SUMMARY 2008/4

In an interview Sándor Bacskai presents Tamás Urbán. The photo artist, born in 1945, started publishing photos in university news- letters and his first workplace was the Pest Megyei Hírlap (Pest County Herald). From 1972 to 1989 he worked for the Ifjúsági Magazin (Youth Magazine) as press photographer, but he used to make commercial photos, as well. In 1973 he made a series of photos presenting life in the youth custody institute in Aszód, and in the same year he started his reportage on the ambulance work. It is mostly thanks to his photos that the public could have an idea of abortion or an insight into the world of young drug-addicts and into the life in pri-sons. In the early 1990s he worked for the German review Stern, and later he acted as criminal press photographer.

In The artist’s mysterious subject Sára Stenczer shares her impressions with the Reader, she got at László Heged?s2’s exhibition in Vienna. “The real essence of the exhibition is the constant presence of straight and curved lines and of colours and forms, as well as to present the process of the reverse theory of artistic work. The artist meticulously selects from the depositions of the past, and then he lets the Readers to see them through the filter of the present or the screen of timelessness.”

Katalin Gopcsa reports on Endre Kovács’s exhibition in the Mo-dern Képtár (Modern Picture Gallery) in Veszprém: “While meeting the expectations of art collectors interested in photographs, as well, Endre Kovács has conformed to the spirit of the scene (construct-ivism, abstract, monochrome, hard-edge), and makes a dialogue with the exhibits.”

The subject of Zsófia Somogyi’s analysis is an exhibition – Personal room - in Miskolc. “On one emblematic photo of the exhibition the central figure looks at himself in a hand-mirror in front of the wall- mirror, the photographer standing behind him, records all this. Thus this photograph could be the symbol of a photo reflected in a multiple way through various perceptive, empirical layers, recording only the picture of supposed-believed- biased reality.” – the author notes.

In another article Zsófia Somogyi comments on a series of exhibitions, Continuous present, started in 2005 – Uneasy glances (2005), Quiet moments (2006), Living together (2007), Visible stories (2008). The Continuous Present is an excellent choice since it can be con- tinued at any time – the author points out. The series must be continued … partly in order to be aware of the extremely high quality our young photographers, too, represent in the field of photography; moreover it should be carried on in order to let all this know to the world.”

A series of interviews by Klára Szarka – Reflections about photo book publishing over the last two decades – scrutinises changes (in photo book publishing) since the change of the political system. In the previous issue of Fotóm?vészet the author interviewed Mihály Gera, Attila P?cze and Ottó Kaiser, in this one she interviews Károly Kin-cses who was director of the Hungarian Photographic Museum for twelve years (published nearly fifty volumes jointly with Magdolna Kolta), as well as with Péter Baki current director of the Museum.

In Trace elements: spirit and remembrance in the Japanese and Australian photo media Zsuzsanna Kemenesi reports on an exhibition she visited in the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. Works of the following photo artists were on show in the Gallery: Furuhashi Teiji, Taguchi Kazuna, Alex Davis, Shiga Lieko, Furuya Seiichi, Genevieve Grieves.

Anne Kotzan visited Jim Dine’s exhibition – This is how I remember, now. Portraits – in Cologne; black and white photos, colour pictures, playing with inanimate and depth, with light and shadows; collage-like compositions, alienated portrays of himself, of his spouse, of friends, still lifes from the studio, objects saturated with symbolic meaning.

In the latest, actually the forth part of Endre Schwanner’s series – Social column – the talks about the 1970s: “The large range (of exhibitions) rich in quality as well, embraced photo shows from studio shows of 15 to 20 pictures, to life’s work exhibitions large enough to fill the galleries of M?csarnok. The majority of today’s “olds” made their debut with their own works in public at that time, and it was then that for first time the Hungarian public could see the works of some photographers of international fame.”

In TÉNYleg Dulovits Zoltán Fejér rectifies some of Rudolf Járai’s sentences published in the latest issue of Fotóm?vészet (namely the “relationship” between the German Contax and the Soviet Kiev cameras and the serial number of the Duflex camera).

Anne Kotzan presents Steven J. Sasson cultural prize-winner of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie in 2008. So far the prize has been awarded to such prominent photographers as August Sander, Man Ray or Cornell Capa. The combination of ele-ctronic picture sensor and digital memory for photographing was the idea of Sasson, born in 1950 in Brooklyn – i.e. he is the inventor of the digital camera.

In his reports on photokina 2008, besides the great photographic exhibition, Zoltán Fejér also comments on events like the Images ’08 festival in Vevey, Chaplin en Image in Lausanne and the Avedon exhibition in Paris. When reporting on photokina 2008 organised already for the third time in Cologne, the author has been unable to hide his sadness that silver-based photographing (and with it a view of life and of photographing of sort) is in the process of disappearing, giving way to electronic photographing, wifi, or mobile phone.

The subject of Zsuzsa Farkas’s photo-historical essay is First photo scribers in Pest-Buda. “Presentation of built environment is part of all comprehensive historical works – she writes. Daylight studios – as special rooms – used to be determinant in the first forty years of the history of photographing. To understand it, one has to know how lighting with light worked, how spaces were subdivided by the work phases.”

“Photography is a facilities intensive activity” – this is the first sentence of the first part of Attila Montvai’s new series on photo-technology – The relationship between the measurable and visible technological characteristics of photography. In addition to making technical terms clear, the author’s aim is to systemize the means or devise and the aim, the photo technology and the picture created with it.

Another series on photo technology – namely DigiTREND by József Rák - has reached its 9th part. Some of the topics are the latest, EXR version of FujiFilm FinePix CCD sensors presented oat the photo-kina 2008; Micro Four Thirds System developed by Olympus; blueprints of the Real 3D camera of Finepix.

New albums on Péter Timár’s Bookshelf: Michael Ruetz: Eye on Infinity; Robert Frank: Paris; Josef Koudelka: Invasion of Prague – Photography (editor: Péter Baki); András Bán: Towards visual anthropology; Krisztina Erdei Formalities; Ilona Nyilas: How beautiful is the old picture, the clear…; Zsuzsanna Kemenesi: Sweet as Cherry Fine like Wine; Szilvia Mucsy: Mediterrano.