The method is based on association skills which are basic human skills to explore the world around us. Association skills play a fundamental role in cognitive processes, everyone possesses them, therefore participants do not need any previous knowledge in art or art history to join the game and the conversation. In addition, the method builds on participants’ personal experience as well as on the self-reflective capacities and self-confidence of the museum educator using the method.


We make associations based on the artwork.
The subjective world of the recipient is important, their personal connections to the artwork.


We create relevant content and recall artworks from different art periods based on the ideas which come to mind about the artwork.
Personal knowledge, way of thinking and research are in focus.


We interpret and talk about the relevant ideas and content based on this special, personal ‘collection’ of artworks.
We put the artwork in a context, build a network of ideas and artworks in connection with it like a mind map, and discover together how different historical and art periods are interrelated.

You can teach art history starting from contemporary art of the present day.
The method enhances the network-based approach and understanding, it does not present art history chronologically.
You can learn a lot from your students’ associations, and you can get to know them better. You can have a discussion about the artworks according to students’ needs and interests. It is playful, it feels free to take part, and anyone can use the method easily.
It can be tailor-made to your needs.

In 2017, the method was worked out and tested by a group of museum educators, art teachers and special education teachers: Erzsébet Bánszegi-Tóth, Edina Csillag, Rita Dabi-Farkas, Erika Fám, Gabriella György, Réka Jahoda, Hajnal Kassai, Miklós Medvigy, Katalin Szeivolt, Anna Varga.


Three contemporary artworks serve as the starting point of the interactive museum education programme and travelling exhibition designed by using museum education guidelines. Art pieces by Csaba Ásztai, Eszter Tóth and Ottó Vincze are connected with three notions, such as presence, absence and communication. These topics represent and imply the quest for identity in adolescence and the communicational differences between generations. These three notions are put in context with the help of the exhibited artworks creating a network in which the selected works are all interrelated with each other both visually and conceptually.

The core of the travelling exhibition consists of a group of artworks from the FMC Collection selected in accordance with the three notions (absence, presence and communication). The exhibition becomes different in a new exhibition space, since it is co-curated by the museum educator of the given museum, and artworks from the partner museum’s collection are also included. Besides building a professional partnership between the educators and the museums, the method of teaching and interpreting contemporary art can be exchanged as well. During the exhibition, the method is mastered by the partner museum educator in practice by playing with teeanagers. Later they can change it, apply and use the game according to their needs at future exhibitions.

The most important characteristic of this exhibition project is the visitor-oriented approach. The method builds on the visitor’s own world, their emotions and self-confidence: they are invited for a personal adventure in an environment where homeliness and discovery are the guiding ideas.

Invisible Presence. Introduction to Contemporary Art for Teens – and for Older Ones too
27.04.2018. – 27.05.2018., Szentendre, Barcsay Museum
Curators: Gabriella György and Hajnal Kassai

Invisible Presence 2.0. Introduction to Contemporary Art for Teens – and for Older Ones too
19.09.2019. – 04.10.2019., Sepsiszentgyörgy, MAGMA Contemporary Art Space
Curators: Erika Fám and Gabriella György

Invisible Presence 3.0. Introduction to Contemporary Art for Teens – and for Older Ones too
18.09.2020. – 29.11.2020., Balatonfüred, Vaszary Gallery
Curators: Gabriella György and Orsolya Nyitrai

Invisible Presence 4.0. Introduction to Contemporary Art for Teens – and for Older Ones too
23.09.2022. – 30.11.2022., Vác, Pannonia House
Curators: Brigitta Bálint and Adrienn Ferenczy (MIMK); Gabriella György and Tünde Sütő (FMC); Bernadett Kis and Laura Vidákovich-Monori (TIM)


Participants are given the opportunity to play and express their opinions freely in the project space of the exhibition. Due to the didactic relations between the artworks, we can start the game by talking about any of the exhibited pieces of art first, and thus we can discuss the artwork-related topics easily. When playing the game in the exhibition space, participants will discover the exhibition according to their interests and their momentary needs and emotional conditions.

The fun part of the exhibition
The magnetic collage game presents two characters in dialogue. These characters can be created again and again by using a rich set of elements. The collage game elements consist of different parts of the portraits and self-portraits included in the exhibition and several other iconic portraits popular and famous in the history of Hungarian and international art history. For example, János Kmetty’s self-portrait, Mihály Munkácsy’s and Mór Jókai’s portraits, self-portraits by Van Gogh and Picasso, Mona Lisa, Magritte’s pipe, Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow, Marilyn Monroe…

Every visitor is provided the opportunity to record their own ideas and impressions about artworks in the exhibition space by writing and placing the so-called association cards next to the relevant artworks with the help of fixed clothes pins. This interactive activity shows that we are highly interested in our visitors’ impressions and opinions, what is more, without their feedback no exhibition can be considered successful or complete. In addition, they contribute to the interpretation of the exhibited artworks in a colourful way.

The interpretation part of the exhibition
The set of cards prepared for the exhibition gives a spontaneous character to the game. Since every artwork is part of an overall concept formulated by the notions of absence, presence and communication, it is inevitable to talk about issues which are interesting and important for teens. And as a consequence, cards drawn randomly can create a general understanding of the exhibition.

The game is played in the exhibition space. The board game on the floor consists of a web of four different coloured dots (yellow, red, green and blue) linked together. It is decided by chance where the game starts: a volunteer slips the puck in order to arrive on a dot. The colour of the dot decides what kind of card to start the discovery of the exhibition with. Players draw from the same coloured deck of cards as the dot on which their puck slips closest to.

The four different sets of cards

Give your answer: it focuses on players’ personal knowledge and ideas about the topics raised by the artworks.

Check it out in the exhibition: it helps players discover the project space and motivates them to move around in the exhibition.

Explain: it motivates players to discuss and talk about the big questions of art and life in order to raise awareness about sensitive topics.

Mime: players are asked to mime emotions and different states of mind in connection with art and the artworks on display.

The travelling exhibition titled Invisible Presence. Introduction to Contemporary Art for Teens – and for Older Ones too was released within the framework of the European Union project titled Museum and Library Development for Everyone, identification number 3.3.3-VEKOP-16-2016-00001 between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2020, in cooperation with the Museum Education and Methodology Centre of Skanzen, the Hungarian Open Air Museum.

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Introduction to contemporary art for teens and for older ones too