Tamás St.Turba — St.op-St.art (1965-2011)
Past: September 10 → October 22, 2011St.op-St.art — Tamas St. Turba Du 10 septembre au 22 octobre, l'espace Level One accueille une figure injustement méconnue de la création. Poète, artiste, non-art... Critique
Since the mid 60s, poet, artist, non-art-artist Tamas St. Turba (alias Szentjóby, Stjauby, Emmy / Emily / Grant, St.Aubsky, T. Taub, etc…) resisted ideological systems. The intensity and acuteness of his way of thinking today gives him a particular position. With his polymorphic body of work (actions, poems, environments, drawings, photographs, films…) Tamás St.Turba poses numerous contemporary questions. Through texts, objects, poems, music, drawings, film and environment this exhibition aims to give a historic overview to the aspects of IPUT while highlighting its most recent activities. The exhibition is articulated by two pieces: a 16mm black and white film titled Centaur (1973-1975) and Lysistrata Referendum (2011), an in-situ environment. Centaur, separating images (sequences of people at work) and text (on the human condition), accentuates the dichotomy between status quo and utopia. Despite his clear political denouncement, his method remains interrogatory.
In the 1960s he partipated in Mail Art and acted as a translator, promoter and actionist of Fluxus. In 1966, together with Gabor Altorjay, he realized the first Happening in Hungary. In spite of numerous government repressions, he continued his activities, organizing concerts, actions and exhibitions. In 1968, Tamas St Auby founded the International Parallel Union of Telecommunications (IPUT) and subsequently becomes its superintendent. With this organization he constructs a parallel situation in which he develops projects. In 1972 he formulates research around the idea of the Strike and in 1975 presents the Subsistence Level Standard Project 1984 W (SLSP1984W) whose principal idea proposes that every person should receive a subsistence allocation to be subtracted from the Defense Budget. These are artistic / non-art-artistic decisions that paralleled the incessant censorship and punishment by the state and the church of the reigning Myth. In 1975 he was exiled from his country, Hungary.
He, as the superintendent of IPUT, continued the development of the SLSP1984W in Geneva, maintaining his iconoclastic position on the margins of the art market.
Upon returning to Hungary in 1991, he began giving lectures at the School of Beaux Arts in Budapest. In 2003 he made the Portable Intelligence Increase Museum, a multimedia archive aimed at filling in the gaps of the Hungarian neo-avantgarde (1956-1976) overlooked by the “official” history of the time and still today under-recognized. If Tamas St.Turba has creatively and inventively played with the ambiguity of notions of artist/non-art-artist, it is to rest closer to life and history.
The installation made for Level One extends these lines of questioning from an in-situ device that invites the public to participate in a referendum on the distribution of the subsistence allocation.