Szabolcs KissPál

  • Romania (b. 1967 in Tg.-mures (marosvásárhely))
  • Currently in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Szabolcs KissPál works in various media from photography to video, from installation to objects and conceptual interventions. His main field of interest is the intersection of new media, visual arts and social issues.


In his book “Towards a Philosophy of Photography” Vilém Flusser states that we live in the second age of images. Our modern and contemporary world is dominated by technical images, nonetheless we cannot properly read them: we are visual illiterates. The media as a discursive usage of technical images and objects represents a radical force, with the potential of transforming our everyday reality, our perception and ultimately our history. It is inherent for the operation of modern societies playing a decisive role in politics, economy, banking, wars and the transformative social processes. It is the very field where oppression and emancipatory attempts collide.

As a result of their social mobility and the autonomous self-positioning the artists can hijack and modify the various media narratives, and have the potential to reveal and modify the anatomy of power behind. Therefore - applying direct or indirect methods - they can contribute to the liquidation of the above-mentioned illiteracy and further on to the emancipation of those who are marginalized, oppressed and exploited by it.

The direct, interventionist, socially engaged and collaborative art practices are capable of producing significant cultural effects, but the upmost objective of their aspiration - the impact and ‘efficiency’ of the social intervention – remains always questionable. While their production is situated within the public and social space, their legitimacy and real audience both reside in the realm of the institutional art world itself, unless they turn into pure social activism. This contradiction persists as a disturbing moral and methodological gap within the field of socially engaged art practices. 

I am looking for ways to bridge this gap departing from the symbolic towards the transformative, from subversive towards the initiation and completion of a radical imagination.



    1. Ex Oriente Lux (Soros Center for Contemporary Art, 1993) 45-47 (photos) / 
    2. Osnabrück Media Art Festival 1999 (Osnabrück: EMAF 1999) 48 (photo+ text) / 
    3. Media Modell (Budapest: Műcsarnok, 2000) 84-87 (text, photos) /  
    4. Perspective (Budapest: C3-Műcsarnok, 2000-01), 64-65 (photo), 509 / 
    5. Solitude im Museum (Stuttgart: Academie Schloss Solitude 2000-2001) p. 147 /  Context Network – Romanian Pavillon Venice Biennial (Bucharest: RMCC, 2001) 15 (photo) / 
    6. C3 –Center for Culture and Communication 1996-2001 (Budapest: C3 Foundation 2001) 28 (photo) / 
    7. 14th Stuttgarter Filmwinter (Stuttgart: Wand 5. V. 2001), 178, 182 / 
    8. Unterwegs nach Timbuktu (Berlin: IFA, 2002) 44-47  (text: Agnes Berecz + photos) /
    9. Prague Biennale 1 (Prague: 2003) 341 (text: Judit Angel), 48-49 / 
    10. Digital Homo Ludens – The 3rd International Media Art Biennial (Seoul: Myung Bak Lee Mayor of Seoul, 2004) 48 (text: Hans D. Christ), 72-73 (photos) / 
    11. Nam June Paik Award 2004 (Kunststiftung NRW Dortmund, 2004) 42-45 (text: Miklós Peternák, photo) / 
    12. Amiel Grunberg, Hongrie (Beaux Arts Magazine 239 April/2004) 68 / 
    13. Slavko Kacunko: Closed Circuit – Videoinstallationen (Berlin: Logos Verlag 2004) 747-748 / 
    14. Rhinocéros – Livraison, Autumn 2005 (Strasbourg, 2005), 46-49 (photos) / 
    15. W139 – Amsterdam Report of an Ongoing Journey (Amsterdam: Roma Publications 2006) 150, 155  (photo) /
    16. Suzanne Cotter-Andrew Nairne-Victoria Pomery (Ed): Arrivals – Art From the new Europe (Moder Art Oxford, Turner Contemporary 2007) 170 (Miria Swain), 180-183 (photos) / 
    17. Say it isn’t so (Weserburg: Museum für Moderner Kunst, 2007) 160-65 (text: Julianne Elmenhorst, photos) / 
    18. Petra Stegmann, Coincidence of two worlds (Berlin: Culturebase, 2007) /
    19. Rencontrer L’Europe – Regards Projeté (Strasbourg, Apollonia 2008) 24, 60 (text: Eszter Lázár) /
    20. Transitland (Budapest: Ludwig Museum, 2009)  103 (ref), 110 (text: Miklós Peternák) 238, 239 (text: Kathy Rae Huffman) 264, 272 (photo) / 
    21. Zoltán Kékesi: A Short Guide to Hungary's Contemporary Art Scene (Artmargins 10 October 2010) (text) / 
    22. Rhythmic Exercises, BWA Sokol (Nowy Sacz, 2011) 28 (text: Michal Kolecek), 86-91 (photos), 148 / 
    23. Eszter Seierhoffer (Ed.), Zoo-Topia: Zoo architecture as taxonomies of representation (London: Balassi Institute, 2012) (contribution 6 pages, photo, text: Zoltán Kékesi, Hungary’s miniature replicas) / 
    24. Ed Ewa Mazierska, Lars Kristensen, Eva Naripea: Postcolonial Approaches to Eastern European Cinema – Portraying Neighbours on Screen - (London, IB Tauris 2014), 162 / 
    25. The Hungarian Patient: Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy, 2015 CEU Press, (Ed: Peter Krasztev,J on Van Til, p 299., 313 / 
    26. Die ungarische Kulturszene wurde komplett umgekrempelt - Interview with Radek Krolczyk, Kreiszeitung 30.09.16. / 
    27. Unter Orbán gilt Kritik als fremdartig Interview with Radek Krolczyk, Neues Deutschland, 11.10.2016. / 
    28. Review on the show From fake mountains to faith - Artline Kunstmagazin IV. 2016, p 16-17.


  • Catalogues, books:
    1. Works (Budapest: 2000), 12x12 cm, color+CD-ROM (Tibor Várnagy, Gillian Dyson, Katalin Tímár, Maria Marcos, Zsuzsa Megyesi, Gábor Bakos, David Sinden)
    2. Works 2000-01  (Budapest: 2002) 24x30 cm, color, 32 p. (texts: László Beke, Ágnes Berecz, Susanne Jacob, Gábor Kaszás, Erzsébet Tatai, Maria Marcos, József Mélyi)
    3. Duett (Tirgu Mures: ArtEast, 2003) 15x13 cm,  32 p.,
    4. color,  (text: Hajnalka Somogyi)
    5. Videos (Budapest: 2006) 11,5x18,7 cm, color+ DVD, 24 p., (texts: Miria Swain, Maria Marcos)
    6. The smallest common multiple (Budapest, Műcsarnok  2009) 12x16 cm, color, 36 p. (text: Judit Angel)
    7. Parallel Gazes (London: Art Network Agency , 2011) 10,5x14,8 cm, b&w, (texts: Eszter Steierhoffer, David R. Morris, Péter György)
    8. 7. A műhegyektől a politikai vallásig = From Fake Mountains to Faith: Magyar trilógia = Hungarian Trilogy KissPál, Szabolcs ; Kékesi, Zoltán (ed.); KissPál, Szabolcs (ed.); Molnár, Edit (ed.)  Berlin, Germany : Revolver Verlag (2017) , 254 p. ISBN: 9783957634023
    9. Reframing indentities, Szabolcs KissPál (Dana Alnaeb, Adel Alaswad):  Germany smac, Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2019 Dresden) 72 p. ISBN: 978-3-943770-46-9