Hajnal Németh

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Hajnal Németh

In her artistic practice Hajnal Németh creates musical performances, spatial installations, films and photographs. Her projects are mostly based on textbooks containing her own writings or slightly modified quotations such as lyrics, poems or prose fragments.

The artist participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at prestigious art institutions in Europe, America and Asia, including MUMOK, Vienna; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; The Kitchen, New York; Renaissance Society, Chicago; Tate Modern, London; Art Museum, Singapore; Ludwig-Museum, Budapest; TENT, Rotterdam; Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; Kunsthalle, Budapest; Kunsthalle Emden; Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw; Comunidad de Madrid; 2nd Berlin Biennale, KW Berlin; Casino Luxembourg; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée d’Art moderne de Saint-Etienne; Picasso Museum, Barcelona; Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Her work was nominated for the Nam June Paik Award in 2010.

She was representing Hungary at the Venice Biennale 2011.

“My artistic activity is based in performative works of different durations, which are mainly musical interpretations of written texts, drawing on the broad spectrum of musical tendencies (pop, rock, jazz or opera) and the tools and devices of other performative fields, sometimes placed in an environment of light- and spatial installation. Although in terms of genre, I classify these pieces (concert-performances) into the categories of musical, opera or choir piece, these denominations are more of a reflexive query into the nature of genres, for the performances are in fact not concerts or theatre plays.
In my work I endeavour to cross or rather expand the boundaries of artistic categories, in other words, I intend to treat them with liberty. I am most intrigued by the interdisciplinarity between the fields of fine art and music, with special regard to time-based forms of creative art that can be experienced in the process, in other words, creative methods of process art. In my view and practice, not only the “end product” can be considered an artwork, but also the “procedure”, and this artwork is given real life to by the spectator, which accordingly makes the audience part of the creative process.
I have always been interested in making processes visible, therefore my video works often document the studio recording process of pieces written by me, and my installations are, so to say, contextual environments with objects left behind after performances that have already taken place. Live performances are generally musical pieces based on poetic or prose textbooks, often performances corresponding to the extent of a regular concert, sometimes extended shows that last for days and present the process of composing and rehearsals as well.
In terms of format, I work in a large spectrum; depending on the work phase, the following media are usually exhibited: textbooks, music scores, happenings, concert-performances, choir pieces, films, video installations, sound installations, light installations, photos and posters.
My textbooks are usually based on my own writing, but occasionally I work with quotes. However, when citing existing – that is, borrowed – lyrics, poems or prose fragments, I specifically query, in other words, reflect on the gesture of quotation. I do this by rewriting the quoted text and developing a quasi-corrected but by all means arbitrarily altered version. These changes are sometimes minimal, but radical in the sense that they endow the text with an entirely new meaning.”

Interview by Helene Romakin: artfridge.de


Born in 1972 in Hungary.
Lives and works in Berlin.


Institute of Photography, Szekesfehervar (H) 1991-93
Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Intermedia Department, Budapest 1995-2000

Running a course at Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Intermedia Department since 2010.

Scholarships and Awards

Duende Studiohouse, Rotterdam, 2001
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, International Studio Program, Berlin, 2002
Derkovits Gyula Fineart Scholarship, Budapest, 2006−2008
Künstlerhaus Worpswede, International Studio Program, 2007
Nam June Paik Award (nomination), Düsseldorf, 2010
Munkácsy Award, Hungary, 2011
AICA Award, Hungary, 2011
Kulturverwaltung des Berliner Senats, Berlin, Stipendium, 2011
Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn, Stipendium, 2012
Deutsche Akademie Rom, Villa Serpentara, Stipendium, 2013
Leopold Bloom Art Award, Hungary, 2017



