Ends Soon: ‘Fictitious Female Fates’, National Gallery

  • 23 Mar 2018 9:39 AM
Ends Soon: ‘Fictitious Female Fates’, National Gallery
On view until 13 May, daily 10:00am – 6:00pm. This exhibition stages 'fictional tales, and scenes of imagination' under the full title of ‘Anna: Fictitious Female Fates From Székelyföld'.

This approach was inspired by the scholarly historical and ethnographical tradition which promotes that the lives and stories of common people can be best understood as footprints of the “big” history of events.

The exhibition is in agreement with the museological practice to show objects and artefacts not necessarily based on their own history, but because they are suitable to illustrate the life-style, interior-decoration and traditional dressing of broader social classes.

The current display takes the visitor back to mid 20th century Székelyföld, into a society shaped by strict yet unwritten rules and habits; a society in which a fallen girl had no place left to stay.

How might the fate of a young girl forced into marriage have looked like? How did the experiences of a maid differ or overlap with those of a factory worker? Was the people’s power really power? Last but not least, was solitude truly freedom? These are the issues explored in Anna`s fictive thoughts.

The Anna of our exhibition is not real; she is a product of imagination.

A simple woman whose fate nonetheless was intrinsically shaped by local norms and habits as much as by world-politics. Importantly, she did not shape said history but was affected by it.

The visitors are invited to immerse themselves into this world and person; to walk through this fictional life step by step, face Anna`s decisions and the triggered consequences. This exhibition is a series of questions; of “What could have been?”

When an object enters a museum collection it inevitably gets ripped out from its organic context and receives a new symbolic meaning. Historical museums aspire to preserve as much as possible from those original, past layers of meaning and context and to pass these on with utmost authenticity.

This exhibition chose to follow another direction: instead of focusing on the history of particular objects it offers a fictional story. Thus the exhibited objects become parts of staged scenery intensifying the atmosphere of the story that could have happened just like that...

The object- and interior descriptions placed throughout the exhibition aim to help the visitor in unfolding the stage and in discovering the reality revealed by scholarly research.

The Hungarian National Museum by housing and presenting the exhibition of the Haáz Rezső Museum provides an occasion for a type of story-telling that brings to life the anonymous yet so familiar characters of the 20th century. It also invites visitors to face the question what they would have done in the face of such a dilemma.

Venue: Hungarian National Museum

Address: 1088 Budapest Múzeum krt. 14–16.

More: Hungarian National Museum

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