Self Fashion Show

Artist: Tibor Hajas
video | 16mm film | 14:00 | 1976

Tibor Hajas’ experimental film Self Fashion Show was produced in 1976 with the groundbreaking Balazs Bela Studios. An incubator for avant-garde cinema and video art in Hungary, it eluded censorship from the government for several decades. In this piece, Hajas asks passersby on the street to pose for the camera, each for a period of one minute. He then overlays a directorial voice, adding a psychological layer to this ambivalent process of both individuation and repression of individual agency. The film exposes deep conflicts and bleak realities of Eastern European socialist societies before 1989. The incongruous singularity of these ad hoc “models”, set against a grim urban backdrop and offset by an ominous, anonymous voice is startling. The film’s focus on individual presences runs contrary to the collectivist spirit of the time, manifested both as a state ideology and as a deeper force creating a homogenizing aesthetic regime.


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)