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Miklós Erdély began performing actions at a time when happenings and Fluxus had already appeared in Hungary. His actions were partly connected to his poetic and theoretical enterprises, which meant that he would often read, act out and spatially contextualize texts of his own. Another group of his actions contained no textual components and was much rather based on acts that seemed spontaneous and ordinary, though they were actually absurd and philosophical—acts that could be related to Hungarian reception of the happening genre. The “Evening Action” belongs to this group, and based on the three photographs, it could be supposed that Erdély hung a lamp on a tree in his own garden and painted it a shade of black, with nature itself turning black at the same time. In the first photograph, the lamp shines out like a supernova and seems to incinerate everything around it. Later, as a result of a human action (i.e. painting), it has turned into a banal everyday object. The former physical and chemical magic, the mystery of lighting and photography, sinks into the world of inanimate objects and insignificant gestures.

  • Artist: Miklós Erdély
  • Original Title: K337
  • English Title: Evening action
  • Year: 1969
  • Material: 3 b&w photographs
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 21 × 45 cm (8 1/4 × 17 11/16 in.) Framed: 51,7 × 71,5 cm (20 3/8 × 28 1/8 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K337
  • Category: photography
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