ARTIST PROFILE

Hajnal Németh

  • Hungary (b. 1972)
  • Currently in Berlin, Germany.
  • In her artistic practice Hajnal Németh creates musicals, operas, performances, films and photographs but most of all, through slight modifications of poems, songs and texts she encourages political statements.

REPRESENTATION

White Song - Among Others

White Song - Among Others

  • 2017
  • Textbook and Scores - sheet music installation and light installation (colour projection on objects), variable dimensions.

  • Transcription of the lyrics and adaptation of the song "I Hate The White Man" - Roy Harper, 1970.

  • White 1
  • White 5
  • White 6
  • Work Song - thumbnail Work Song - Textbook - thumbnail White Song - Among Others - thumbnail White Song - Among Others - thumbnail White Song - Among Others - thumbnail

    3 / 5

    Leoplod Bloom | 2016 - 2017

Work Song – As Time Goes By, Musical Film, 65 min, 2017, Written and directed by: Hajnal Németh, Composed by: Brian Ledwidge Flynn, Performed by: Simon Fagan and band, Gábor Altorjay, Desney Bailey, Knut Berger, Timothy Beutler, Polina Borissova, István Dankó, Lea Draeger, Júlia Koffler and Albert Orgon, Contributors: Gergely Eortzen Nagy, Gergely László, Lilla von Puttkamer, Sára Stenczer and Árpád Széll, Translations: Christina Kunze, Dániel Sipos, Camera: Imreh István, Sound: Fabien Leseure, Filmed and recorded at Studio P4 Berlin in 2016. Voices for voices: the passive voice, the directing voice, the obvious voice, the skeptic voice, the missing voice, the suitable voice, the selector voice, the resigned voice, the late voice, the present voice, the invisible voice, another voice, the free voice and the controlled volume. In terms of form, the piece follows the choreography of open mic auditions, where performers competing in a given genre usually stage their own productions, adjusting their acts to real or assumed expectations. In the present case, performers are applying for different roles in the musical entitled “Work Song”. The roles, however, are also fictional – as is the musical itself – and the plot of the musical is comprised by the selection of applicants for the specified roles, in other words, the auditioning process. The audition takes place in the presence of other candidates and the commission – made complete by the audience. Thus – although as voyeurs in a sense – the audience becomes a participant in the show with its presence. This situation is underpinned by the lack of a stage as well as any stage lighting, set or costumes. The space is set up to suggest that anyone could grab the microphone, but the consistent choreography makes it obvious that the composition of the performance is pre-designed, closed and complex. Within this structure, there is freedom for improvisation – depending on the individual interpretive method of each performer – and for deviation from the textbook. The various successive songs, poems and proses each convey a main message and a subordinated narrative story. The successive parts will not combine into one specific story, but rather they convey an abstract of several stories: the bindings and possibilities, the lifestyle and perspectives of working and non-working people. Two opposite approaches are confronted: existence by work as an exclusive system of relations, and the condition of unemployment as an interpretable basic position. This mirroring is demonstrated by the consistently converse lyrics of the musical’s two fundamental songs – “Work Song” and “Absolution”. The other songs are in part covers and adaptations, held together by a musical composition that underscores the entire piece with variations on a single theme: the “Song Without Work”. ---------- “White Song – Among Others” is already realized as a photo series and as an object installation. At the moment I'm working on a short film about the concert performance “White Song – Race Abstraction”, the recording will take place at CHB in Berlin, in the end of May. Concerning the topic of the project: the verses on the four photos are taken from Roy Harper's song “I Hate The White Man”. It was released in 1970. In this song Harper explains why he hates the “White Man” in very significant poems that mention all destructive actions of white men against other races in this world. I found this song very strong and beautiful since Harper is a musician who strongly criticizes Western societies while being a British white man himself. Harper raises a very ambivalent question while he seems to be caught in his origins. From this song I abstracted single parts from the refrain and changed the colour to red, yellow and black: "For I hate the red, man, in its evergreen excuse and I hate the white, man, in its doctrinaire refuse, for I hate the yellow, and its plastic excuse and I hate the black, man, it turned itself loose.” Since I introduced a comma after the colour, I changed the meaning of the sentence: “I hate the black, man!” simply means I hate the black colour referring to the man who I talk to. The abstraction of the meaning – in fact, of the entire song – lead to the subtitle “Race Abstraction” in my work.