Curatorial Research in
Exhibition Studies – Module 1
Guests: Eszter Szakács and Zoltán Ginelli

Transperiphery Movement

Our talk introduces the curatorial research methodology and concept of Transperiphery Movement, a contemporary art and research exhibition presented at the third edition of OFF-Biennale Budapest in spring 2021. The exhibition looked at the historical relationships and parallels between the global periphery (Global South) and semiperiphery (Eastern Europe) during the 20th century through the concepts of coloniality, peripherality, and migration in a multi-focal perspective. We discuss some of the artworks, concepts, and methods of the exhibition to provide a geographically and epistemologically nuanced understanding of “decolonizing” from Eastern European positions.

Eszter Szakács
is a researcher and curator. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Amsterdam; specifically, she is part of the project titled IMAGINART—Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Previously she worked at Budapest, where, among others, she coedited the online international art magazine Mezosfera and the book IMAGINATION/IDEA: The Beginning of Hungarian Conceptual Art – The László Beke Collection, 1971 ( and JRP|Ringier, 2014), and curated the collaborative research project Curatorial Dictionary. She was a research group member of the project titled …OPEN MUSEUM… initiated by the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest (2014–2018). She is currently a curatorial team member of the grassroots civil initiative OFF-Biennale Budapest and, along with Naeem Mohaiemen, coedited the forthcoming anthology Solidarity Must Be Defended (, Van Abbemuseum, SALT, Tricontinental, and Asia Culture Center). Her research revolves around grassroots art organizing, questions of internationalisms, intersections between Eastern Europe and the Global South, as well as exhibitionary forms of research.

Zoltán Ginelli
 is an independent researcher and a critical geographer, historian of science and global historian. His research is in the geographies of knowledge, world-systems analysis, and the histories of geography, colonialism and racism, with a focus on the historical relations between Eastern Europe and the Global South or the Third World. Zoltán presented his work at numerous international academic conferences and taught at various universities and colleges, including Milestone Institute and guest lectures at The University of Manchester and Rutgers University. Between 2015 and 2019, he worked as an assistant researcher in the 1989 After 1989 and Socialism Goes Global projects at The University of Exeter. In 2020, his project Postcolonial Hungary in the EEGA program at The University of Leipzig explored Hungarian colonial history from a world-systemic perspective. Recently, he co-curated with art historian Eszter Szakács the exhibition Transperiphery Movement: Global Eastern Europe and Global South in May 2021 for OFF-Biennale Budapest. Zoltán is currently working on two books. One for Cambridge University Press with James Mark and Péter Apor about the global histories of Hungarian relations to colonialism and anti-colonialism in the long 20th century, entitled Che in Budapest: Hungary Between the Colonial and Anti-Colonial Worlds. The other is his individual book project based on his doctoral research about the global histories of the “quantitative revolution” in geography. He founded the social media group Decolonizing Eastern Europe.

Guest: Giuliana Vidarte
Making art historical narratives visible in museums: Representations of the Desert and the Amazon in Peru
In this presentation, I will analyze four exhibitions that I have curated over the last three years as part of the exhibition program of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima. These exhibitions bring together the work of contemporary Peruvian artists that evaluate how the narratives surrounding Ancient Peru cultures have been constructed. In doing so, they reveal the complexity of the Peruvian territory, how it has been historically represented and misunderstood. Collectively they highlight the contradictions between art historical discourses surrounding the Peruvian territory, and its precarious situation in the face of the environmental crisis.

Giuliana Vidarte
received a BA in Latin American literature and an MA in art history from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In 2013 she was part of a curatorial intensive course in Northern Ireland organized by Independent Curators International (New York). In 2014 she received a travel grant to participate in the annual meeting of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) in Qatar. Between 2015–18, she was the curator of Bufeo: Amazonia+Art, a project for the research and dissemination of Amazonian art. Vidarte has developed exhibition projects about the relationship between visual arts and literature, the rewriting of history based on the recovery of unofficial discourses, and artistic production in the Peruvian Amazon. In 2019 she was curatorial assistant for the Peruvian pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. Currently, she is chief curator and head of exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Lima (MAC Lima).

Exhibiting Research
Cristian Nae in collaboration with Eszter Szakács and Zoltán Ginelli
What does a research exhibition mean? How is the praxis of research in humanities, social sciences and visual arts transferred to an exhibition environment? Is such research continued within or through the exhibition? Can exhibitions foster further research? The workshop investigates the processes and forms of displaying research in contemporary art exhibitions, taking as a starting point the research exhibition project Transperiphery Movement.  

Cristian Nae 
is Associate Professor at George Enescu National University of the Arts in Iasi, Romania, where he teaches critical theory, exhibition studies and contemporary art history. His research focuses on exhibition histories and critical art practices in Eastern and Central Europe after the 1960s. He has received research grants and fellowships from the Erste Foundation, Vienna; CNCS-UEFISCDI (Romanian National Research Council); the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles and the New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies, Bucharest. He participated in the CAA-Getty International Program in 2012, 2017 and 2021. Currently he is senior advisor in the project “Periodisation in the History of Art and its Conundrums. How to tackle them in East-Central Europe” supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative. His recent studies were included in the publications Art History in a Global Context: Methods, Themes and Approaches (2020, Wiley Blackwell); Realisms of the Avant-Garde (2020, De Gruyter); and Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere: Event-based Art in Late Socialist Europe (2018, Routledge). He co-edited the publication Contemporary Romanian Art 2010-2020 (Hatje Cantz, 2020) and curated the Romanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.