16 June 1973 - Self-identification experiment
György Szemadám’s action and exhibition.

György Szemadám: I also made an action in ’73, when it was already obvious that Balatonboglár would be over. So it was no longer an exhibition venue but rather a forum for protest and demonstration, a place for confrontation with the formal authorities but also with the whole world that surrounded us. [interview 1998]

György Szemadám’s description of his action:
[manuscript, 1985]

Action and photo series documenting my previous experiments, as well as a film screening within the framework of the Balatonboglár Chapel Exhibitions.

László Haris, István Horváth, Alfréd Járay and Kerekes Tamás helped me in realising the film and photo project.
I also displayed the following objects at the exhibition my ID booklet, a plaster mask made of my face, an inflated balloon squeezed into a cage, which was burst by a knife during the action, and /hommage á Beatles/ a fried egg, in which I put out my cigarette butt.

A printed invitation was made. A copy of this and the photos taken of the action can probably be found at György Galántai’s.

Text at the entrance to the chapel:

1. We draw a line on an infinite surface, and if one endpoint of this line meets the other endpoint, it delineates an enclosed area and separates it from the rest of the surface, which, being infinite, is undefinable. The enclosed area, however, can be measured and described.

2. We can try to separate the image perceived of ourselves from its environment and thus define ourselves, but this will not succeed completely, as I proved in my experiment where I drew the outlines of my shadow.

3. I have drawn the conclusion that no one is identical with themselves, i.e. with the image they have of themselves, since self-image is based on people’s conceptual structures, value judgements, i.e. their personalities, which at the end of the day form the very subject of self-examination.

4. As nothing can be explained by itself, it is more likely that we can form a relatively objective image of strangers rather than of ourselves.

5. The exhibited photo series and objects, which document the successes and failures of my self-identification experiments carried out thus far, help illustrate the above for visitors.

György Szemadám

Description of the action: after several attempts I still cannot draw my shadow on the sun-lit exterior wall of the chapel. The open door of the chapel is covered with a huge sheet of wrapping paper. I descend from the tower of the chapel on a rope. Another shadow-drawing attempt follows and fails just like the one before it. Knife-throwing action: after a protracted period of aiming, I finally throw a knife through the wrapping paper placed over the entrance of the chapel and it bursts the balloon put in a cage in the chapel’s interior. After the sound of the balloon bursting I wait a bit and ‘deflowering’ the wrapping paper I jump through it into the chapel interior. The audience floods in after me. I read out a text in front of every pedestal. The first text contains the data of my ID, the second one my description, the third one the critiques written about me and the fourth one comprises of personal experiences of mine. I take off an item of clothing after reading out a text.

17-21 June 1973 - The exhibition of Béla Koncz, István Haász, Endre Hortobágyi, Sándor Molnár, Géza Németh, Dezső Váli.

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