sale were two compilation cds of Communist songs which the saleswoman
took it in turns to play. The sound was amplified through a single old
speaker situated externally on the kiosk counter. The speaker looked
like an old 1930s radio and maybe it was, but the sound seemed to be
coming from it and I had seen the woman put on a cd inside the kiosk
so maybe it had been customised.
The sound quality was tinny and low volume, but in the intended nature
of the music, also uplifting. It set the mood for visitors to the park,
the romantic nostlagia we share for past struggles in adversity, for
some the memory of personal deprivation as a result of the effects of
Communism, for others maybe more confused feelings. For both 'Easterners'
and 'Westerners' the loss of an alternative fantasy, sometimes mingled
with fear, the lost curious love affair with those behind the 'iron
curtain'. I think we all experienced a momentary frisson, ghostly visions
of lost dreams, the loss of high ideals, contrasted against the bland
sadness and impotence of the globalised corporate present.
Signs of tears formed in Agi's eyes as she sang along to the music.
For those not born under the Communist regime, but whose families were
displaced totally or partially as a result of it, the feelings are conflicted,
contradictory, unresolvable. Unreasonable and unacceptable even. Over
the years many of these people have written about these issues but some
have tried to express their relationship to the situation, sometimes
using humour as a means of diffusing the conflicts, through music. These
songs are and have been played in the West, often only to an audience
My proposition is to play a selection of these songs in the East, temporarily,
in the place of the original Communist songs, on the sound system of
the kiosk at the entrance to the Szoborpark. This will be a kind of
locational and cultural reversal of the lost love affair, after the
be played on the Szoborpark kiosk's sound system every day for one hour
for a period of one month, a cd with the songs;
'Lenin's in Heaven' Ihor
'Knocking on Lenin's Door' Rosalind Brodsky and the Satellites of Lvov
'The Communist Manifesto' Rosalind Brodsky and the Satellites of Lvov
4. 'The Two of Us' Rosalind Brodsky and the Satellites of Lvov 2044
'Satellite of Lvov' Rosalind Brodsky and the Satellites of Lvov 2025
+ further tracks to be produced by Bronia Iwanczak, Marek Kohn and others.
Some of the communist statues in Szoborpark are of local Hungarian
heroes and figures. The displacement of this project from Moscow or
St Petersburg is a result of chance. This was the place I visited, but
I would not want to offend anyone by proposing this project in a place
where there are so many personal and local histories as well as the
history of the USSR.