Mapping the City

Mapping the City – a tour following the contours of the Arrow Cross

the joint project of the curator Michela Alessandrini(IT) and Zsuzsi Flohr(HU)
Labor Bp, 2012
It is important for a city to have an identity, to have a knowledge of its own history.
As a continuation of Alessandrini’s anthropolgical and sociological studies connected to his thesis (Mac/Val; Musée d’art contemporain du Val de Marne in Vitry-sur-Seine), this part deals with the questions of the relationship of identity and territory.

For our Budapest project we tried to ask following shared questions:
Are we aware of the place we live in?
Are we conscious of the history lying at our feet?
Does the city’s history affect our identity, and if yes, how?

The messages of the buildings requisitioned, used and defiled by the Arrow Cross Party-Hungarist Movement (Nyilaskeresztes Párt – Hungarista Mozgalom), the SS, the Gestapo and the Wehrmacht need to be delivered to the collective consciousness.
Showing their hidden, cultural contexts, the research of historic self-recognition and the reporting of the results of the research, information and esthetics is the true object of our work.


1st phase:
I collected the names of all the buildings occupied by the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party (‘Nyilaskeresztes Párt’), the SS, the Gestapo and the Wehrmacht in Budapest, and the “popular” execution locations (eg. the Danube bank).


2nd phase:
I made a map, where I marked the previously mentioned buildings and areas. Connecting these dots I was surprised to see the endpoints of the 3 peaks of the green arrow cross – the symbol of the Arrow Cross Party. The original symbol has “H” for Hungary in the middle; I projected the letter “H” onto the map as well.
During the Arrow Cross tour we (with Michela Alessandrini, curator) visited all of these locations, interviewed the residents and other people from the neighborhood.


3rd phase:
I want to put the interviews, videos and photographs in a stricter form, and make it all available online (interactive platform), including the list of all the buildings.
Thus perhaps initiating a kind of social/self-awareness dialogue.