The Hungarian visual and performance artist El Kazovszkij talks about her experience of entering the second public sphere as if it had been a rite de passage, an initiation that went hand in hand with the transformation of her world view, aesthetic conceptions, and social status. She experienced this transition during the first encounter with Péter Halász’s famous apartment theatre in Budapest at the beginning of the 1970s:

You could only approach them with the help of a friend. The “entrance ticket” was a connection as well. I got here by chance – on one occasion, a friend of mine, who attended almost every performance, invited me to come along. Even the way we got in was exciting. It started with the invitation, and it was already underway as you entered the house and, along with others, you slowly made your way towards the door of the apartment. Your “entrance ticket” almost turned you into a conspirator.

(Kazovszkij 1991, p. 38) The story recounts a singular event, indeed an induction, which, though not necessarily random, was by no means bestowed on each and every participant. Kazovszkij describes a spatial and cultural transition that at the same time has political and epistemological consequences. A new horizon opens up for her beyond the communication system of 1970s Hungary, which was regulated and controlled by the state and could be called the first public sphere. This public sphere was strongly influenced by socialist ideologies, in fact it was functionalized by them and therefore exclusively served the realization of the communist project. This official public sphere, the discourses of which were regimented, if not totalized, was kept under surveillance by the state and regulated by censorship, as well as bans on writing, display and performance. One could say that, with regard to its hierarchical order, the first public sphere was actually not public at all but simply a domain where the policing of discourse could exercise its power.