course has ever occurred. «Doctor Zhivago» by Boris Pasternak, as we know, was published on the money of the CIA and was a part of the propaganda war. The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Pasternak and subsequent refusal led Pasternak to the persecution and harassment by the Soviet government. Known as loud story that the CIA funded and strongly supported the artists of American abstract expressionism, as opposed to the Soviet socialist realism. Examples of such support is described in the book of Frances Stonor Saunders' "Who pays for music: the CIA and the Cold War in the area of culture. "
In year 2013 died the most famous Hungarian spy Istvan Belovai, who is known as «the man who prevented a third world war.» Shortly before his death Istvan Belovai admitted that during his work in the KGB, some artists of the Hungarian pop actively cooperated with both the CIA and the KGB. Cultural figures often found themselves faced with a difficult choice – «with whom to collaborate?» because choice will directly affect their future career and security. The key question of the exhibition is who presented the authors worked with the CIA and who with the KGB?
Official website Art Factory.
* «In the grass grasshopper sat» – Russian children's song about how lived a grasshopper, which no one is hurt, and was a friend of flies and cockroaches. Once came a frog and ate a grasshopper that he could not be expected, because he was very good.