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Artist Talk: Hajnal Németh

Museums/Institutes Jewish Historical Museum

Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1
1011 PL Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 5310310

Open Daily / 11-17 hrs

Conversation 4 Jun

Time 14:30-15:30 hrs


Hajnal Németh, Zoltán Kékesi, Silent Place 1, C-print, 60 x 80 cm, 2013

Artist talk by the Hungarian artist Hajnal Németh (1972) on the short opera film False Testimony, part of an installation with the same name showing in the Kunstkabinet. Hajnal Németh will introduce False Testimony and other artworks of hers.

The libretto of the modern opera is inspired by the Hungarian film Verzió (Version) from 1981 by Miklós Erdély about the Tiszaeszlár affair, a long and drawn-out murder case at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1882, Eszter Solymosi, a fourteen-year-old girl from the Hungarian village of Tiszaeszlár, does not return from running an errand. Within no time, the Jewish population of the village is suspected and a rumour makes the rounds that Eszter is the victim of a Jewish ritual murder (blood libel). At the time, the trial fanned the flames of the already existing antisemitism in Hungarian society.

The choir and soloists in the film False Testimony re-enact the scene in which the key witness of the alleged incident, a thirteen-year-old boy, is forced to declare before the court that Eszter Solymosi was ritually slaughtered in the local synagogue. He repeats his false statement over and over again.

The artist alludes to the dilemmas of Hungarian post-Holocaust Jewish identity by placing the story in a modern setting.

About the artist
Hajnal Németh (1972) was born in Hungary and currently lives and works in Berlin. In her artistic practice she creates musicals, operas, performances, films and photographs but most of all, through slight modifications of poems, songs and texts she encourages political statements. Her work has been internationally exhibited at prestigious art institutions in Europe, America and Asia, in 2011 she represented Hungary at the Venice Biennale.

False Testimony
Language: Sung and spoken in Hungarian
Subtitles: English 

Artist talk in English.

Admission: free-of-charge when you show your ticket for the Jewish Cultural Quarter



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