Poster, '23.10.'56 / 1989'
Colour offset lithograph printed on paper
Museum no. E.153-1991
Given by Mücsarnok, Budapest, through Kristzina Jerger. Reproduced courtesy of DACS, London 1997
Péter Pócs's poster imagines the demise of Communism and commemorates the 1956 Hungarian popular uprising crushed by Soviet forces. In a reversal of the events of 1956, the red star symbol of the red army is held powerless in a trap. The artist wanted to depict Communism as a live, actively oppressive force, and formed the star from raw flesh. It glistens in the strong light and seems to writhe in agony as the metal bites.
The poster was published on the occasion of the memorial ceremony for the reburial of Imre Nagy, the Hungarian statesman who led the revolutionary government of 1956, and the other executed leaders of the uprising. Although the poster had originally been commissioned by one of the new political parties, the Alliance of Free Democrats, when they saw the design, they were afraid to publish it. Pócs therefore went ahead on his own, challenging the censorship regulations which forbade publication by individuals.