Hungarian Cubes

Subversive Ornaments in Socialism

Edited by Katharina Roters

Hungarian Cubes
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Edited by Katharina Roters

Distributed for Park Books

With Photographs by Katharina Roters and Essays by Hannes Böhringer, Endre Prakfalvi, Zsolt Szijártó, and Jószef Szolnoki
176 pages | 143 color plates | 9 x 10 | © 2014
Cloth $49.00 ISBN: 9783906027432 Published August 2014 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
The Magyar Kocka, or Hungarian Cube, is a standardized type of residential house in Hungary that dates back to the 1920s. It was designed as a radically functional single-family home for Budapest’s suburbs and housing projects, but it became closely identified with the postwar communist era, when many villages were rebuilt with uniform rows of single-family homes, and the Hungarian Cube—often renamed the Kádár Kocka, after Hungary’s communist president, János Kádár, became ubiquitous.

In Hungarian Cubes, German-Hungarian artist Katharina Roters explores the one aspect of the Magyar Kocka that could be individualized: the ornamental decorations on their facades. Roters strips the houses she photographs of all surplus details, clearing out fences, railings, antennas, road signs, power lines, and the like, which enables the viewer to focus on the ornaments—and to see how they offered a rare opportunity for individualism and even protest under the conformity of the communist system.
Hannes Böhringer: Am Stra?enrand
Zsolt Szijártó: Häuser in der Landschaft
József Szolnoki: “Dann sagte der Papa: So soll’s sein.”
Endre Prakfalvi: Háztuznézo – Brautschau halten
Katharina Roters: Unsichtbare Häuser
Hannes Böhringer: On the Roadside
Zsolt Szijártó: Houses in the Landscape
József Szolnoki: “Then hubby said: that’ll do.”
Endre Prakfalvi: Háztuznézo: The House and the Hearth Revisited
Katharina Roters: Invisible Houses
Index of Images
Curricula vitae
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