About

Kata Krasznahorkai  is a Berlin-based art historian, cultural activist, author and curator. Chair of the Berlin-based non-profit organisation Critique&Culture e.V. and expert advisor for the Council of Europe’s art exhibitions

Following a 5-years ERC-research focused on research in state security archives on performance art, Krasznahorkai edited with Sylvia Sasse” Artists&Agents. Performance Art and State Security” (spector books 2019 / forthcoming in English 2020). With Sylvia Sasse and Inke Arns, she also curated “Artists&Agents” at the HMKV in Dortmund (on view until 19 April 2020).

Currently, she prepares the book “Operative Art History or Who is Afraid of Artists?” (forthcoming 2020 at spector books) on the role of artists in oppressive societies. She questions operative psychology and training methods of secret agents in their interaction with artists based on her research in state security archives and highlights uncanny parallels to today’s illiberal cultural policy in Hungary.

Her upcoming research project as a Gerda-Henkel-Fellow at the University of Zurich starts in September 2020 and analyzes racism in Eastern Europe based on research on “Black Power in Eastern Europe. Angela Davis and the Arts”.

Krasznahorkai is the Chair of the Berlin-based NGO Critique&Culture e.V. empowering Eastern Europan cultural workers in Berlin. 2017 she curated and was the project leader of the program series “Grey Room” founded by the Lotto-Stiftung, Berlin.

Krasznahorkai is a member of AICA International and also works as an author for the online magazine Geschichte der Gegenwart. She is in the Leadership Committee of the  COST Action 18204 Dynamics of placemaking and digitization in Europe´s cities.

Besides her research activities Krasznahorkai was a curator at the Ludwig Museum Budapest (1996-2003), the project director at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (2010-2016). Until May 2015 she was the project leader of 3-year program-series “Critique and Crisis. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité reconsidered” in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the German Historical Museum in Berlin in the framework of the 30th Council of Europe Art Exhibition: 30thCouncil of Europe Art ExhibitionThe Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945

The programme series CRITIQUE AND CRISIS questioned over the span of three years between 2012-2015 the last common denominator of European crisis philosophy, namely, the basis of a democratic order that still holds today. But what is left of liberté, égalité, fraternité? The goal of the series was to see how these basic principles of the shared European identity measure up to Europe’s current self-image from the perspective of artists.

Recent publications:

Kata Krasznahorkai: “I Can`t Believe I Still have to protest this Fucking Shit.” On Women in Art. in: Katarina Lozo, Susanne Altmann, Hilke Wagner (ed): Medea muckt auf. Radikale Künstlerinnen hinter dem Eisernen Vorhang / The Medea Insurrection. Radical Women Artists behind the Iron Curtain, Walther König, Köln, 2019, S. 34-41.

Sylvia Sasse/Kata Krasznahorkai: Überwachen und „Zersetzen“, in: Sylvia Sasse/Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Artists&Agents. Performancekunst und Geheimdienste, Leipzig, 2019, S. 9-21.

Operatives Wissen.Geheimpolizeiarchive als Kunstarchive?, in: Sylvia Sasse/Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Artists&Agents. Performancekunst und Geheimdienste, Leipzig, 2019, S. 22-32.

„Zersetzende” Theorie. Die ungarische Staatssicherheit und die Happening-`Theorie`, in: Sylvia Sasse/Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Artists&Agents. Performancekunst und Geheimdienste, Leipzig, 2019, 96-114.

Kata Krasznahorkai/Sylvia Sasse: „Bis auf weiter gute Zusammenarbeit“. Die künstlerische `Bearbeitung` der Akten, in: Sylvia Sasse/Kata Krasznahorkai (ed): Artists&Agents. Performancekunst und Geheimdienste, Leipzig, 2019, S. 564-580.

With Sylvia Sasse, Inke Arns: “Artists&Agents. Performance Art and State Security, HMKV Dortmund, exhibition magazine, 2019

Black or White? Angela Davis, Bobby Seale and Black Power in den Akten der Staatssicherheit in den 1970er Jahren, in: Adam Czirak (ed): Aktionskunst jenseits des Eisernen Vorhangs. Künstlerische Kritik in Zeiten politischer Repression, Bielefeld, 2019, 157-183.

“Spitze der Blitze. Das Lightning Field zwischen  Bild- und Technikgeschichte“, edition metzel, München, 2018. [monography]

“Surveilling the Public Sphere. The First Hungarian Happening in Secret Agents Reports”, in: Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere: Event-based Art in Late Socialist Europe (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies) Routledge, New York, 2018, 127-138.

“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, 81-105.

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

“Tamás St.Auby`s Strike, in: Work, Friederike Sigler (ed.), Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, London : Whitechapel Gallery Ventures Limited ; Cambridge, MA : The MIT Press, 2017, 131.

“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, 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, 125-139.

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