year exhibition
2020 My Time, Your Time, Galeri Ffrindiau, Budapest
2019 Simultaneous City, Ebensperger Rhomberg, Berlin
Crash - Passive Interview, MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen
2018 Work Song - As Time Goes By, screening, David Chipperfield Architects - Showroom, Berlin
52 For Example, performance, Intermedia Department, Budapest
2017 White Song - Among Others, Trafó Gallery, Budapest
False Testimony, The Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
2016 Imagine War – Sound in Motion, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
German Dawn, Galerie Ebensperger, Vienna
White Song - Among Others, Galerie Ebensperger, Berlin
Work Song – As Time Goes By, musical, ZK/U, Berlin
Work Song – As Time Goes By, musical, CHB, Berlin
2015 Imagine War, performance and installation, acb Gallery, Budapest
The Loser, performance, Atrium Theatre, Budapest
Work Song, RAM, Rotterdam
2014 Work Song, musical, Teatro Valle Occupato, Rome
Work Song, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, Berlin
False Testimony, "CKOM”, Video Room, RAM Foundation, Rotterdam
Imagine War, performance, A Window in Berlin, Berlin
2013 The Loser (version 2), REH Kunst, Berlin
False Testimony, OSA - Open Society Archives, Budapest
Contrawork, Projections, Art Rotterdam
2012 False Testimony, Invaliden1 Gallery, Berlin
Air Out, video of the month, NBK, Berlin
The Loser, performance, Balassi Institut - CHB, Berlin
False Testimony, screening, Tranzit, Budapest
Contrawork, Kunstcentrum - Korenbeurs Schiedam
2011 Crash – Passive Interview, 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Hungarian Pavilion, Venice
Air Out, Loop - Screen from Barcelona, Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Contrawork, PhotoEdition Berlin
2010 2 Songs 1 End, Modem, Debrecen
Joe Contra Joe, VideoSpace Gallery, Budapest
2010 Crash – Passive Interview, Museum Kiscell – Municipal Picture Gallery, Budapest
Crystal Clear Propaganda – The Transparent Method, Dortmunder Kunstveein e.V., Dortmund
2009 Crystal Clear Propaganda – The Transparent Method, Studio Gallery, Budapest
Crystal Clear Propaganda – The Transparent Method, SecondHome Projects, Berlin
2008 Irokez Gallery, Szombathely (with Tamas Komoróczky)
2007 Guitarsolo, CHB, Berlin
Truck facing eastwards, KUNSTrePUBLIK – Skulpturenpark, Berlin
I'm absolutely none, IMPEX, Budapest
2006 Guitarsolo, Vintage Gallery, Budapest
2005 Portrait with a microphone, SwanHouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Pecs
2004 Tradition und neue Chance, presentation, IFA-Galerie, Berlin
Tunnel Coctail Bar, Vintage Gallery, Budapest
2003 StereoHeart, ACB Gallery, Budapest
Thursday Forever – MC Monument, Ludwig Museum, Budapest
BAR 24, Galeria Balen, Slavonski Brod
2002 Move the spirit from A to Z, Trafo Gallery, Budapest
Move the spirit from A to Z, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
2001 Sunday Reamed, Miró Fotógaléria, Budapest
Sunday to Monday, CO10 Galerie – Ulrike Behrends, Düsseldorf
Bye Bye Happiness, Hello Loneliness, Vintage Gallery, Budapest
Bye Bye Innocence, MEO Institution of Contemporary Arts, Budapest
Babak + 512, Studio Gallery, Budapest
2000 In My Garden, with Peter Land, Studio Gallery, Budapest
Inplanted Reallity, Galerie für Landschaftskunst, Hamburg
1999 video-show, Salon3, London
video-show, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
EY EY, U.F.F. Gallery, Budapest
Roomtaboo, Atelier Gallery, Budapest
Twice Good Night, Approach Gallery, Pecs
1998 Help yourself!, Annexed Gallery, London
LifeStyle-less, Knoll Gallery, Budapest
1997 Every night and every day is Sunday, Studio Gallery, Budapest
Sometimes Hajnal, Anywhere Balazs, with Balazs Beothy, Szeged
Slide Show, with Istvan Szil I, BookHouse, Budapest
Beautiful, Practical, Hygienic, Szekesfehervar
E-YOGA, Studio Gallery, Budapest
1996 Homemade Trance, Liget Gallery, Budapest


