Dóra MAURER: Once we went (photo actions) May 1972

Spontaneous actions in the chapel about which Dóra Maurer makes a series of photographs under the title “Once we went”. Participants: Miklós Erdély, Tibor Gáyor, György Jovánovics, Dóra Maurer, Tamás Szentjóby.

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An interview with Dóra Maurer (1998): “I think it was Miki Erdély's or Tamás Szentjóby's idea that we should go to Balatonboglár in May 1972. We asked Galántai for the key to the chapel and shot 36 photos - the full capacity of a camera - on the square and the ideas we had around the chapel. That was when the photo series was made. It was Jován's idea.

There was a grid put across the chapel door, originally from a fence, but applied horizontally and not vertically. Jován stood on it, and the others automatically began to find their places, too. Szentjóby lay down on a branch and stuffed his long hair into his shirt, so his hair was not floating like Jován's in the photo. Erdély placed himself in the door, bent over, as if he had been glancing out from there, while Tibor lay on the ground, as if that had been another direction, too, and only the smoke of his cigarette revealed where upwards was. Erdély held up a poppy and said that if we photographed it, it might look as if it were the chapel bell. Then they were jumping down from a bench, Erdély, Tibor and I think Jován, too, as if they were jumping on top of the Badacsony, that is, as if they had been touching the mountain with the shape of their bodies.

It was during this time that the Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin parody and other similar works were made; for example, I sat in the alcove posing as the Madonna and standing around me posing as saints were Jovánovics, Gáyor and Szentjóby. […] I enlarged two series of photographs: Galántai has one of them and the other is at the Hungarian National Gallery, in a cassette for which there is a cassette recorder too. The cassette tape contains the recording of Tamás Szentjóby reciting the poem titled “Once we went…”