Academic journal article Journal of Aesthetics and Culture

On the Re-Emergence of Motion and Innovations in the Gabor Body's Intermedia Experiments

Academic journal article Journal of Aesthetics and Culture

On the Re-Emergence of Motion and Innovations in the Gabor Body's Intermedia Experiments

Article excerpt

Copyright: ©2015 K. Lipinski. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Published: 17 June 2015

*Correspondence to: Kamil Lipinski, ul. Wieniawskiego 1, 61-712 Poznan, Poland. Email: lipinski_kamil@yahoo.com

In his essay on the poetics of experimental and documentary cinema in the 1970s, Lóránt Stohr claims that the specific features of these experiments focused on the transformation of reality from different angles and began a new phase of visual research pioneering in the human sciences.1 These years of Kádár-Era Hungary were marked by the re-emergence of the hybrid forms of Hungarian neo-avant-garde cinema. The entire period framing the "Kádár regime" encompassed 33 years, between 1956 and 1989, although these three decades ceased to form one coherent period, as the boundary context marks the years 1958 as a "Kádárite consolidation" tied with his version of state socialism and 1973 as a suspension of economic reform. As John Cunningham argued, "after 1948 any avant-garde or even mildly experimental work was viewed with suspicion or vilified as bourgeois and decadent, and if any such work was carried out it was kept quiet."2 Despite political setbacks, during the post-56 era, it started to emerge as an experimental neo-avant-garde, particularly at the Béla Balázs Studio (BBS) devoted to the exploration of image and visual language in multifarious manners. BBS was particularly the source of experimental films in Hungary, providing facilities and discursive space not only to most artists but also for publishing videocassette magazines such as Black Box and Infermental . From the outset of 1970s, the artists created their own line of production of independent films reaching for the new solutions of image investigation. In particular, the front line of neo-avant-garde experimentalism was aligned with launching Film Language Series (1972-1975) highly preoccupied with semiotics. Along with the foundation of K/3 Studio at the BBS, notable concepts and works combining theory with practice were created. This combination of theory and practice particularly motivated Dora Maurer's idea of consistent structuralism in Relative Vibrations (1972) and Triolo (1970); Janos Toth's inimitable technique, studies, and private wealth in Study I (1974) and Study II (1975); Agnes Hay's plasticine BBS animation in Gyurma (1972) and Üldözés (1975); or Gábor Bódy's wide range of visual works. The complement of this part of the neo-avant-garde was films made by artists usually dealing with other arts. Among them, it is worth mentioning the works prepared in the BBS such as Self Fashion Show (1976) by Tibor Hajas taking the subject of passersby in the streets of Budapest or Dream Reconstruction (1977) by Miklós Erdély's examining perceptual relations between real-life, dreams, and the cinema. Thereby, BBS from the 1970s seemed to blur the boundaries between the genres of film, media, and art paving the way for new experiments in the area of intersections of media image.

The most innovative and prolific among these prominent figures of these years seemed to be Gábor Bódy, who in 1971 joined the prestigious BBS that was devoted to the formal aspects of visual sphere already established in 1958. Bódy was born in 1946 in Budapest. Initially, he studied philosophy and history from 1964 to 1971 (he gained a diploma in philosophy in 1972) at the University of Budapest; after this, his life became completely overwhelmed by the arts of moving images. He studied from 1971 to 1975 at the Theater and Film Academy and has directed plays--his most famous being Hamlet (1981). …

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