Kata Krasznahorkai  is a Berlin-based art historian, critic and curator working as a researcher at the University of Zürich in the ERC-research project Performance Art in Eastern Europe (1950-1990). History and Theory.

Her research focuses on the strategies of the State Security to disrupt subversive artistic experiments and on using State Security Archives as archives for the relation between artists and the state. Krasznahorkai studied art history in Budapest, Berlin, Vienna and Hamburg and defended her PhD 2015 at the University of Hamburg about “Walter De Marias Lightning Field between Art, Technology and Nature” (published as “Spitze der Blitze. Das Lighting Field zwischen Kunst und Technkikgeschichte”, edition metzel, 2018).

Currently, with Sylvia Sasse and Inke Arns she is curating an exhibition on „Artists & Agents. Performance Art and the Secret Services“ at the HMKV Dortmund opening in the October  2019, editing a book accompanying the exhibition and writing a monograph on “Who is Afraid of Performance Art? State Security Archives as Archives for Art History” forthcoming at Spector books.

She published and lectured extensively on the interrelation between performance art and state security, e.g. Das Happening vor Gericht. Das „Nalaja Happening“ und die subversiven Operationspraktiken der Staatssicherheit im Ungarn der 1960er und 1970er Jahre, in: Sandra Frimmel, Mara Traumane (ed): Kunst vor Gericht. Ästhetische Debatten im Gerichtssaal, Matthes&Seitz, Berlin, 2018, p. 81-105.; Tamás St.Auby`s Strike, in: Work, Friederike Sigler (ed.), Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, London/MA: The MIT Press, 2017, p. 131.”Wie Spitzel unser Wissen über Kunst vermehren” in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or “Heightened Alert: The Underground Art Scene in the Sights of the Secret Police “ in: Art Beyond Borders, „Surveilling the Public Sphere. The First Hungarian Happening in Secret Agents Reports“, in: Katalin Cseh-Varga/Adam Czirák: Performance in the Second Public Sphere, 2018 (Routledge) and is preparing an essay on „Black or White Black or White? Angela Davis, Bobby Seale und Black Power zwischen Staatssicherheit und Happenings im Ungarn der 1970er Jahre“ in a volume published by transcript 2019 and Interviews in “Doing Performance Art History” forthcoming Fall 2019 in Apparatus.

Besides her research activities Krasznahorkai was a project director at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (.CHB) 2010-2016. At the .CHB she was the head of the performance series  APPROXIMATIONS and  MONTAG MODUS.  Until May 2015 she was the project leader of 3-year program-series “Critique&Crisis. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternität reconsidered” monitoring and reflecting crisis situations in art and society in the framework of an EU- Culture program. She is an expert advisor to the Council of Europe for the reconceptualisation of Council of Europe`s Art Exhibitions. 1996-2003 Krasznahorkai worked as a curator and musicologist at the Ludwig Museum Budapest. After moving to Berlin 2003 she worked with Laszlo Glozer and was a researcher for the show “Peter Zadeks Menschentheater” at the Akademie der Künste Berlin.

Krasznahorkai is a permanent correspondent to “Geschichte der Gegenwart”, Balkon-Magazine for Contemprary Art; Műértő – The Hungarian Art Connoisseur and member of AICA-Hungary. She was awarded with the DAAD-research grant and the Herder Award of the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. as well as with the research- and publication grant of the Liebelt-Foundation, Hamburg.

Krasznahorkai is the chairperson of the Berlin-based nonprofit organisation “Critique&Culture” empowering Eastern-European artists and art professionals in Berlin. 2017 she curated and was the project leader of the program series “Grey Room” founded by the Lotto-Stiftung, Berlin


University of Hamburg, Hamburg PhD, Art History, defended September 2015, publication: “Spitze der Blitze. Das Lightning Field zwischen Bild- und Technikgeschichte“ in print, edition metzel. Dissertation: “The Form and Material of Land Art. Walter De Maria`s Lightning Field and Robert Smithosn`s Spiral Jetty between Art, Nature and Science”, supervised by Prof. Dr. Monika Wagner. Second advisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Fehrenbach

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Postgraduate Studies in Art History, September 2002- September 2005, Thesis: El Lisstitzky and the Fourth Dimension in Art, Seminar by Prof. Dr. Horst Bredekamp.

