Ephemeral Architecture and Progress

The Association CentrArt – New Workshop of Art Historians holds its first thematic conference on January 28, 2011 under the title “Ephemeral Architecture and Progress – Hungarian Case Studies”. Ephemeral buildings appeared in the course of architectural history as provisional phenomena, standing only for a short time. It was a genre seen by planning architects and architectural historians themselves as an experiment, finding new possibilities, techniques and styles. The conference tries to find an answer to the question, in which way the notion of (architectural) progress can be examined in connection with ephemeral buildings – first of all exhibition pavilions – beyond the already canonised approach described above. The lectures examine pavilions planned by Hungarian architects that were erected for world and international exhibitions, within the context of the buildings of a certain exhibition and compared to the international trends of the period. In addition to the study of architectural progress, one of the main aims of this conference is to present and discuss the new results of the past decade achieved in connection with ephemeral architecture. Its study may go well beyond architectural history research. It may also yield new results for some other branches of science, or even set new directions for them. The majority of the conference lectures deal with exhibition pavilions that functioned not only as exhibiting rooms, but also as a means of national representation. With the help of the objects put on display, the lectures touch upon industrial, agricultural, and technological history, as well as on fine and applied arts and ethnography. These lectures may also be of interest to all those, who deal with the French, Italian, Austrian, German, Romanian and English relations of Hungarian culture.

In the opening lecture of the conference, Attila Weisz will deal with a recently discovered relic, a real rarity, due to the provisional nature of ephemeral architecture. Violetta Hídvégi will introduce the ephemeral buildings of Pest prior to the unification of the Hungarian capital, on the basis of plans that have survived among the materials of the Building Commission of Pest City. The next two sections show the Hungarian pavilions of the world and professional exhibitions at the turn of the century. The lectures of Eszter Magdó and Zsófia Hutvágner present us their newest results about the pavilions of two professional exhibitions hitherto untreated by literature. With the help of the lectures of Judit Anghelyi and Ágnes Süle on London and Vienna pavilions, we gain a comprehensive view of the Hungarian development of the rich pavilion architecture at the turn of the century as well as the ephemeral architecture of the time. Miklós Székely analyses the contemporary foreign criticism of the Hungarian world exhibition pavilions of the epoch. The fourth section deals with the pavilions and pavilion designs of Hungarian architectural modernism of the 1910’s and 20’s. The lecture of András Hadik introduces the military exhibition pavilions of István Medgyaszay from the time of World War I., which at the same time also marks the border between two political periods. András Ferkai introduces the pavilions realised in the Interwar Period, Tamás Csáki the hitherto unpublished plans of Bertalan Árkay. In the last section, Endre Prakfalvi discusses the pavilion and hall architecture of Hungary around 1950. The concluding lectures of the conference providing a foreign outlook are held by Kata Rákos and Enikő Róka. They deal with the world exhibition pavilions of Hungarian relevance within a time-span of over two decades, from various aspects of architectural history and exhibition-politics.

The next scheduled stage of the conference wishes to present the ephemeral architecture of the Central European region.

Lectures are held in Hungarian.

Miklós Székely PhD

Conference organiser

Progressive Tendencies in Ephemeral Architecture – Hungarian Case Studies

International conference

January 28, 2011.

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, 1st Floor Auditorium

H-1095 Budapest, Komor Marcell Street 1.

9.15-9.45. Registration

9.45- 10.00. Welcome speech by Pál Lővei

10.00-10.45 Session Chair: Áron Tóth

Attila Weisz: (Ion Andreescu University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, Romania): A relic of ephemeral architecture from Torda from the time of Francis I.

Violetta Hídvégi: (Budapest City Archives): Ephemeral buildings in Pest between 1861 and 1873.

10.45-11.00. Coffee break

11.00-11.45. Session Chair: Miklós Székely

Eszter Magdó: (Quadro Gallery, Cluj-Napoca Romania): The Hungarian pavilion of the General Romanian Exhibition in Bucharest, 1906.

Judit Anghelyi: Hungarian Exhibition at Earl’s Court, London, 1908.

11.45-13.00. Lunch break

13.00-14.30: Session Chair: József Rozsnyai

Ágnes Süle (Eötvös Loránd University – Faculty of Humanities): The Hungarian pavilion of the Hunting Exhibition in Vienna, 1910.

Zsófia Hutvágner (Museum of Applied Arts): The Hungarian pavilion of the 1911 Hygiene Exhibition in Dresden.

Miklós Székely (Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art): The critical reception of Hungarian world exhibition pavilions abroad between 1900 and 1911

14.30-14.45. Coffee break

14.45-16.15. Session Chair: Pál Lővei

András Hadik (Hungarian Museum of Architecture): Military exhibition pavilions in Lemberg (Lviv) and Budapest, 1916-1918.

András Ferkai (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design): Exhibition pavilions in modern Hungarian architecture.

Tamás Csáki (Budapest City Archives): The pavilion designs of Bertalan Árkay from the 1920s.

16.15-16.30. Coffee break

 16.30-18.00. Session Chair: József Rozsnyai

Kata Rákos (Eötvös Loránd University – Faculty of Humanities): The Hungarian pavilion of the Paris WorldFair 1937.

Endre Prakfalvi (Hungarian Museum of Architecture): 1948-1954. From the OTI pavilion to the Agricultural Exhibition.

Enikő Róka (Hungarian National Gallery): The Hungarian pavilion of the Brussels World Fair 1958.