SUMMARY 2004/1-2

“I would rather call it professionalism…” – says correspondent and picture editor Gábor Fejér in an interview by Sándor Bacskai. Gábor Fejér had begun his career in MTI, then he worked for Határőr magazine, later for Népszava, then for Világ and Köztársaság magazines. By now for ten years he has been the picture editor for the daily Népszabadság of the highest circulation. Although practically he has not been able to make photos because of his editor’s activity, thanks to his gift and dedication for photographing, in recent years he managed to win dozens of prizes. The two interviews certainly are just alone very interesting reading, but it is our belief, by reading them one after the other and this way complementing one another, they might be a great thrill. „Be different and more…” is the title of the interview our correspondent Ferenc Markovics made with the outstanding photographer, András Bánkuti, who rose up the hierarchy. Having graduated from the vocational school in Práter utca, he started working as apprentice for Új Tükör magazine, then as assistant for Magyar Szemle, and for a long time for Magyar Hirlap. He used to work as correspondent for Köztársaság, and currently he is the head of the photo column of Heti Világgazdaság. He is member of the press photographer section of MÚOSZ and of the board of the Hungarian Press Photographers Society – therefore, it is no wonder that their conversation is so rich in information. Sándor Bacskai is the author of the interview “Diffused light, counter-light, silhouette, shadow” with Lenke Szilágyi. A longer interview with the photo artist had been published a couple of years ago. This time a retrospective exhibition in Fotohónap (Month of Photography) is the apropos of this interview; …retrospective i.e. Lenke Szilágyi has made a selection of her early photos, but there will be also surprises in store for us… In “The world like showcase” Gábor Pfisztner comments on Éva Köves’s pictures. About ten years ago the artist developed an individual technique – she paints or repaints her photographs spread out on a canvas – and that technique has been changing, developing and getting rich. As Pfiszter points out “the artificiality of the painting and the world of sight of the photograph considered and interpreted as objective, constitute a striking contrast. Their blending and being projected on each other, leads to enlarging the range of interpretation.” The latest collection of the series Dokumentum going back about twenty-five years is also on show during the Fotóhónap, and it gives a reason for Antal Jokesz one “parent” of the project, to examine closely the subject matter of document and documentation. As he points out “not correspondents’ ” sweating workers faces, wrinkled peasant faces are the prototypes of Hungarian documentary photographing, much more János Vető’s early pictures made in apartments and in crony circles in the seventies. János Szerencsés’s never published militiamen’s portraits, György Hámos’s suburban sequences made while travelling on the tram’s steps, Kerekes’s ghosting townscapes or his Hétvége (weekend) series…” Title of the photo artist’s publication is “Reality strikes back”. In “Beauty not necessarily indicates good” Gábor Pfisztner presents Sebasti?o Salgado born to a poor large Brazilian family in Sao Paulo, and he made his university studies in the US and France. For a short time he had worked as economist, but by 1973 he abandoned that “civic” lifestyle in order to become a photographer, to record everything haunting him since his childhood. He started working on his first major work “Other Americas” in 1977. He published an album, “Workers”, in 1993, which was followed by another “Terra: Struggle of the Landless” in 1997, just to mention some of his well-known publications. The best pictures made during his thirty years long career are exhibited in the framework of the Budapest Fotóhónap. Zsófia Somogyi also presents the exhibition of Regina Schmeken world-famous press photographer. “The new Centre. Photos from 1989 to 2000” portfolio analyses Germany’s new image, position in the centre of Europe as well as the spiritual-cultural changes. Regina Schmeken’s photos are certainly no simple but multiple press photos, therefore, their viewing and reception can be done on more than one basis at the same time. In “Portfolio” Péter Zsolt Bartha gives practical advises to photographers intending to exhibit their photos, arranged in groups such as: analogue and digital portfolio technique, digital print, different carriers (CD, Photo-CD, DVD