University of Vienna, Vienna, Theory of Science and Cognitive Science, September 2005-January 2006, Seminar by Prof. Dr. Markus F. Peschl

Eötvös Lorand University of Sciences, Budapest, MA, Art History, June 2003, Thesis: “Ion Grigorescu. Life and Work”, First advisor: Prof. Dr. László Beke, Second advisor: Dr. Annamária Szőke


Research fellow at the Slavic Seminar at the University of Zurich in the project “Performance Art in Eastern Europe 1950-1990. History and Theory” – October 2014 –

Senior curator and project director at the Collegium Hungarcium Berlin – June 2010 – October 2016

Freelance curator Sept 2008 – June 2010

Assistant curator to Laszlo Glozer, Sept 2007 – Sept 2008

Researcher at the Akademie der Künste Berlin for the exhibition “Peter Zadeks Menschentheater”, March – Oct 2007

Research internship at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Sammlung Marzona, Jan 2006 – March 2007

Curator and museologist at the Ludwig Museum Budapest, Sept 1999 – Sept 2003

Assistant curator at the Ludwig Museum Budapest, Jan 1996 – Sept 1999



I can’t believe I still have to protest this fucking shit. Über die Frauenfrage [On the women-issue], Albertinum, Dresden, 8th March 2019

State Security Files in Performance Research. Chances, Pitfalls and Risks, 100 Ways of Thinking, Kunsthalle Zurich, September 13-14, 2018

Arrested Development.Trials, arrest and liberation of black civil right activists re-enacted in Eastern European performances in the 1970s – seen through the eyes of the State Security, Action: Arrest Performance Protest and the Law, King`s College London, September 29, 2018

Performance art in Reports of the Secret Service: Re-Enactment in State Security archives, Over and Over and Over Again: Re-Enactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory,ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, November 16 – 17, 2017

Freedom for Angela Davis! Black Power in the Records of the State Security on Happenings in Hungary in the 1970s, Revolution in the Margins. 1917-2017: The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 13 October 2017

Be Forbidden! Black Power and Eastern European Performance Art in Secret Agents Reports, Nachwuchsforum Östliches Europa, Universität Basel, 3. June 2016.

Streik.Macht.Frei: Streik als Material bei Tamas St.Auby, Hochschule der Blidenden Künste, Dresden, 16-16. Januar 2016.

Performing Democracy. Input Paper, Ars Electronica Linz, September 2015.

Das Lightning Field von Walter De Maria zwischen Kunst, Natur und Technik, ETH Zürich, Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 26.05. 2015.

Die anderen Helden der Körper-Arbeit. Sit Outs und Performance, Universität der Künste Berlin, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Netzwerktreffen “Szenographien des Subjektes”, 10-11 April 2014.

Artists on the Run. On Mobility, Work and cultural production in a re-united Europe, symposium on “The European Idea in Art and Art History”, Deutsches Historisches Museum, 24-25 September 2014

Kein Land in Sicht. Der Klimawandel, der BND und das Ende der Land Art, Forschungsstelle Naturbilder, Universität Hamburg, 31.01 – 1.2. 2014

„Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water“… Film: Das Material der Spiral Jetty, 9. Hamburger Graduiertenforum: „Materialität der Medien“, 6. Mai 2011, Warburg-Haus

Erhöhte Alarmbereitschaft – die Kunst des Underground im Visier der Staatssicherheit. Kunst und das Kommunistische Europa, 1945-1989. Zu einer transnationalen Geschichte. Internationale Tagung vom 19. bis 21. November 2009 am Centre Marc Bloch Berlin

The First Hungarian Happening in the light of a Secret Agents Report. Social East Seminar on Art and Espionage, Courtauld Institute, London, 27. Feb. 2009


“Surveilling the Public Sphere. The First Hungarian Happening in Secret Agents Reports”, in: Performance in the Second Public Sphere, Katalin Cseh-Varga/Adam Czirak (ed), Routledge, (forthcoming)

“Black or White? Angela Davis, Bobby Seale und Black Power zwischen Staatssicherheit und Happenings im Ungarn der 1970er Jahre, in: Forum Modernes Theater (forthcoming).

“Mach ein Stuhl! Tamas St. Auby und Tehching Hsieh”, in: Vera Wolff, Kathrin Rottmann (ed), kritische berichte, 2016/3, S. 34-43.

“Tamás St.Auby`s Strike, in: Work, Friederike Sigler (ed.), Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, MIT, 2017, p. 131.

“Das Happening vor Gericht”, in: Sandra Frimmel, Mara Traumane (ed): Kunst und Literatur vor Gericht, forthcoming (March 2017).

“Kein Land in Sicht. Der Klimawandel, der BND und das Ende der Land Art”, in: Frank Fehrenbach, Mathias Krüger (ed), Der Achte Tag. Naturbilder in der Kunst des 21. Jahrhunderts, deGruyter, München,2016, p. 59-75.

