Tibor Hajas

(1946 - 1980)

Tibor Hajas was, by current consensus, the greatest Hungarian poet/writer/performance artist of his generation. Conceptual and Actionist as an artist, as a poet and a writer, he is venerated for his precise—pushed to the limits to the point of utmost cruelty—use of language. Hajas, star of the Budapest underground of the 1970s, was “pushed” into the visual arts by the death of his friend, the sculptor Istvan Dombrovszky. His early Fluxus related actions, Letter to my Friend in Paris (1975) and Self-Fashion Show (1976) were made in dialogue with the Paris street-plays of Janos Gat. After 1978, his performances, in which his own body turns into the medium, were done exclusively for the camera of the photographer János Vető. In these theatrical, ritualistic, and exceedingly beautiful works, Hajas probed life at its limits.


Action Photographs

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].

Inquiries welcome. Exhibition catalogue available.