This compilation endeavors to introduce Budapest’s independent art scene of the past 20 years and provide assistance to the understanding of its autonomy, its transience, and its relation to the society’s economic and ideological framework through mapping its evolution, its participants and sites.
It is difficult to grasp and interpret an independent art scene: its boundaries and definitions keep changing together with the transforming political, economic and cultural environment. In accordance with their lifestyle, the independent artists of the eighties considered themselves “alternative.” while the power structure viewed them as a political factor.
Today, there is a tendency to describe artists’ organizations that are unrelated to institutions and the market as “independent.” The book offers a missing biography, providing reference for a better understanding of the relationship between the self-organized and the institutionalized, and the manifold ways in which these structures mutually shape one another.
It is about the projects set up on non-bureaucratic structures which emerged and were transformed along various schemes, before disappearing. It is about sites, which elude self-definition and almost never leave behind a documented trace. The book was edited by Katarina Šević (artist) and Rita Kálmán (art historian) and consists of several essays and interviews by different international authors, numerous photographs and extensive directory about more than 40 independent art initiatives. We Are Not Ducks On A Pond But Ships At Sea is an independent publication, printed and published in Budapest in 2010 by Independent Art iInitiatives, Budapest 19892009, 128 pages, English and Hungarian.
More information (in Hungarian) about the book is available at: www.impex-info.org