Népszínház utca 26.

Memorials of ’89

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We asked members of TV Free Europe’s Studio Budapest to commemorate figures from around the system change who are important for them.
They choose public figures related to their personal artistic strategies and their roles within the Show and the project.


Gabriele Stötzer

Gabriele Stötzer (* 1953) is an artist and writer, born in the GDR. Because of her political and artistic engagement she was constantly in conflict with the GDR state security service. For collecting signatures against Wolf Biermann’s expatriation, she was sentenced to one year imprisonment in 1977 (after five months in custody already), which she served in the Hoheneck prison in Stollberg/Saxony. Then she immersed herself in the artistic underground, where she built women’s groups and political solidarity between them. The female artists could „explore themselves in production. We dealt with women from all over the world – across borders.” Her role models were Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing and Christa Wolf. When asked in an interview in 2020 about her feminist utopia, she replied: “Think about yourself! Do it yourself! Seek allies! Look for community, fun, joy, strength and make something out of it! Don’t go back and don’t get nested/encapsulated somewhere! “She also talks about her art experience in prison: “Everything in prison was GRAY ON GRAY. The people who are in there also get gray skin, gray charisma, gray moods, gray words. Everything is gray. There was one woman who had still kept her face white. That was Tutut. She always came totally crazy to the courtyard of the prison. We became friends. We wrote to each other on Kassiber*. (..) We wanted to make art. No matter where you are, art will help you out. Tutut was probably one of the most important women I needed. She came from a different environment. I was from the village, did art as a hobby and was always practical. Tutut came from Berlin and was a friend of Nina Hagen. When there was chocolate in jail, she put the silver paper around her eyes and went around like that in jail.“

Kassiber *: secretly transmitted, often encrypted, written message between prisoners or between them and the outside world.


Gyula Kristály
In 1987 the police was searching for months for an unknown poet who typed and spread indigo-copied leaflets around Ózd.
Gyula Kristály, a retired engine-fitter even sent a message to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist People’s Party as an open postcard. He signed his poems as FYC – i.e. Free Youth Corps. Kristály’s inciting-agitating poems penetrated the consensus-seeking political life around regime change with 1956’s wind. In 1988, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison but due to the pressure from Ferenc Kőszeg, Ottilia Solt and international human rights activists as well as the international press the sentence was suspended. He concluded one of his poems in prison, “but history goes on, the prisoners of today are free next year!”


Erzsébet Spéter

Around the endgame of socialism emerged the art-supporter figure of Spéter Erzsébet. She recently arrived home from Miami as the Hungarian fairy.
She gave away her dollars amongst our actresses and actors. She funded the “Erzsébet Prize” that was handed out for 7 consequtive years until 1995.
She died poor, fallen, miserable, forgotten. Her last wish in return for her patronity was that the buffet of the Hungarian National Theater be named after her.
The ungrateful artists and government ignored her wish.


1989 was an important year for TVFE’s superstar, as well as for Madonna and Hungary. Dr. Purple a.k.a. Lilla Magyari testified: I was born in 1981 in Budapest. I lived as common people for up to thirty years when I realized I was so unhappy that I had a hard time stayin ’alive. After years of psychotherapy, and after traveling the world and the seven seas, I began to follow my own sweet dreams. It was then that I realized that I’ve wanted to be a Superstar since I was a child. However, my family tended to think that I need yes education and dark sarcasm to support me in realizing my dreams. Fortunately, at this later stage in my life, I understand that if I listen to my innermost inspirations, my dreams will open a new path for me. So, I wondered if I had to change my name or I needed to loose some weight. Anyway, I made this installation as a step in becoming a Common People Superstar. It parallels the private and career stages of one of my colleagues, Madonna, with my own private recollections and associations between 1988 and 1990, when there was a regime change in Hungary. Although, to be honest, I wasn’t so interested in the latter at the time. I don’t think Madonna either.

Dr. Purple,
Official Superstar of TV Free Europe

>>>>>>> photos by Zsuzsi Simon