Eszter Szakács is a curator, researcher, and Ph.D. candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) at the University of Amsterdam, where she is taking part in the project IMAGINART—Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation. Her research, writing, and practice engage with grassroots art organizing outside state infrastructures. Eszter is on the curatorial team of the grassroots art initiative OFF-Biennale Budapest, with whom they were lumbung members at documenta fifteen in 2022. She was a team member of the self-organised East Europe Biennial Alliance—co-founded by OFF-Biennale Budapest—that collectively curated the Kyiv Biennial in 2021. Between 2011 and 2020, she worked as curator and editor at tranzit/hu in Budapest. Together with Naeem Mohaiemen, Eszter coedited the anthology ‘Solidarity Must Be Defended’ (tranzit.hu, 2023). She recently curated the exhibition Dóra Maurer–SUMUS–We Are Together at de Appel in Amsterdam, also as part of IMAGINART’s valorisation program.
That, at least, is Eszter’s formal profile. Below is how she would describe her project in more imaginative terms.
Research, curating, postsocialist subjectivity rooted in Hungary—these are some of the things that currently define Eszter. Going back and forth between practice-based theory and theory-based practice, Eszter engages with the creation of structures, stepping up in hiatus, and finding ways to laugh. All of these gestures are necessary, she thinks, for being and doing in difficult contexts.