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23.10.'56 / 1989

Poster
1989 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Péter Pócs's image is an ironic expression of the reversal of history, symbolising the ultimate success of the failed 1956 Hungarian Uprising in the end of Communist power in Hungary in 1989. His use of raw meat as a symbol of Communism was a deliberate attempt to convey both its live force and its subsequent demise. This image completed Pócs's deconstruction of the Communist star, which he had made through a series of earlier posters. The Hungarian Socialist Workers Party reformed itself in 1988 and paved the way for increasing liberalisation. The most significant changes were in early 1989 when the Party agreed in principle to a multi-party political system. It also agreed to an official re-evaluation of the events of 1956, whereby the old official description, that of 'counter-revolution', was replaced by 'popular uprising'. This decision turned into a political trap that irretrievably damaged die-hard Communists.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Additional titlePro-democracy Poster Collection (named collection)
Materials and techniques
Colour offset lithograph printed on paper
Brief description
Poster,' 23.10.'56', commemorating the 1956 Hungarian uprising, designed by Péter Pócs, Hungary, 1989
Physical description
Portrait format poster printed from photographic image in colours. Moustrap, trapping a piece of red flesh cut into the shape of a star. At the top left corner of the image a black panel with the date '56.10.23.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 988mm
  • Sheet width: 679mm
Marks and inscriptions
P- art - Pócs. '89 (Signature; date; on right margin; colour offset lithography)
Gallery label
The poster foretells the collapse of Communism in Hungary’s first free elections in 1990. Pócs depicts the Russian backed Communist leadership as a piece of flesh caught in a trap. The raw meat becomes the red star of Communism. The date in the top left is a reference to the failed Hungarian uprising against Russian rule in 1956. A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution, V&A, Galleries 88a and 90, (1 May-2 Nov 2014)(01/05/2014-02/11/2014)
Credit line
Given by Mücsarnok, Budapest, through Kristzina Jerger. Reproduced courtesy of DACS, London 1997
Production
Published illegally by the artist to mark the public memorial service and reburial on 16 June 1989 of Imre Nagy and other executed leaders of the 1956 anti-Communist uprising, signifying their political rehabilitation, Hungary, 1989.



Reason For Production: Commemorative
Subjects depicted
Summary
Péter Pócs's image is an ironic expression of the reversal of history, symbolising the ultimate success of the failed 1956 Hungarian Uprising in the end of Communist power in Hungary in 1989. His use of raw meat as a symbol of Communism was a deliberate attempt to convey both its live force and its subsequent demise. This image completed Pócs's deconstruction of the Communist star, which he had made through a series of earlier posters. The Hungarian Socialist Workers Party reformed itself in 1988 and paved the way for increasing liberalisation. The most significant changes were in early 1989 when the Party agreed in principle to a multi-party political system. It also agreed to an official re-evaluation of the events of 1956, whereby the old official description, that of 'counter-revolution', was replaced by 'popular uprising'. This decision turned into a political trap that irretrievably damaged die-hard Communists.
Collection
Accession number
E.153-1991

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Record createdMarch 5, 2003
Record URL
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