New Wave Public Space. From Posters to Secret Service Files
The New Wave concert posters – beside their visual power and significance in the history of Hungarian popular music – illustrate the activity of the state security services. What’s more, the posters and the reports related to the events announced on them, document the surreal symbiosis of the state security and the groups targeted by the cultural counter intelligence. While the posters show who played (or sometimes: tried to play) in the clubs, the dossiers in the archives document the preliminary measures of the state security. They report about the gig too, sometimes even about the measures taken afterwards. In a paradox way, all this allows us to relive or try to imagine what happened three decades ago.
Tamás Szőnyei used to work as a journalist (1992–2012 for the cultural and political weekly Magyar Narancs). Since 2012 he is an archivist at the scientific research department of the Historical Archives of the State Security Services. He owns a large Hungarian new wave poster collection, exhibited it in 1985, 1995, 2004 and October 2017 at Kieselbach Gallery Budapest.