SUMMARY 2005/3-4

Apart from family photos, ten years have passed since Éva Keleti Balázs Béla winner photo artist, one-time reporter and picture editor, founder member of the Magyar Fotóriporterek Társasága (Association of Hungarian Press Photographer) took a camera in her hand. As she says, she is tormented, it nearly kills her that she is not permitted to take photos in theatres where she used to spend much of her time. But what can you do, it is morally incompatible that you act as a reporter besides managing a photo agency. The Táncsics-laureate has been congratulated in an interview by Sándor Bacskai. “Press photo without press” is the title of a report by Klára Szarka on the visual image of the Hungarian media. “At the beginning of 21st century, Hungarian press photo pre-sents an ambiguous image of itself, she sums up the essentials. – Many things have changed, lots of rubbish has disappeared at last. Expertise has gained more ground in some areas. But the great breakthrough is still to be waited for. So far, there isn’t any daily or weekly paper in Hungary the photographic profession would look forward to reading each copy of it in the hope that fresh and noteworthy pictures of high quality would be published in it in state-of-art presentation… Press photographers are getting in subordinate position the same as almost everyone in the media.” After reviewing the most important areas, some active players of Hungarian press photography also express their opinion of the changes in the last fifteen years. “Italy is one of the most sensual countries in the world” – this is the title of Sándor Bacskai’s next interview in which Zoltán Nagy who was born in Vác but has been living for long in Italy, talks about his life. Since in the sixties there existed no higher education for photographers in Hungary, Zoltán Nagy left the country, and studied photography at Dr Otto Steinert’s Folkwangschule für Gestaltung in Essen, Germany. He made his degree report on an almshouse for homeless people, on ergotherapy, as well as on an institute for the deaf and dump, and on music therapy for mentally retarded children. In the seventies he moved to Italy, where he has been working as a free-lancer. Diploma 2005 – Gábor Pfisztner surveyed the diploma works of Anna Fabricius, Gergő Nagy, Péter Puklus and Enikő Györgyi Szűcs; all of them have graduated this year as photographers from the Faculty of Visual Communication of the University for Applied Arts: “A common character (of the diploma works) is that none of them are thinking in individual photos, just in series, and a significant feature of it is that the pictures are standing not by themselves but they suppose and interpret each other… Another significant common feature is that each subject expressed, on a certain level leads to the world of fiction, and visualize an intentionally created fictitious medium.” Gábor Pfisztner scrutinizes “The street messenger” i.e. Lee Friedlander prominent personality of “Street photography” : His pictures are pointedly informal, common and free of emotions. Their effect is provided by a fine texture composed of shadows and reflections, on which patterns combine to his story. Friedland wants probably to protest just by that insensible aloofness, with him the personal motive results from using formal objects – concludes the author about the laureate of the Haselblad Foundation in this year. Young photographers from the so-called “Visegrad states” participate at the international exhibition “Én-kép. Én-történetek Közép-Európából” (Self-picture. Self-stories from Central Europe); they have been selected by local curators, thus the collection will be put on show in several places such as Budapest, Bratislava, ?odz and Prague. Zsófia Somogyi surveyed the photos made by Daniela Dostalkova and Hynek Alt from the Czech Republic, Alexandra Vajd, Jana Hojstri?ová and Lucia Nimcová from Slovakia, Igor Omulecki, Aneta Grzeszykowska és Jan Smaga from Poland, and Gábor Kerekes and Anna Fabricius from Hungary. György Szegő reports on the competition “Work places” organised by the European Architectural Photo Competition launched first in 1995. “It is remarkable that already in 2003 there was no architect in the jury, and that the subjects invited were focused not on the “structure” but they fumbled around a sort of mediatized architecture. The prize together with the architectural photo has for long drifted away from the structure – the “building”. Agnes and Karlheinz Essl’s private collection and museum of contemporary art in Klosterneuburg, Austria, award the Essl Award to university students. Contemporary art in Central and South-Eastern Europe is to be sponsored by the Essl Award prize awarded for the first time