Objects of certain types can evoke whole mindframes of life: this is certainly true of holiday home gates and fences around Lake Balaton. They evoke carefree summers with their perfectly chosen colours; yet they tell us much more.
Looking behind them we may catch a glimpse of a social milieu from the 60s and 70s when they were made. Fences separating plots, flat-roofed summer houses and small-wheel folding bikes propped against walls were typical of the newly created holiday resort atmosphere. With their thin little lines and frames, fences and gates are virtually symbolic: they are not signs of closure and seclusion but rather those of complex social relationships. These fences are also important because they are not meant to cover up anything. What's more, one is really able to see across them! It is not only in the physical but also in the figurative sense that they convey a lot of the worlds of those who ordered and made them. They tell stories of the subtle and intricate relations between holidaymakers and locals, and at the same time make tangible the channels of cooperation created between them. Among other things, they attest to a popular survival techinque of the period, work done by factory hands and craftsmen for out-of-pocket pay, which in fact was the way many holiday home fences could be made.
Beyond Forms is being launched with a photo series by Marietta Varga and Fülöp Schmal, but we are looking forward to locals, holiday home owners and tourists sending in pictures of their fancied fences and the related story if they happen to have one. Pictures and stories may be submitted to or the project's and page.
The protection of the personal privacy and rights of owners of visual and communication materials created under this project is important for us. No persons will be visible in the pictures; no streets or house numbers will be indentifiable from the photos of the fences. If you wish to send us a photo please make sure you protect the personal spheres of locals and holidaymakers.
Original idea: Balázs Törő (Ethnograper / Laczkó Dezső Museum)
Project coordination & communication: Gergely Hamza, Miklós Tóth, Rita Berzevici, Péter Zabó, Adrienn Adonyi, Eszter Marton (VEB2023 European Capital of Culture)
First photo series by: Marietta Varga and Fülöp Schmal
Video materials: Kornél Máhl