Péter Forgács

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Born 1950 in Budapest. Media artist and independent filmmaker based in Budapest, whose works have been exhibited worldwide. Since 1978 he has made more than thirty films. He is best known for his installations and the "Private Hungary" series of award-winning art-films based on home movies from the 1930s and 1960s, which document ordinary lives that were soon to be ruptured by an extraordinary historical trauma that occurs off screen. In 1983, Forgács established the Private Photo & Film Archives Foundation (PPFA) in Budapest, a unique collection of amateur film footage and has made this material the raw data for his unique re-orchestrations of history. In 2002 the Getty Research Institute held an exhibit of his installation The Danube Exodus: Rippling Currents of the River. His international debut came with the Bartos Family (1988), which was awarded the Grand Prix at the World Wide Video Festival in The Hague. Since then he has received several international festival awards--in Budapest, Lisbon, Marseilles, San Francisco and Berlin, where he won the Prix Europe for Free Fall. In the last decade, Forgács exhibited in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Prague, Bochum, Sao Paolo, New York, Rome, Graz, Fellbach, Warsaw, Krakow, Amsterdam, Newcastle, Ostrava, Mardid, Barcelona, Karlsruhe, Brugge, Los Angeles, Den Hague and Vienna. Various public collections, museums and universities keep Forgács' highly recognized works. The Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has decided to award the Erasmus Prize 2007 to the Hungarian filmmaker and media artist Péter Forgács. Through his documentary work the artist Péter Forgács has made an original contribution to the process of cultural memory and the transmission of culture, thereby furthering and deepening our understanding of the past. By using authentic amateur and home movies Péter Forgács creates in his films a direct view of historical events. He does not tell new stories, but offers new perspectives on known episodes. His films have no political or ideological agenda. Through intimate images from the private lives of ordinary citizens, Forgács confronts the present day world of the viewer with the recent past and in so doing transmits the memory of these episodes.


See also: Hungary#Experimental_film.2C_avant-garde_film, Hungary#Video_art