in 2005. Zoltán Fejér reports on the event. Ferenc Markovics has tracked down identities and pictures of deceased founders of the Magyar Fotóm?vészek Szövetsége (Association of Hungarian Photo-artists).In the first report, Ignác Pioker most famous ace-worker of the 1950s is presented from his hardly known side of well-trained photographer. How could private life and the craziness of history influencing each other suppress or kill valuable abilities and aspirations even in the case of strong personalities? – Markovics asks the question. “Happy / pictures” is the title of György Szegő’s report on an exhibition in the Ethnographical Museum. The picture of our village, Picture of the ethnographical village, Picture of the happy village represent together the dominant motive of the exhibition, the imaged photography – and some prominent professional photographers – have painted of the village Boldog and of its residents in Heves county. In the author’s view this exhibition has been the best one in the last few years assembled from pictures of different museums, from memoirs, private diary, oral history, amateur and professional films – with special regard to professional photography - by the Ethnographical Museum, creating a novel, original spectacle. A gentleman from Arad is the title of Eszter Götz’s report on Jacques Faix’s exhibition in the Hungarian Photographic Museum. The time period hardly longer than 15 years over which the photos were made, used to be an exceptionally prospering period of the Hungarian middle-class culture, when a piano-maker could be well familiar with the methods of photography, and could operate a photo club that the whole world took notice of.” Marianna Kiscsatári’s report commemorates Dr Magdolna Kolta (1958–2005) photo museologist , editor of the book series History of the Hungarian Photography, author of the book Képmutatók, one-time curator of Mai Manó Ház, assistant director of the Hungarian Photographic Museum. The writer as co-author is the title of a new part of Zoltán Fejér’s series Literature and photographing. This section deals most of all with László Cs Szabó head of the Literature Section of the Hungarian Radio before 1944, and prominent author of the literature of the Hungarian post-WW II emigration. Apropos of the essay rich in information, was that László Cs Szabó had been co-author of the first Hungarian colour press photo book, the Erdődi Mihály album about the reoccupation of Transylvania in 1940. Zsuzsa Farkas’ excellent essay explores the subject of painter-photographers over the period 1840 to 1880. Miklós Barabás, József Borsos or Mihály Munkácsy – just to mention the most prominent ones – used to belong to the group. Their prominent personality and their disposition to experiment yielded to many a successful photographic career. One can see through their oeuvre how a painter would become photographer or how one can be painter and photographer at the same time. Zoltán Fejér visited the exhibition Austrian and German portrait photography between 1900 and 1938 in the Vienna Albertina. “One can state positively that one of the most prominent museums of the “Kaiserstadt” assisted by the Neue Galierie in New York has exhibited such a photo collection that to put together a similar one would be more and more difficult with the progress of time. In the second part of his series on the history of photo-technology “From Leica to Nikon F6”, Endre Schwanner reviews the manufacturing of cameras over the period from 1945, as meticulously as it has always been characteristic to the author. In the new section of his series on digital photo-technology “DigiTrend”, József Rák invites the Reader to chip-mathematics: he explores the limit of the “abilities” of analogue and digital photo cameras. “The question how much the digital photographing has saved from reality to “eternity”, is difficult to answer. Probably enough!” In his report “Facing the printing” Péter Timár presents Epson’s new UltraChrome K3 system. The latest development concerns the ink, the printer and the driving software, the result is more than convincing. Albums on Péter Timár’s Bookshelf: Thopmas Seeling / Urs Stahel: The Ecstasy of Things; Gauthier Gallet: Backstage & Frontrow; Robert Frank: New York to Nova Scotia; Ralf Eugene Meatyard; Cornell Capa: JFK for President; Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bressson, Walker Evans: Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs 1973-1988; James Abbe: Shooting Stalin; Tom Wood: Photie Man; Evelyn Hofer; Sándor Csortos Szabó: Light, relation; Annie-Laure Wanaverbeck: Photographies Hongroises 1919 – 1939; Paulius Normantas: Wars and Peace; Archeology of elegance 1980 – 2000 / 20 Jahre Modefotographie.