The actor and director Andor Lukáts is one of the most versatile figures in Hungarian theatre, and also stars in countless bestselling films. This is his latest foray into the visual arts. His video installation tells us the relatable stories of people of different sexes and from all walks of life, spanning the seven ages of life. What’s on the mind of a girl at nursery school, a young nun or a sixty-year-old doctor? How does a teenager in social care, or a divorced father-of-three see the future? A summation, a new start, lost hope, faith. More than just a visual experience – any of us might find something of their own experience, their own ‘fateline’ being described here.
Andor Lukáts was born in 1943 in Kaposvár. His acting career got off to an unusual start: First he worked as a metalworker at the Deep Drilling Corporation in Kaposvár, then at the railway locomotive manufacturing company Ganz-MÁVAG, and later decorated the officers’ quarters of the Hungarian Peoples’ Army. He made his debut as an amateur player in the Cellar Theatre, then was an extra, actor and finally director at the Gergely Csiky Theatre in Kaposvár. He spent two decades here, and the spirit of this theatre was a defining experience for him. It was here that he met the artistes who would have a profound influence on his whole life and career. Between 1994 and 2008 he was a member of the József Katona Theatre in Budapest, where he directed Portugal, which was the theatre’s longest-running play ever, remaining on the bill for twenty years. In 2008 he founded the Sanyi és Aranka Theatre. This workshop was a vehicle for putting into practice all his ideas about the theatre and acting. He ran the theatre as a ‘jack of all trades’, writing tenders, doing the lighting, acting and directing.
He has achieved outstanding successes in film, both as an actor and director. He has acted in over one hundred films, several of which he also directed. One of his most memorable performances was in the role of a deaf-mute man in the film Eskimo Woman Feels Cold, directed by János Xantus. In 1980 he directed his first film (Tunnel), for which he wrote the script as well. He has also made a film adaptation of his highly successful play from the József Katona Theatre, Portugal. He has authored several screenplays that are still waiting to be filmed, including a disaster film and a story set on board a submarine.
His versatility and willingness to experiment with different genres was apparent from a young age. In 2001 he created full-figure, photo-based silhouettes of famous Austrians. The series of images was exhibited in Vienna. In 2008, as a part of the Budapest Transfer International Festival of Literature, he made silhouettes of contemporary artists and twenty Hungarian writers and poets. Exhibitions of his photographs have been held in at the Petőfi Museum of Literature, the FUGA Centre of Architecture, and most recently at the Sándor Weöres Theatre in Szombathely. In the second half of the 1990s he organised the silent gathering known as Silence of the World on several occasions. The aim of these events was to raise awareness of just how noisy and fast-paced our world has become. He currently works as deputy chairman of the Fészek Artists’s Club. On the silver screen, he features in the recently released film Those Who Remained, and will soon also appear in Leila Jordi’s thesis film Grandpapa and Lili Horváth’s film Preparing for an Indefinite Period of Time Together.
“I’m a slave to whatever pops into my head”, he says of himself. His many-faceted career, and his excellent performances both on screen and stage have been honoured with numerous awards, including a Mari Jászai Award in 1985, Artist of Merit in 1997, and a Kossuth Award in 2006.