“Heightened Alert: The Underground Art Scene in the Sights of the Secret Police—Surveillance Files as a Resource for Research into Artists’ Activities in the Underground of the 1960s and 1970s” , in: Bazin, Jérôme, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, and Piotr Piotrowski (ed), Art beyond borders: artistic exchange in communist Europe (1945-1989), Central European University Press, 2015. P. 125-139.

„Geheimdienst und Underground. Wie Spitzel unser Wissen über Kunst vermehren“, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 07.1. 2012, „Bilder und Zeiten“, Z3.


“I Can`t Believe I Still Have to Protest this Fucking Shit. On the Women-Issue”, in: Medea Muckt Auf. Radikale Künstlerinnen hinter dem Eisernen Vorhang, Albertinum, Dresden, in print, Walther König, Köln, 2019

„Marching on the streets is saying it – only louder! On the Performance „The Curfew“ at the OFF-Biennale Budapest of Katarina Sevic and GergelyLaszlo“, Archive Journal, January-February 2018, Archive Kabinett, Berlin.

“Valami bűzlik”.[ Something stinks], A Manifesta 12 Zürichben, in: Müertö [The Art Connoisseur], Juli/August 2016.

„A Black Mountain kód” [The Black Mountain Parabel], Black Mountain College – Ein interdisziplinäres Experiment 1933-1957, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, in: Müertö [The Art Connoisseur], Juni 2015.

„David Bowie behálózva“ [David Bowie – The Spider in the Net], David Bowie Retrospektive, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, in: Müertö [The Art Connoisseur]

Paragone és Masterplan. Múzeumháború Berlinben. (Paragone and Masterplan – Museums-War in Berlin), Műértő, [The Art Connoisseur], May 2013

„Nyolc Perc“ [Eight Minutes], Seeing is Believing. Kunst-Werke Berlin, in: Müertö [The Art Connoisseur]November 2013

Kompass. Die Judith Rothschild Drawing Collection, Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin, in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, March 2011

Dezertáló műgyűjtők,[Collectors on the run], Neues Museum Berlin, in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, February, 2010

“A Lightning Field felé” [On the way to the Lightning Field], Balkon – Contemporary Art Magazine, Dezember 2009

60 Jahre, 60 Werke: hatvan év művészet a Német Szövetségi Köztársaságban, [60 Years – 60 Works. Sixty Years of Art in the Federal Republic of Germany], Martin-Gropius-Bau, in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, June, 2009

Bilderträume: Ulla és Heiner Pietzsch gyűjteménye,[The Dream of Images – The Collection Heiner and Ulla Pietsch], Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, May, 2009

“I reject temporality….”. An interview with Józef Robakowski, in: Fair – Zeitung für Kunst und Ästhetik, April, 2009

Rothko/Giotto, Gemäldegalerie Berlin, in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, April, 2009

“The No Pussy Blues in Berlin”, Re.Act.Feminism. Performancekunst der 1960er und 70er jahre heute, Akademie der Künste Berlin, in: www.tranzit.blog.hu, 2009

Giacomettis Eyes – Giacometti, der Ägypter, Altes Museum Berlin in: Műértő – The Art Connoisseur, February, 2009

Tamás Komoróczky. The Berlin Years, in: Ausst. Kat. „Tamás Komoróczky“, Pécs, 2008.

“Képreszállás-Rothkót nézni és nem hinni” [Seeing Rothko but Not Beliveing], Mark Rothko – Retrospektive, Hamburger Kunsthalle, in: Balkon – Contemporary Art Magazine, June-August 2008.


Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): “Critique and Crisis. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité reconsidered”, Revolver Publishing, Berlin, 2015.

„Experiment. Chronologie zum Leben und Werk von Ion Grigorescu“ In: „Ion Grigorescu. Am Boden“, Retrospektive im Salzburger Kunstverein, Ausst.Kat., Salzburg, 2007

Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Mona Vatamanu – Florin Tudor. Living Units, Ludwig Museum Budapest – Museum of Contemporary Art, 17 June – 31 August 2003, Budapest, 2003

Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Kicsiny Balázs. Munkavégzés folyamatban. Work in Progress, Ludwig Museum Budapest – Museum of Contemporary Art, 23. Oktober – 2. Dezember 2002, Budapest, 2002

Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Tamas Szikora. Boxes, Ludwig Museum Budapest – Museum of Contemporary Art, 25 September 2001 – 28 October 2001, Budapest, 2001

Biographies in: Peter Weibel (ed) Beyond Art. A Third Culture: A Comparative Study in Cultures of Art and Science in 20th Century Austria and Hungary, Passagen Verlga, Vienna, 1997 (G), 2005 (EN).