etc.). Károly Kincses’s essay has the same subject-matter, asking “Document or something else?” in the title, but then he is asking lots of other questions such as “I would like to examine one aspect of the documentary character of photographing which could be summed up whether time preserves, or enlarges or transforms the picture’s contents of meaning obtained in the moment of making it? Has the picture alone any meaning, or it is just serving as an association basis, which is able to generate its own ideas, knowledge, feelings in any of the viewers? Does the picture have any particular meaning which is always applicable, everywhere to anyone, or in each case we just give it to him . “Black and white” – the title is doubly true since the black-and-white photos of Jürgen Schadeberg of German origin who used to live and work for fourteen years in Johannesburg, depict South Africa’s black and white population in the fifties and sixties. Because of the apartheid movement getting intensive Schadeberg had to leave South Africa in 1964. He could not return to the country until the mid-eighties, despite the fact that his are no politically inspired photos. They depict everyday life, the bustling life of that era, the somewhat decadent world of the well-to-do whites – Zsófia Somogyi comments in the article. Walter Henisch (1913 – 1975) used to work as war-correspondent for the Wehrmacht in World War II. As decorated and wounded hero he was photographing the Polish, French, Russian and Balkan front-lines. After his death, his son Peter Henisch Austrian writer wrote a book “My father’s little figure” about his father using his war photo albums and tape-recorded comments of war commentators. In connection with a recent exhibition in the Wien Museum, György Szegő follows up the war correspondent’s activity and his relation to his son under the title “Walter Henisch’s relentless curiosity, or the anatomy of fear. Memos for the later generations of the 21st century”. In “Following the innocent eyes” Andrea Máthé presents Philippe Brame French photo artist whose master was among others Lucie Hervé. For more than ten years he has been regularly visiting and photographing Hungary. “As far as I am concerned, photographing has taught me to set aside my judgements and to realise everything is suitable to be brought to light.” Csilla E. Csorba has thoroughly investigated József Rippl-Rónai famous painter’s relation to photographing: “Developing”. Approximately 110 photographs are known about the Master of Hungarian portray painting; in that collection there are both artistic portrays made by Olga Máté or Dénes Rónai and semi-amateur “souvenir” photos, but a fair number of those made by the artist or others which he used as the “original” to his paintings. “Sportsman? Hunter? Photographer?” Etelka L. Baji asks the question in the title of her essay about Count Mihály Esterházy. Apropos of the article is that in the picture gallery (Bildarchiv) of the Austrian National Library (ÖNB) photos unknown to us, made by Esterhazy when hunting in 1881 in Africa were put on show at a recent exhibition. In Part 7 of his series Roaming Europe Zoltán Fejér is roaming a bit further than usually “From Vérmez? to Mars”. And yet to all appearances he is staying in Budapest to report on an exhibition “Light and design – modern architecture and photo from 1927 to 1950” with photos of buildings built over twenty years after 1930. Pictures of the album “Színes Magyarország” (Colourful Hungary) published recently are selected from the most expressive colour photos of twenty-eight different collections. The book dedicated to the “memory of the unknown photographer”, with introduction by János F. Varga and an essay by Károly Kincses arranges the pictures in sections: Touring Hungary; Album of our beloved; In the current of history; Weekday – Holiday; the 1956 revolution. György Szegő shares his memories and associations woken by the photos with the Readers. It is known to anyone having an interest in photographing, that the centre of Hungarian photography in Nagymező utca in Budapest, used to be the studio of Mai Mano Hungarian photographer. Not long ago the Fotográfiai Múzeum and Ab Ovo Publishing House published a book Mai Mano fotográfiái with an essay by Károly Kincses. Eszter Götz wrote the book review. In book review „Bookshelf” Péter Tímár is leafing through photo albums such as American Prospects by Joel Sternfeld: Stems by Lee Friedlander; Water Rites by Lucinda Devlin; The Color of Time by Sean Scully; Eye to Eye by Graham Nash and Carnival Strippers by Susan Meiselas.