Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Wien
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29.9. - 5.11.2017
WO: OFF-Biennale Budapest, Henszlmann Imre street. 9, 1053 Budapest, Hungary

Gaudiopolis, or "The City of Joy" (1945–1950) was the name of a Children's Republic founded in the aftermath of World War II in Budapest by Lutheran pastor Gábor Sztehlo. His orphanage provided shelter and home for hundreds of children regardless of their religion, social background, or nationality, who lost their parents to the war. Children dwellers of the "City of Joy" formed their own government, elected their representatives, and adopted laws that applied to everybody (including teachers). This community set out to learn democracy anew and, eliminating all social barriers in the spirit of Christ's gospel, to educate children to become "independent, self-conscious, practically trained, and theoretically qualified citizens striving for better self-understanding and self-criticism." Gaudiopolis achieved a certain level of self-sustainability through the residents' common work. Although it did receive some funds from the state, it functioned independently until its 1950 nationalization. The story of the Children's Republic was immortalized in the film Somewhere in Europe (1948, dir. Géza Radványi), in which many of the children of the community also took part as actors.

The story of Gaudiopolis is relevant even today. This mini-republic of trust, generosity, responsibility, and care serves as inspiration to both the projects and the working method of OFF-Biennale. Even though war tragedies today reach Europe primarily through the masses of refugees or media reports, our micro- and macroenvironment are infused with social and political crisis once again; that of liberal democracy, which is also manifest on the level of education. Thus, we must reassess the implications of personal commitment, education, community development, and the sustainability of democracy, as well as rethink, in this context, the potential role of children, playfulness, joy—and art. The creativity and the freedom of thought embedded in art inspire to find new ways. As Gaudiopolis before, OFF-Biennale itself and the projects introduced here, too, carry out "laboratory" experiments of change, by creating situations that may become social models. Be it street theater, a punk band, or living memorials, what the artists create explores the possibilities of the future. Forms of living together that establish a society comprising common trust, generosity, taking responsibility and care.


OFF-Biennale's participants have come together through the invitation of the curatorial team as well as through a selection of the projects that OFF-Biennale received through an open call initiated in Spring 2016.

Participating artists include: Ádám Albert, Can Altay, Gábor Altorjay, Akademia Ruchu, APART, Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, Art Wall, Orsolya Bajusz, Zbynĕk Baladrán, Anca Benera – Arnold Estefan, Jerzy Bereś, Johanna Billing, Virág Bogyó, Eugen Brikcius, Giulia Bruno, Imre Bukta, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, András Cséfalvay, Anetta Mona Chişa – Lucia Tkáčová, Gabriella Csoszó/Freedoc, Dávid Demeter, Róza El-Hassan, Sári Ember, Miklós Erhardt, Gábor Erlich, Andrienn Fejes, Valér Fekete, Stano Filko & Alex Mlynárcik, Andreas Fogarasi, Kitti Gosztola – Bence György Pálinkás – Fanni Hegedűs, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Ferenc Gróf, Ábris Gryllus – Márton Emil Tóth – Zsófia Tamara Vadas, Ane Hjort Guttu, Zsolt Hajdú, Nicoline van Harskamp, Csilla Hódi, Andy Holden, Csaba Árpád Horváth, Danièle Huillet - Jean-Marie Straub, Adelita Husni-Bey, Binelde Hyrca, Richard Ibghy – Marilou Lemmens, Sanja Iveković, Sven Johne, David Karas, Tamás Kaszás – Anikó Loránt (ex-artists collective), Marcio Kerber Canabarro, Szabolcs KissPál, Milan Knížák, Ádám Kokesch, Eva Koťátková, Július Koller, Jiří Kovanda, Gábor Kristóf, Krisztián Kristóf, KwieKulik, Antal Lakner, László Lakner, Gergely László – Katarina Šević, Armin Linke, Little Warsaw, Dušan Makavejev, Alexander Manuiloff, Dóra Maurer, Dávid Mikulán, Karel Miler, Ráhel Monory, Csilla Nagy, Csaba Nemes, Jüri Okas, The Order of Crusaders for Pure Humor Without Banter, Neša Paripović, Ewa Partum, Manuel Pelmuş, Csaba Molnár, Joanna Piotrowksa, Pneuma Szöv./Mókusok, Michael Rakowitz, R.E.P., Bea Piros Rostás, Péter Sarkadi, Andi Schmied, School of Free Printing, Kati Simon – Zsolt Vásárhelyi, Eszter Sipos, SLAVS AND TATARS, Mladen Stilinović, János Sugár and students of the course How to Make a Work of Art, Lilla Szász – Judit Hidas, Viktor Szeri, Endre Tót, Balázs Máté Tóth, Zsuzsanna Tóth, Dominika Trapp, Jerzy Treliński, Hajnalka Tulisz, Wedidin'tdoit Crew, Piotr Wysocki – Dominik Jałowiński, Akram Zaatari

Team Leader of OFF-Biennale: Hajnalka Somogyi

Curators: Nikolett Erőss, Róna Kopeczky, Lívia Páldi (2016), Hajnalka Somogyi, Eszter Szakács, Borbála Szalai, Katalin Székely
Tomislav Gotovac

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