István Malgot (1941-) is a sculptor, puppeteer, and director. He is a founding member of the Orfeo group.
In 1964, he began his studies at the University of Fine Arts. Two years later, he got in touch with young undergraduates, who were enthusiastic about Maoism and were grouped around György Pór. They criticized the Hungarian communist system and contended that reform was necessary and inevitable. In the so-called Maoist trial, Malgot was given a suspended sentence, but the case was a warning to him.
Sculpture was not the most important field in his activity. He directed theatre performances for decades. He often used masks and puppets, and he combined their visual effects with the human body. In 1969, he founded Orfeo at the university with others. Orfeo was based not only on artistic activity but also on the criticism of the communist system from the left. The members of the group wanted to have an impact on society with the help of art.
In 1972, Orfeo was attacked by the communist cultural leadership and critical articles were published in the central communist press. The accusations were focused on the alleged dissemination of hostile, Western ideology and the immoral lives of the members of the community. The author of the article in the journal of the Hungarian Young Communist League, entitled Hungarian Youth, condemned Malgot as the main guilty party, who allegedly wanted to cut children off from their parents and intended them to create a big family, a commune. He wrote that Malgot broke the rules of social coexistence. In the end, the prosecution did not penalize the members of the group, but they were banned from every community centre. István Malgot and Tamás Fodor got a notice indicating that they were being accused of spreading antisocial views.According to the former members of the group, Malgot was not an ideal leader. There were a lot of conflicts surrounding him. After the theatre and puppet group broke off, from 1974 Malgot worked as a director in different theatres, and he established a short-lived Gypsy company. In the 1990s, he traveled a lot in southeastern Asia, and he even wrote a controversial travel book. Éva Forrai in her review (which was published in the Hungarian journal Magyar Narancs) blamed him for propagating sex-tourism and pedophilia. In 2015, his sculpture works were exhibited in Budapest.
- Szombathely, Hungary
Author(s) of this page
- Huhák, Heléna
László, Zsuzsa. "Malgot István közösségi kísérletei Maótól Vonáig egy nem-értelmiségi művészet felé." Tranzitblog. January 22, 2016. http://tranzitblog.hu/malgot-istvan-kozossegi-kiserletei-maotol-vonaig-egy-nem-ertelmisegi-muveszet-fele/.Forrai, Éva. "Könyv-Utazás Pedofíliába. (Malgot István: Barangolások Cambodiában)." Magyar Narancs, 2002. http://magyarnarancs.hu/trafik/konyv_utazas_pedofiliaba_malgot_istvan_barangolasok_cambodiaban-57465