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Mission and history of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros (ICA-D)

The primary task of the ICA-D is to realize programs that accomplish the mission of its maintainer, the Public Foundation for Modern Art  (PFMA), in accordance with its deed of foundation. ”The aim of the PFMA is to present and popularize modern and 20th-21st century art”(1994). According to this mission, the management of the ICA-D makes an effort to run programs which on the one hand, reflect to the changing political, economic and cultural environment in an appropriate way, adequately to the current position of contemporary fine art and on the other hand play an active role in shaping the cultural life of Dunaújváros.

As an exhibition venue, its aim is to display the wide spectrum of the contemporary works of art.

As an institution possessing an art collection, its aim is to create and develop a most outstanding collection which documents the tendencies of contemporary art and by this means, to participate actively in the definition and preservation of the cultural heritage.

As a social science research workshop, its aim is to carry out research projects related to the recent past’s history, fine arts and culture in a broader sense and to publish their results.

As a part of the system of the art institutions, international of necessity, its aim is to integrate domestic fine art and artists into the international scene.

As one of the cultural centers of Dunaújváros, its aim is to represent contemporary culture on a high level in the city, with special regard to fine art exhibitions and related educational programs. It lays special emphasis on art programs that provide knowledge and inspiration to students of the city’s public education. The Institute regards its natural task to provide opportunities for the artists of the city and the region to introduce themselves.

The History of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros (ICA-D)

October, 1989
An exhibition takes place in the Uitz Hall displaying the artworks of Salvador Dalí. The owner of the pieces is collector Lajos Takács. He offers to present the whole collection to Dunaújváros, in case the city provides a proper place for the valuable works. In 1989, therefore, on civil, local patriot initiative, based on the idea of Lajos Takács, Dunaújváros-born collector-businessman, and István Birkás, a leading artist of Dunaújváros, the city council decided to establish a kind of „museum of modern arts”. The initiative of Takács and Birkás was conceived on the model of Louisiana, Denmark. The „open museum” concept , however, contained some other elements as well, in connection mainly with the collection of the Layota Art Studio, owned by Takács. The starting point of the project was the 1989 Uitz Hall exhibition that displayed the Salvador Dalí art pieces of the collection. The success of this exhibition contributed greatly to the launch of the city’s large-scale investment. The base of the new institution being referred to as Dalí Museum in public discourse, or sometimes as the Hungarian Museum of Modern Art, would be the collection deposited by Takács to the Public Foundation for Modern Art. The first half of the 1990s passed with the building operations that started on the site next to the Uitz Hall.

July 30, 1990
The City Council Dunaújváros establishes the Foundation for Modern Art, the aim of which is to establish the Hungarian Museum of Modern Art and to set up a collection, which is based on the deposited material of the Layota Art Studio. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the foundation is István Birkás, artist.
January 1, 1992
The Foundation for Modern Art begins to operate the Uitz Hall, which formerly belonged to the Community Centre Béla Bartók. The programs are organized by Nóra Deák and Gyula Várnai. Besides the temporary exhibitions and other educational programs they also start to develop the collection of the foundation, which is solely based on the donations of the exhibiting artists.

Designer Péter Juhász prepares the plans for the Museum and the construction begins in the autumn.
September 12, 1994
The founding municipality converts the Foundation for Modern Art to a public foundation, complied with laws. The change appears also in the name of the institution: Public Foundation for Modern Art (MMKA).  As a result of the construction works that were interrupted several times for financial reasons, by the end of 1996 the MMKA and the city got close to the finish of the new part of the building.

January 1, 1997
The Board of Trustees of the Public Foundation for Modern Art appoints Lívia Páldi and János Szoboszlai co-directors and, at the same time, entrusts the two art historians with elaborating the concept of the museum under construction.
According to the new concept:
 „The Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros (ICA-D) is a nonprofit, multi-functional institute, that carries out international, national and municipal art projects. Beyond presenting contemporary fine art through exhibitions and lectures and collecting contemporary works of art it considers its aim to cooperate intensely and productively with artists and theorists: to launch, run and publish theoretical researches analyzing contemporary art, and also to initiate projects that help the creation of works of art.

The scope of its activities:
 Museum activities involving the management of the collections owned by or deposited to the Public Foundation for Modern Art.
A nonprofit place for exhibitions of fine art where Hungarian and international, solo and group exhibitions are held.
Organizing domestic and international art (exchange) programs.
Integrating the activities of the fine artists and applied artists of Dunaújváros into the national and international art scenes through the exhibitions of the Institute.
Organizing professional and educational programs.
Publishing activities as a result of which the theoretical researches initiated by the Institute can be made public in Hungary and abroad, in both printed and electronic forms.
Organizing programs to present affiliated arts.
Organizing creative activities for children."

The above mentioned programs were launched entirely during 1997-98 and have since operated.
It is in this year that a formal agreement is also concluded between the Layota Art Studio and the MMKA.

September 12, 1997
The new section of the building is brought into use under the name Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros (ICA-D). The scope of the activities of the Institute of Contemporary Art is made up of organizing temporary exhibitions, collecting artworks focusing on the art of the nineties, effective research work and related conferences, publications, and also accompanying events presenting contemporary affiliated arts.

Lajos Takács terminates the contract between the MMKA and the Layota Art Studio and transfers his collection from the Institute of Contemporary Art.

January 13, 1998
István Birkás resigns from membership of the Board of Trustees, the new chairman is Csaba Dakó.

November 15, 1999
Lívia Páldi resigns her position as co-director owing to a longer foreign scholarship (Amsterdam, De Appel).

April 11, 2000
Csaba Gyöngyössy is chairman of the Board of Trustees after Csaba Dakó leaves the board.

June 1, 2001
János Szoboszlai is invited to the School of the Art Institute (Chicago, USA) where he acts as a guest professor. After his departure, dr. Zsolt Petrányi, former head of the Exhibition Department of Műcsarnok (Art Hall), becomes the head of the Institute.

September 1, 2005
Dr. Zsolt Petrányi is nominated as director-general of Műcsarnok.

January 1, 2006
Out of three candidates, the Board of Trustees appoints art historian Franciska Zólyom, returning from Berlin, as head of the Institute of Contemporary Art.

September 1, 2009
In the summer of 2009 Franciska Zólyom finishes her work in Dunaújváros, the director’s chair at the ICA-D falling vacant. The Public Foundation for Modern Art decides to develop a new institutional structure. On one level of this a group of curators operate in the field of exhibition, collection, residency, research and other projects while on the other level the staff of the Institute attend the tasks relating to the basic operation of the ICA-D and the organization of projects. The Board of Trustees of the MMKA called upon art historian dr. János Szoboszlai, director of the ICA-D between 1997 and 2001, to form and coordinate the work of the curatorial team from September 2009.

The Board of Trustees of the MMKA in 2010:
Zsuzsa Bokor
Ferenc Friedrich
Péter Juhász
Csaba Gyöngyössy, chairman
István Rohonczi
Dr. János Sipos

January 15, 2010
The article titled “Withdrawal Symptoms” is published in Dunaújvárosi Hírlap. According to the article the budget of the city is unable to finance the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2010.

March 1, 2010
Because of the financial problems, the Institute of Contemporary Art calls for the solidarity of the domestic and international profession and the wide public by launching the web site. In the first 24 hours the Declaration is signed by more than 700 persons.

May 25, 2010
The General Assembly of the City of Dunaújváros decides that the city ensures the maintenance of the Institute of Contemporary Art in the second half of 2010. The Board of Trustees of the Public Foundation for Modern Art and the management of the Institute give thanks to the city’s governing body.


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