SUMMARY 2006/3-4

“Perhaps it is an arbitrary interpretation, but in my opinion Tamás Féner’s prison photos are about us. From the solitary confinement cell with a space hardly enough to crouch down, to the wire-netting protected lamps or from the pragmatic lay-out of the prison corridor to the electric chair, all of his settings show in one way or anther pithily the structure of what the anthropology of the organised defencelessness could show if talking in the language of interviewing” tells András A Gergely in his essay “In Féner’s »prison«”. It’s a sort of picture captivity for life. Tamás Féner is willing to undertake it, to die for it, to be the victim of it. All these are his own prison – his own punishment, his own enforcement of judgement…”

Sándor Bacskai interviews Tamás Nagy. The title of the interview -“Eye lights, Save” – hints at the artist’s two latest works. “For those who deliberately choose the conventional technology, make photos on film, enlarge on black-and-white photographic paper or return to archaic technologies, the essence is of importance which cannot be found but on a photograph. One big question is to what extent you can believe it. That magic dilemma resides in the photograph.”

“Trespassers” is the title of Gábor Pfisztner’s article about young photographers graduating from the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts. As he puts it, Alíz Arató, Adrienn Balogh, Lenke Birkás, Edina Csiszér, Gábor Buda, Gábor Mészáros and Krisztián Zana, all tested the endurance of the boundaries of photographic styles and of the characteristic features of artistic forms.

In “Photographs from the past” Klára Szarka gives an overall picture of collections and archives in Hungary having a significant photographic collection both in qualitative and quantitative terms. “In most of the museums and collections the photograph is in the so-called inter-state, as a museologist puts it: the photograph’s “rising into middle-class is under way … All in all it is to admit that in most cases the guarding, saving and exploring of Hungarian photographic treasures is made neither systematically nor according to the proper value of the photographic material, the author says.

South African photographer David Goldblatt has been photographing his neighbourhood, and the black and white society of the Republic undergoing an overall change since the seventies, for more than fifty years. A one time commercial school graduate who since 1963, has devoted himself to photographing, and published the result of his work in eleven albums. He was given life achievement award by the Hasselblad Foundation in 2006. Gábor Pfisztner presents David Goldblatt in “South Africa’s eye”.

In “From the taboo’s pictures to the fetish photos”, talking in brief about Simeon Solomon British photographer and artist, about the Paul Guerrier album containing eighty-two erotic pictures as well as about Albert Watson considered to be one of the enigmatic fiőgures of contemporary photographing, György Szegő discusses the characteristic image body worship in the past 150 years putting a special emphasis on their homoerotic visual contents.

“His camera became his notebook” tells Anne Kotzan of Pál Almásy. By the side of the legendary photographers of his age – such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész or Márton Munkácsi – despite a number of rewards and recognition, he was somewhat doomed to be lost in obscurity. Although born in Budapest, he became a Parisian, and died in 2003. And yet, no doubt, his oeuvre, that of a basically a self-educated photo artist, is extraordinary.

Zsuzsanna Demeter and Katalin Jalsovszky report on the “Unusual story of a collection of photos from 1956”. A collection of about 800 photos made in autumn 1956 by Gyula Nagy, and given to the Kiscelli Museum of the Budapest Historical Museum in 1990, is an extremely ample documentation of the history of the revolution. The collection is at the same time a very special contribution to exploring the intricate history of the reprisal that followed the suppression of the revolution.

László Haris is known as artist and photo artist to the public. Now from Péter Baki’s writing the Reader gets known that in early November 1956 the then teenager Haris went around photographing the 8th district. Later, fearing of reprisal, he destroyed both the negatives and the pictures, but now 15 original pictures have still been found.

Em?keTomsics writes about the relationship between “Kornél Tábori and the socio-photo”. Reports and articles by the journalist very popular in the first half of the 20th century, were frequently illustrated with pictures that intensified the author’s social sensitivity. Tomsics presents how Tábori’s work – the birth and use of the pictures included – fitted in that sense into the transformation of international journalism of the time.

Csilla E Csorba is the author of the article “Assia” about the model of models who is Assia Granatouroff. She was born in 1911 in Bogopol (Ukraine); a woman of the 20th century having an adventurous life, striving for self-realisation. From the early 1930s she used to model for photo artists such as Erzsi Landau, Nora Dumas (Nóra Telkes Kelenföldi), Rogi André (Rózsi Klein), and for French photographers placing human body in a new context.

The discovery of photographing did not left the world of artists uninterested either, thus it influenced the writers deeply. Although from the early 1860s Mór Jókai got close to the photography as to technical discovery, up to the present this aspect has been left out of the various analysing of the writer’s oeuvre. Csilla E Csorba’s paper – “Mór Jókai and the three-legged monster” – deals not with the writer’s portrait or with the great number of photos made of him but with the role of photograph played in this work, with the plenty of variations of its role in his novels, and using that she tinges the writer’s image that keeps changing over the time.

The expressive title of Katalin Bognár’s writing is “Globe-trotting with stereoscope. Stereoscopic photos on the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries”. Those extraordinary photographs, the stereoscopic photos represent significant episodes of the Hungarian history of education and culture. The apropos of Katalin Bognar’s very thorough profound study is that in autumn 2006 the Hungarian National Museum will put on show the most spectacular and interesting foreign and Hungarian stereoscopic pictures at an extra-ordinary exhibition.

In “Photographs of Hungarian style in the printed press” Zsuzsa Farkas reports on a study of about 1500 photos published in the weekly Új Idők over the period of 1920 to 1945. Some of the photo artists who used to work regularly for the review are Ferenc Aszmann, Jen? Dulovits, Gyula Járay, István Kerny, Ervin Kankowszky, István Szendrő, Kálmán Szöllősy, Ernő Vadas.

On the two hundredth anniversary of the birthday of József Petzval known worldwide for creating the luminous portrait lens in May 1840, Zoltán Fejér makes public information and data that have not been known so far or got lost because of putting emphasis elsewhere.

In his series – “Color ManagementSándor Tátrai reviews the preparation of the colour profile of digital cameras and scanners, photographing of test diagrams as well as the ProfileMaker Digital Camera Modul.

New albums on Péter Timár’s “Bookshelf”: Gábor Hámori : Pécs from aerial perspective; Photos, 1956 (Editors: Rolf Müller, György Sümegi); Dahmane: Erotic Sessions; David LaChapelle: LACHAPELLE LAND; African American Vernacular Photography. Selectrion from the Danial Cowin-collection; Picturing Eden (Editor: Deborah Klochko); Jerry Spagnoli: Daguerreotypes; Hans van der Meer: European Fields: The Landscape of Lower League Football.