If I add up the two figures in number seventeen, I get eight. But adding nine to eight will again make seventeen. How interesting! Just like the Budapest Autumn Festival. Staged for the seventeenth time this year, it will certainly be as interesting as ever.
Although prosperous firms and individuals in Hungary are still far from believing that contemporary art should be oversponsored, we have been having sponsors also this year, saving us from cultural shiver on those cold autumn days by supporting what is practically the most exciting contemporary all-out art festival in Budapest, the whole country, the whole
Black and white, yes and no, man and woman, outside and inside – gosh, how many times have we read these commonplaces in the descriptions of various projects, dance concepts and theatrical ventures! Have we also landed on this heap? No, my dear friends, we have not. All we want to do is to demonstrate how a colourful world is also a better world and how pale and grey would everythig be if the paint earmarked for culture was used, instead, to add even more colour to colour television programmes. Fortunately we can say we shall not fall into this trap. With culture playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives, politicians, too, will have to face the need to meet the requirements of their beloved voters. We shall wake up one day to find all news of catastrophes, backbiting and stock exchange gone from our dailies that will write only about theatre performances, concerts and exhibition openings. The multis will realize that they can sell their new air fresheners and conditioners only by advertising culture and will therefore not refrain from digging deep into their pockets and supporting the emergence and performance of the newest, most topical and most up-to-date works.
And the people. Those sweet people! They will no longer be of the view that whatever contains a thought is modern and decadent, therefore indigestable and dangerous. In fact, they will be dying to be able to pay many times the price of a brand name T-shirt for a ticket to a contemporary dance show. And then blood rushes to their faces, their colour rises ike in those old Chinese propaganda posters where sparkling sunshine shone through a rainbow, irradiating the colourful flowers and small animals of the meadows. And our old glory returns! (Or, what is more important, appears to return.)
Well, that’s what we wanted to bring to your attention. And of course point to those fantastic artists and exciting performances that make this year’s festival so colourful. These works and creators deal with the issues of the world without prevarication and colouring, their radicalism matching the black-and-white of Budapest Autumn Festival 2008.
| artistic director