Action works: discover Hungarian neo-avant-garde artist Tibor Hajas in London

Action works: discover Hungarian neo-avant-garde artist Tibor Hajas in London
Surface Torture, Tibor Hajas, 1978. Photo: János Vető

4 May 2017

Opening on 19 May, Action Works at London's Austin / Desmond Fine Art offers a chance to get know the work of one of the most radical Hungarian neo-avant-garde artists, Tibor Hajas.

Working across film, performance art and poetry, Hajas worked predominantly during the 1970s, when Hungarians lived under Soviet control. Taking inspiration from the Fluxus avant-garde art movement, Hajas first turned his hand to conceptual projects and street performance art, and in 1978 began to use his body as a medium for ritualistic performances that pushed him to his physical and psychological limits. Taking his lead from the Viennese Actionists, as well as Eastern and Tibetan philosophy, Hajas sought total freedom at the fragile border between life and death.

“The less you are able to live out reality, even though you are forced to go through it, the more you can experience it in the form of a genre or symbols, that is to say, in art,” the artist famously said.

Action Works forms part of a two-part collaboration with Vintage Galéria, Budapest, and is timed to coincide with the Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva, where works by Hajas will be exhibited.

Action Works will be on at Austin / Desmond Fine Art in central London from 19 May — 30 June. Find out more here.