Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Zsuzsanna Stánitz

MA work

The Rising Notion of Performance Architecture. A Theory Under Construction.

The dissertation addresses the emerging notion of performance architecture, as a product of critical curatorial approach, proposed by MoMA Contemporary Architecture Curator Pedro Gadanho. Gadanho suggests that curating has to be seen as a new way of criticism, that in relation to the architectural field questions the very nature, the expectations, the place of architecture in the cultural field and the boundaries of the discipline. As proposed, this could be fulfilled through ephemeral, responsive and site-specific interventions, where architects could be seen no longer as only architects, but as cultural operators, cultural producers. Performance architecture events could be perceived as these occasions, where people, technologies and different cultural aspects and trends are connected and work collaboratively towards addressing local issues.

As a case, the research focused on understanding the emerging knowledge of performance architecture by discussing the two different approaches of the main figures of the concerned field: curator Pedro Gadanho and architect Alex Schweder. While Gadanho sees the projects of performance architecture as highly political architectural interventions, Schweder emphasises the potential of users to change the notion that buildings construct them, and turn it the other way around, so that subjects can control and determine their environment.

Since performance art and architecture projects in the 60s and 70s provided a new framework through which artists could articulate their relationship with society, one of the main aim of the dissertation is to understand the differences between the projects produced then and the ones produced recently. Based on the few texts, published mainly by Gadanho and Schweder, the dissertation intends to raise the issue of the problematic continuity between the proposed projects and their ancestors. Performance architecture offers a partly new approach for contemporary architectural culture, though its potential of entering the professional field is questionable.


  • Zsuzsanna Stanitz
  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2014

  • I hold a Master's degree in Communication and Media Theory from the Institute of Art Theory and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. While studying at Royal College of Art I worked in the Exhibitions Department at Calvert 22 Gallery, London, which is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art from Eastern Europe; and up to the beginning of my studies as Assistant Curator in Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest. My recent projects include the exhibition Controlled Visions (2012) as a reference to the social housing issues after the red mud flood in Devecser, Hungary; and organising a round-table discussion on Hungarian cultural politics for Calvert 22 Gallery's discussion series Archive As Strategy (2013).

    My dissertation The Rising Notion of Performance Architecture   A Theory Under Construction addressed the emerging notion of 'performance architecture' proposed by MoMA Contemporary Architecture curator Pedro Gadanho and architect/artist Alex Schweder. My main areas of research and curatorial interest are contemporary art and architecture practices, the post-communist condition, collective memory and critical theory.

  • Degrees

  • MA Communication and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 2012; BA Communication and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 2009
  • Experience

  • Exhibitions Trainee, Calvert 22 Gallery, London, 2013; Guest Curator, Godot Gallery, Budapest, 2012; Guest Curator, Demo Gallery, Budapest, 2012; Assistant Curator, Ludwig Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, 2010–11; Gallery Assistant, Knoll Gallery, Budapest, 2009–11
  • Exhibitions

  • …all silent but for the buzzing…, Royal College of Art Galleries, London, 2014; Dear Art, Calvert 22 Gallery, London, 2013 ; Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984, Calvert 22 Gallery, London, 2013 ; Bodies Without Organs & Bodies in Motion, Hackney Picturehouse, London, 2013; Contemporary Private Collections XVII. A Selection from the Collection of the Sziget-founder Károly Gerendai, Godot Gallery, Budapest, 2012; Controlled Vision: Questions of Form and Function, Demo Gallery, Budapest, 2012; Invisible Gravure of a City, Demo Gallery, Budapest, 2012; East of Eden. Photorealism: Versions of Reality, Ludwig Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, 2011; Site Inspection. The Museum on the Museum, Ludwig Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, 2011; Martin Munkácsi: Think While You Shoot, Ludwig Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, 2010