Flesh Painting IV
Vintage Silver Print
Photo: Janos Veto
Courtesy of Austin/Desmond Fine Art
Austin/Desmond Fine Art is showing a solo exhibition of vintage works by perhaps the most radical of the Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde artists, Tibor Hajas.
The exhibition is part of a two part collaboration with Vintage Galéria, Budapest and coincides with this year’s Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva curated by Christine Macel, where Hajas has been selected to exhibit.
Film maker, performance artist and poet, Tibor Hajas produced the majority of his work in the 1970s during Hungary’s ‘closed’ years under the Soviet authoritarian regime. Inspired by the Fluxus movement, Hajas started to make street actions and conceptual works. In 1978 he began to undertake ritualistic performances, using his body as the medium.
Inspired by the Viennese Actionists as well as Eastern and Tibetan philosophy, he would test his own physical and psychological limits, walking the fine line between life and death in a search for total freedom.
Although Hajas performed daring actions in front of an audience, the photograph was still a hugely important element in his work: “the lack of photograph is like a lack of water…Communication with the outside world ceases. The story without proof becomes not only private, but a secret story, a hallucination with which one must cope alone.” [Tibor Hajas]. Hajas would plan and arrange the scene, but the majority of photographs were taken by artist and musician János Veto, whom he met in 1974 and continued to collaborate with for the rest of his life. Hajas tragically died in a car accident in 1980 at the age of 34.
Tibor Hajas: Action Works is on until June 30 at Austin/Desmond Fine Art, Pied Bull Yard 68/69 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3BN, across from the British Museum.
Visit www.austindesmond.com for more information. .