Publication grant, Liebelt-Stiftung, Hamburg, 2017

Travel Grant of the Susanne and Michael Liebelt Foundation to the United States, 2009

Travel Grant of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation to London, 2009

Herder Award-Grant of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, 2005-2006

DAAD Postgraduate Grant, 2003-2004

Member of AICA Hungary 2009-


Grey Room. Exhibtion, Workshops, Lectures, Film, Performance, various locations, Berlin November 2017 – February 2018.

The State, performance by Alexander Manouiloff at the OFF-Biennial Budapest, 29 September 2017

Montag Modus Performance series (co-curated with Lena Szirmay-Kalos), Collegium Hungaricum Berln, May 2015 – Oct 2016

Rituals Festival (co-curated with Léna Szirmay-Kalos and Endre Vazul Mándli), Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 13-17 June 2016

Entropy Works, Performance and Exhibiton project with Hajnal Németh, Borsos Lőrinc, Andrea Éva Győri, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin,25-28 May 2016

Approximation, 168-h Performance Project with Martin Sonderkamp and Darko Dragicevic, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 29 Oct – 1 Nov 2015

Critique and Crisis. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité reconsidered (in cooperation with the German Historical Museum and the Council of Europe) Exhibitions,Talks, Films, Educational programs and performances 2012-2015 with Bankleer, Libia Castro/Ólaffur Ólafsson, Jakup Ferri, Ion Grigorescu, Raphaël Grisey, Tibor Horváth, IPUT/Tamas St. Turba, Tamás Komoróczky, Katarzyna Kozyra, Jaroslav Kysa, Imre Lepsényi, István Máriás aka Pista Horror, Olivia Pendler, Dan Perjovschi, Societé Réaliste, Katarina Sevic/Gergely László, subREAL, Ulrich Vogl

Hands on Fassbinder (with Saskia Walker, Hannes Brühwiler and Janos Can Togay), a one-year-project on the legacy of R.W. Fassbinder, 11 May – 18 Nov 2012

State of Images. Gábor Bódy and Zbignew Rybczynski, (coordination), Akademie der Künste Berlin, 27 Oct 2011 – 1 January 2012

The Romani-Elders Project for the 7. Berlin Biennale by Timea Junghaus, (coordination), Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 2 June 2012

Mauer Absurd, Exhibition with photographs by Peter R. Asche, Peter Brüchmann, Udo Hesse, Hartmut Kieselbach, Barbara Klemm, Herlinde Koelbl, Arild Kristo, Andrèas Lang, Karl-Ludwig Lange, Bernard Larsson, Hans Pieler und Hans-Peter Stiebing, Collegium Hunagricum Berlin, 28 aug – 28 Sept 2009

Exhibtions at the Ludwig Museum Budapest:

2003               Curator: Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor. Living Units

2002               Curator and Project management: L.A. Raeven. Natur`s Choice

Co-curator: Breath – Recent Video Art from Estonia. Kuratiert mit Sirje Helme und Dora Hegyi, im Zusammenarbeit mit der Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia

Co-curator: Daniel Spoerri – Werke 1960 – 2001.

Co-curator: CHINaRT. Zeitgenössische Chinesische Kunst. Kuratiert mit Walter Smerling und Vera Baksa-Soós in Zusammenarbeit mit der Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg

Curator: Balázs Kicsiny. Work in Progress or Divers in the Cathedral (Herausgeberin – Ausst. Katalog)

2001                assistant curator Digitized Bodies – Virtual Spectacles. Kuratiert von Nina Czeglèdy, Marina Grzinic und Vera Baksa-Soós im Zusammenarbeit mit InterAccess Toronto und der Mestna Galerija Ljubljana

2000               project assistant at the CIMAM-conference in Budapest

1999               curator: Milena Dopitova. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Haus der Kunst,Brno

1996               assistant, catalog editing: Jenseits von Kunst. Kuratiert von Peter Weibel, in     Zusammenarbeit mit dem Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz


Prof. Dr. Sylvia Sasse, Universität Zürich

Prof. Dr. Monika Wagner, Universität Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Horst Bredekamp, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Kathrin Merkle, Head of the Culture and Democracy Division of the Directorate of Democratic Governance at the Council of Europe

János Can Togay, CHB

Gábor Kopek, CHB