year exhibition
2020 The dialectic of Images, CHB - Collegium Hungaricim Berlin
The Dead Web - The End, Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
2019 Public Private Affairs, Ferenczy Museum Center, Budapest
Something Common, Ebensperger Rhomberg, Salzburg
The X - 10th Anniversary Show, Whiteconcepts, Berlin
2018 De Fils ou de Fibres, Abbaye St André - Centre d'art contemporain Meymac
Related by Sister Languages, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
2017 Save As, Ludwig Museum, Budapest
The Car in the Art - A Raging Passion, Kunsthalle Emden, Emden
Leopold Bloom Art Award 2017, New Budapest Gallery, Budapest
2016 Passion - Fan behavior and Art, Ludwig Museum, Budapest
Passion - Fan behavior and Art, Stadtgalerie Kiel
Hero Mother, MOMENTUM & Studio 1, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin
Up Memory Lane (Part 2), RAM, Rotterdam
False Testimony – Version 3, Art Rotterdam
2015 Do Disturb, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Language & Art, Kunsthal Rotterdam
Passion - Fan behavior and art - Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
Timebase, New Budapest Galler, Budapest
Inaugural Exhibition – Vienna Branch, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, Vienna
2014 False Testimony, Art Rotterdam
Story Time. Or Was It?, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
2013 Love Triangle, Goethe-Institut, Stockholm
Conceptual Art Today, City Gallery Paks
20 Years Intermedia, Modem, Debrecen
2012 Entre (Ouverture) Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Selected Artists 2011, NGBK, Berlin
2011 The End of the Dream, MicaMoca Project, Berlin
2010 Nam June Paik Award 2010 - Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf
Transitland in Trieste - Studio Tommaseo - Istituto per la documentazione e diffusione delle Arti, Trieste
Infernoesque Provides: Luna / Proxy/ Fire/ Snow, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin
Music Store, Galeria Neon, Budapest
Private Landscapes, Contemporary Photography from Hungary, Kunstverein Düsseldorf
Transitland - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía MNCARS, Madrid
Infernoesque Provides: Luna, Proxy, Fire, Snow, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden
Action! Video screening, Infernoesque projektraum, Berlin
2009 Zeigen, An Audio Tour through Berlin by Karin Sander, Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin
Gender Check - Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , Vienna
Transmediale - Transitland Destination Berlin (TCP) - Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin
Transitland - The Red House - Centre for Culture and Debate, Sofia
Expanded Realities – Contemporary Hungarian Photography, City Gallery Pécs
video screening, Janos Gat Gallery, New York
Another Time - Another Place: Contemporary Hungarian Video Artists, American University
Museum at the Katzen, Washington
Derkovits – scholarship, Ernst Museum, Budapest
A Little Hungarian Pornography, MODEM, Debrecen
2008 Guess who is coming, RAM Art Foundation, Rotterdam
Micro-narratives: tentation des petites réalités, Musée d’Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne
All that Cinema, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Studio 72, Studio Gallery, Budapest
2007 Concept: Photography – Dialogues and Attitudes,
Selection from the DZ BANK Art Collection, Ludwig Museum , Budapest
ASIA – EUROPA mediation, European attitude, IF Museum Inner Spaces, Poznan
Central Europe Revisited I, Schloss Esterhazy, Eisenstadt
Close Encounters – Central European Video Art, Fine Arts Center Galleries
University of Rhode Island, Kingston
48th October Salon, Temptation of small realities, micro communities, Belgrade
Kunst aus Ungarn, Stiftung Landdrostei, Pinneberg
2006 1.Vienna Biennale, Vienna
New Video, New Europe, The Kitchen, New York City, NY
Artist Migration Berlin – Dellbrügge & De Moll, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg
Autopoesis, Slovenska Narodna Galeria, Bratislava
ART FAB, St Tropez
Generally Believed, Mongolian Embassy, Berlin
selection from the collection of Ludwig Museum, Budapest
2005 Extended Views – screening program, Médiathčque José Cabanis,Toulouse
Urbane Realitaten: Focus Istanbul, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
New Feminism - New Europe, Cornerhause, Manchester
EuropaFries, Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin
Boundary Zones – Plartforma, Klaipeda , Lithuania
Shopped to Death, Tuteurhaus, Berlin
Places of Transition – 7th International Triennial Ecology and Art, Maribor
2004 New Video – New Europe, Society Renaissance, Chicago; Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis; Tate Modern, London
Twilight Tomorrow, Art Museum Singapore, Singapore
BreakThrough, Grote Kerk Den Haag
Extended views – Centre Ceramique Maastricht
Hungarian art today, RAM Gallery, Rotterdam
Soap Opera, Mucsarnok – Kunsthalle, Budapest
2003 Soft manipulation, Atelierraum Martin Vesely, Vienna
Cruising Danubio, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid
ACB Gallery Opening, Budapest
AURA, After the age of technical reproduction, C3 – Center for Culture & Communication, Budapest
2002 Unstable Narratives, hARTware Medien Kunst Verein, Dortmund
Owerwork, TENT, Rotterdam
Upside Down, Gallery Priestor for Contemporary Art, Bratislava
Romantisches Gesamtkunstwerk und Anderes, Atelierhof Werenzhain
selection from the collection of Ludwig Museum, Budapest
Aktuelle Positionen, Museum Sammlung Friedrichshof
2001 The Garden, Gallery of Szombathely, Szombathely
2. Berlin Biennale, Kunst-Werke, Berlin
Confidences – Parce que c’etait lui, parce que c’etait moi, Casino Luxembourg
Irokez Collection, Mucsarnok - Kunsthalle, Budapest
MEO – Contemporary Art Collection, Budapest
Compatibility, ZOO Galerie, Nantes
Out of Time, Mucsarnok - Kunsthalle, Budapest
CENTAL – cental european artists, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Léger Différé, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain, Séte
Hungarian digital art, Media Centre, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Suprise 2, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Dunaujvaros
Frames’ games,Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin
2000 MM endless, Deak Erika Gallery, Budapest
Art Narrative – Contemporary Hungarian Photography, Knoll Gallery, Budapest
Fictitious Reality, Budapest Gallery, Budapest
Out of Shape, City Museum of Gyor, Gyor
What If, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
New Topics, Kunstverein Neuhausen, Neuhausen, Fildern
UndabdiePost 2000, Postfuramt, Berlin
Crosstalk, Mucsarnok - Kunsthalle, Budapest
Up to You !, Galeria SKUC, Ljubljana
Media Model, Intermedia-C3, Mucsarnok - Kunsthalle, Budapest, H
Cross female, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
In and Out, Galeria Kombetare e Arteve, Tirana
T-Connection, Fabriek, Eindhoven
1999 Remix, Gallery of Pecs, Pecs
Let’s take us seriously, Gallery by Night, Studio Gallery, Budapest
Physiognomy, Salsburg
Selfportrait as a young man, Usti Nad Labem
The dreamfactory’s running smoothly, Trafo Gallery, Budapest
Bloomsday, Gallery of Szombathely, Szombathely
Young and Serious – Recycled Image, Ernst Museum, Budapest
Contemporary Hungarian Photography, Dormitory-Cupola, Pecs
Ma fine art students, Gallery of the London Institution, London
The FKSE in Bukarest, Hungarian Institution, Bukarest
Autumnal Show, Steven King Museum, Szekesfehervar
Footwear things, P60 Gallery – Artpool, Budapest
The Stockholm Connection, ACC Galerie, Weimar
1998 Intimate Strangers, Gallery by night, Studio Gallery, Budapest
Obserwatorium, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw

