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sights & culture

OFF-Biennále begins! Top contemporary art festival to run until 30 May

With the slightly revised dates of 23 April to 30 May, OFF-Biennále will be bringing independent contemporary art to a culture-starved public. Exhibitions will be presented both offline and in sometimes unusual spaces.

Under the slogan INHALE!, inspired by the poem A Breath of Air! by Attila József in the tense political climate of 1935 and still relevant to the world around us, OFF-Biennále 2021 provides a platform for present-day artists across Budapest and on the web.

The city’s largest independent contemporary arts event was created in 2014 as an underground initiative and soon gained international recognition. Its mission was to rebuild the foundations of the Hungarian independent art scene and bring together contemporary artists and their audiences.

This year’s event features more than 30 exhibitions and events, the subject matter ranging from how to make phone calls through plants, how to make protein from the air, and the options we face if future food supplies run short.

The opening tomorrow, 23 April, will be online only, allowing virtual visitors to enter Nappali, the Living Room, of OFF Lónyay utca. A live broadcast takes place on Facebook in Hungarian from 7pm.

Other OFF locations include Gallery 2B, the APA Gallery, the Culinary Institute of Europe and Tavaszmező utca.

At Gallery 2B on Ráday utca, you can experience what it would be like to live without public services and everyday objects we take for granted. Hétköznapi hiánycikkek (‘Ordinary Shortages’) raises these problems and offers strategies for modern-day survival. Interactive installations and an alternative home furnishing catalogue show how.

The Climate Imagination Agency, ACLIM!, takes over the APA Gallery on Horánszky utca, where seven exciting projects will be on display. The exhibition tackles the challenges of the climate crisis, contemporary eco-anxiety and the burnout of young adults.

Aptly entitled MENÜ imaginaire, the exhibition at the Culinary Institute of Europe on Kőfaragó utca deals with the future of food and dining, where artists, designers and philosophers approach the most pressing issues affecting the food chain.

Online events take place on Saturdays, one in the form of smog tasting, allowing you the dubious pleasure of biting into the air on Búza tér in Miskolc, the main square in the main city of Hungary’s rustbelt.

OFF-Biennále information

23 April-30 May


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