SUMMARY 2005/1-2

In “Mirrors of reminiscence” Katalin Gopcsa recalls Endre Kovács who had been living for years in Switzerland and ten years ago returned home. “I had pledged myself to photography. I want to document the world around me. I want to work within a limited sphere but in that I try digging as deep as possible” she quotes the photo artist, a Geneva École Supérieur d’Art Visuel graduate. The Magyar Iparművészeti Főiskola (College for Applied Arts) was the first in Hungary to establish a faculty for training photographers. Péter Baki interviewed three people – István Gergely one-time Rector of the College, Özséb Horányi university professor and István Katona who used to work for the Magyar Fotóművészek Szövetsége (Association of Hungarian Photo Artists) – all of them deeply involved in starting the training. Gábor Pfisztner’s interview with Gábor Kopek vice rector of the Magyar Iparművészeti Egyetem (University for Applied Arts) and former head of the photographer training section of the Visual Communication Faculty, is closely related to this subject. In “Doubtful privilege of choice”, Klára Szarka analyses the documentary photographer’s creative method – a branch of photography experiencing a renaissance. Klára Szarka’s essay is a response to questions raised in two publications – writings of photo artist Antal Jokesz and art historian Zsolt Petrányi, as well as Susan Sontag’s essay “Pictures of suffering” about war reports – disputing some of them while meditating on others. Two exhibitions in the Museum Stadt Wien have been the apropos of György Szegő’s report. One is a collection of photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson also called “Monsigneur moment” or the “Photographer of the Century”, made between1929 and 1975 in Paris, (he passed away not long ago at 96). “The photographer’s ironic but at the same time the insider’s way of looking at his town is certainly a native gift: Henri Cartier-Bresson’s talent” – Szegő concludes. Pictures of the other exhibition are press photos made between 1918 and 1949 in Berlin by Willy Römer who died forgotten in 1979. Pictures of the two exhibitions have provided the author opportunity to draw an interesting parallel and to make a historical comparison between the two cities. “On the track of the exposure time” is the title of the 10th and last part of Zoltán Fejér’s series “Roaming Europe”. First he reports on what he has seen at Bettina Reims’ retrospective exhibition of 143 pictures in the Vienna KunstHaus; then he presents Michael Wesely born in 1963 in Munich who makes still life -, town – and architectural photos using extremely – sometimes several months or years – long exposure times. In “Back and forth. Western – Eastern identities” György Szegő deals with the diversity of cultures. As first example he cites the name of a photographer from the Far East – Tomoko Sawada who has created the Japanese model under the influence of the Western photo documented performance. His photos are searching for professional identities, social values: How does the ego and the role relate to each other? The other photographer, Robert Benke Szabó, as European, makes use of the means of a great Eastern culture: his series Cunyi Yashi is an approach to the original spirit of Khama Soutra. Three articles deal with the portrayal of woman’s body. In “The woman preening herself” Monika Bincsik scrutinises Japanese photographs of the 19th century, giving an accurate analysis of the Japanese photography of that age, the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures and the relationship between man and woman. Zsuzsa Farkas has surveyed the position of photographic portrayal of woman’s body in Hungary, this summing up might serve as an excellent starting point to future professional researches free of taboos. The subject of the article “The nudes of stereo-daguerreotypes” by Etelka Baji is also unusual. Art collectors and museologists know twenty-eight of them in Hungary; all of which had been made in France. Klára Szarka interviewed Olga Sviblova director of the House of Photography in Moscow. The first state-owned museum specialised in photography – the Dom Fotografií - was opened in 1996 in Russia. Dom Fotografíi owns more than eighty thousand photographs, from the late 19th century to contemporary works, and three exhibitions are opened a month. In a new series in Fotóművészet, Zoltán Fejér surveys the relationship between literature and photography. Title of the first part is “The author as model”. This part of the series gives interesting information first of all about Petőfi’s daguerreotype and about Manci Bäck photographer in Szeged, as well as a photograph made of Károly Kertbny writer and translator in 1847, a talbotype of Mihály Vörösmarty by János Tiedge, as well as portrays of Ady and Attila József by Aladár Székely. The “Neue Sachlichkeit” or New Objectivity is a realistic artistic school started in the 1920s in Germany. Péter Baki writes about the photo artistic aspects of that artistic interpretation characterized by clear objectively figurative way of portrayal. “I am a lucky person that through long and persistent study of his pictures, books, documents and biography I succeeded getting as close to this extraordinary man and artist as only a few could” photo museologist Károly Kincses says when recalling his relation to André Kertész. The article is a summary of the Preface of a book “Hazai anyag” (Hungarian material) about Kertész’s working in Hungary. Kincses co-authored the book with Magdolna Kolta. “The solemnity of the exceptional moment interrupts the monotony of daily routine, and makes perceptible the monotonous rolling of years by means of breaking up or rather by interrupting, calling a halt to life rolling inevitably to void. Later those “frozen” moments can make the false idea of self-keeping constant” writes Gábor Pfisztner in “Driving quartet”. In “A photo amateur private tutor on the turn of the century” Beatrix Cs Lengyel reports on Ferenc Czakó amateur photographer who was living and teaching on Count Viktor Széchenyi’s estate in Sárpentele. Photos made between 1904 and 1914 have kept the memory of the festive and everyday moments, giving an insight into the everyday routine of people living in a mansion house in Fejér county, and all that as closely as a professional photographer could never have got. The National Lutheran Museum organised an exhibition of photos made by Gyula Kinczler designing engineer during the 1956 Revolution. György Sümegi interviewed Kinczler about his memories. New albums have landed on Péter Timár’s and Zoltán Fejér’s “Bookshelf”: Anton Corbijn: U2 & i; Diane Arbus: Revelations; Roni Horn: Her & Her; Marcy Robinson: Half-Frame; Sam Taylor-Wood: Crying Men; Michael Collins: Record Pictures; Paul Jasmin: Lost Angeles; Robert Weingarten: Another America; Craig McDean: Lifescapes; Jean-Loup Princelle: Made in USSR; McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras 2005-2006; Hans-Michael Koetzle: Das Lexikon der Fotografen 1900 bis heute.