Public Collections

NBK− Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
FRAC - Basse-Normandie, Caen
DZ Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt
Ludwig Museum − Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Institute of Contemporary Art − Dunaújváros
MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen
City Gallery of Győr

Publications – solo catalogues

2013 Red Ford Mondeo, booklet, textbook of the performance Contrawork (Version 1)
2011 Booklet of the catalogue Selected Artists 2011, Arbeitssstipendium für Bildene Kunst des Berliner Seants, RealismusStudio, NGBK, Berlin
2011 Crash - Passive Interview, 2/1, 2/2, catalogue of the exhibition, 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Hungarian Pavilion
2010 2 Songs 1 End, catalogue of the exhibition, MODEM Debrecen
2010 Crash – Passive Interview, catalogue of the exhibition, Museum Kiscell – Municipal Picture Gallery, Budapest
2010 Németh Hajnal – Contemporary Photography from Hungary 5, Faur Zsófia – Ráday Galéria


White Song / concert film, 2017, 13' (author and director)
Work Song – As Time Goes By / musical film, 2016, 65' (author and director)
Imagine War – Band Version / concert film, 2015, 33' (author and director)
Imagine War – Solo Version / concert film, 2014, 31' (author and director)
Work Song / musical film, 2014, 72' (author and director)
False Testimony – Version 3 / operatic film, 2013, 17' (author and director)
False Testimony – One Version of the Version / operatic film, 2012, 18' (author and director)
The Loser / operatic film, 2012, 40' (author and director)
Contrawork / performance film, 2011, 43' (author and director)
Crash – Passive Interview / operatic film, 2011, 90' (author and director)
Joe Contra Joe / video, 2010, 4'50” (director)
Air Out / video, 2008, 4'30” (director)
Desney and Destiny / video, 2007, 12' (director)
Recording Room / video, 2006, 12' (director)
Gogo 01 / video, 2004, 6' (director)
Gogo 04 / video 2004, 8' (director)
Stereoheart / video, 2003, 7' (director)
Bar 24 / video, 2003, 3'50” (director)