Hajnal Németh

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performance, Palais de Tokyo, Paris


Contrawork (version 2)

Performance, version 2, 12 hour long, (Entre) Ouverture - Reopening of Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012

Delivered by István Dankó, Tamara Mózes, Natalia Orlova (singers) and Luidji Caloc (car mechanic), performing the song “DARK GREEN CITROEN”.

"Contrawork" is a contra-concert in the scope of which two different work processes - with contrary motivation and goal - are completed in the course of 12-18 hours. A car's meticulous disassembly into its parts - like a systematic and slow destruction - happening simultaneously with the piece by piece chanting of the destructed vehicle's parts - like a linear construction. To define briefly the gist of the piece: dismantling contra composing. The end-product of one action is the raw material for the other, so the score of the musical piece is composed by the system of the removed car parts.


"With that Citroën logo shining bright on all four wheels

With that logo shining bright

My hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension

Invented by Citröen

The envy of my bothers and sisters

Giving you a soft-cushioned ride

In normal conditions

And a tight body control

If you like it hard!

Accelerate like a bat out of hell

And fly around corners

Like they do in action movies

The nitrogen spheres

A pretty green

The anti sink sphere

My front and rear hydraulic spheres

The accumulator sphere

Working together

For your comfort

And superior road handling"


"A life of a car you cannot call a life

From suspended animation by one soul after another

I am animated to serve from time to time

I am a slave of transformation

Slave to compress the space and extend one’s free time

But I am losing many of my attributes and features

As I know, yes I know

I go shuffling out of life

Just to hide in death awhile

By slow destruction I enter the bright – or I don’t know what

But I’m not afraid to die

No, I’m not afraid to die

Do I still have some weight?

My body is losing many of its parts

Here comes the silence"

(details from the lyrics “DARK GREEN CITROEN” written by István Dankó and Hajnal Németh)


Ehibition view: Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012

Photo: Cheik/CNDprod, Hajnal Németh