"When I started working with installations I wanted to talk about space, about boundlessness, about the liberating state of 'there is air inside and outside'." Hajnalka Tarr
HAJNALKA TARR (1977)
She started her studies in graphic arts, but later graduated in the painting class of Dóra Maurer at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. She prefers to make installations, objects, drawings, photography and her latest exhibition is a series of cinema pictures. She has also attended various training courses in Finland and Marseille on scholarship.
Her work is characterised by an extreme sensitivity, an examination of the interconnectedness of things, the problem of the part-whole. She says she has been interested in the ever-changing reality and the changing human being and its patterns since she was a child. She encourages the viewer to dare to ask questions, because this is the way to get closer not only to the work, but also to him/herself.
Two of her installations are on display at the Irokéz Collection: the Instant Flock and Can't Get It, a 2006 graduation piece of 1400 snow-white plaster sheep who have taken a strange journey from the Déli railway station to the City Park, which they have also captured in a photograph. Cant't Get It is a 'butterfly collection' of 12 'boxes', where she cut and pinned butterflies from the pages of different hand dictionaries. Thanks to the different shapes of the butterflies a sentence that can be read as the title of the work is drawn out. She had been working with this type of dictionary for 10 years, which she describes as "the Bible of Modern Man's Despair". She believes that the world, although definitions are necessary, cannot be described solely in terms of meaning. Completeness cannot be grasped by definitions alone.
It is also a characteristic of her works that they take a long time to produce with a huge investment of energy and meticulous work. More than ten years ago a gigantic and beautiful installation was on show at the Art Gallery/Műcsarnok: Attachment was a translucent wall of 250 kg of paper clips, which when touched rippled for minutes. The 7,000 boxes of staples were strung by patients from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Semmelweis University, who worked with Hajnalka Tarr for six hours a day for two weeks.
Her versatility and sensitivity is shown by the fact that she has been working with autistic people for many years. The Autistic Art Foundation supports residential homes for people with autism, including an art programme: drawings and paintings, some of which are therapeutic are placed on caterpillar scarves, bags and notebooks and sold as design objects.
On 6 November her exhibition IN VITRO "H" opened at the ICA-D in Dunaújváros, where an online guided tour was also prepared and given by the artist herself. In the personal tour she talks about her long career as a ballet dancer, her 33 different homes, her love of plants, which she calls "slow creatures", and the origin of the title of the exhibition. Worth listening.