SUMMARY 2010/01

The 2010/1 issue of Fotóművészet starts with an interview – Silent pictures of a photographer – made by Sándor Bacskai with Zoltán Vancsó photo artist: “I would be very happy if I had a ‘stand-in’, a man who plays that he is Zoltán Vancsó, he would give interviews, attend opening ceremonies, let himself be admired, ‘scooped’ success, and I would silently hide in the background, busy with my photos. Apparently, this is why I became a photographer because I like to stay in the background, hide away, watching the world as a stranger.”

Abelardo Morell’s pictures world-wide known by now, make exactly the same miraculously magic, delicate, exquisite impression that had roused consternation and admiration in the public in the mid-nineteenth-century” – writes Piroska Csúri about the photo artist born in Cuba, and settled down in New York, who rose to fame by his camera obscura pictures.

In Something else Mihály Surányi comments Balázs Telek’s port-raits: “Balázs Telek created a remarkable series; it might seem untimely, as matters stand in the world and in the light of the general public feeling in Hungary. Yet from the existence and creation of this series it follows that it is quite likely to give an answer like this to things in our near and more distant surroundings. The nature of the answer qualifies the creator.”

In Personal photo. Thesis questions of a research Zsófia Somogyi reports on her research work done as winner of the Kállai Ernő art historian and art critic scholarship granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture: “The subject I have chosen, is not really new: I examined pictures when the photographer’s subject is he or she him – or herself. The change I have observed, is that more and more photographers choose this subject, i.e. instead of the works made in the seventies planting the intimate sphere into the photo, nowadays the (sometimes too) prosaic reality constitutes the frame.”

In Contemporary East-European photo seen through Austrian eyes Rita Somosi presents three Austrian events: the Essl Art Award organised every two years in Klosterneuburg for artistic collage graduates; the Zyklus exhibition staged for the forth time in the dormitory of the Cistercian Monastery in Lilienfeld; and the Vienna Kunst-forum shows focusing on young artists from Eastern Europe. “Exhibitions organised in Austria apropos the anniversary of tearing down the (Berlin) Wall are criticised from a number of points of view – but the Austrians have at least tried to give an overall picture of the region.”

In Bali in the focus of the camera. Three Balinese photographers 1930 to 2009 György Szegő reports on an exhibition displaying the works of Auw Kok Heng, Karyadinata Sudjana and Ida Bagus Putra Adnyana in the Museum of World Culture in Frankfurt: “The beautiful photos of the three ‘native’ photographers are pictures of own experience; i.e. photos of sensitive photographers concerned for their values who are able to capture what is doomed to destruct-ion in their own history, in the landslide changes. Apart from operating studios, making ID photos, as hobby they used to and still go on photographing only what is pleasant and beautiful.”

The 320 ° Gallery on the ground of an old bakery in Siófok has put on show a selection of photos of photographers working in Shanghai, titled Shanghai Revolutions. Alexa Csizmadia went to see the exhibition completed with posters from the Mao-era: “Artists presented at the exhibition prove very well how much innovative photo usage is suitable to create a new quality integrating the traditions of a several thousand years-old culture.”

Anne Kotzan has sent in two articles. The first one is about Roger Melis, the master of photo realism, who passed away last September, and the apropos of the article is a retrospective exhibition in the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum in Aachen: “He took his motives from everyday life with nothing spectacular, this way telling small stories with great empathy but also striving for documenting, without making fun of people, even if on many photos a sort of moderate humour is perceptible.”

The second article is a report on the Paris Photo 2009: “It is the most significant photographic fair … by now attracting quite an wide range of international visitors important from financial aspects as well, and it became the noisy meeting point of both critics and buyers. ‘Celebrities’ of the photo scene have attracted a great number of visitors this year, as well.”

An exhibition – “Photographers and photographic studios in Szeged” – was opened last year in the Fekete Ház (part of the Móra Fe-renc Museum), and an exclusive 328 page art publication with si-milar title was published. Publishing the paperback book is the result of Márta T. Knotik’s forty-years long hard-work. The author did her Sisyphean work as a mission: to collect information about local photographers from old newspapers – Béla Gömör points out in his article Photo history of Szeged town, 1859 to 1944.

Interest arousing parts of the book – History and photography – by Ilona Balog Stemler editor of Fotóművészet are published in Photographs of WWI and revolutions (1914 to 1919): “Editors of the newspaper Érdekes Újság invited to submit reports on the war for the first time in the issue of 26th December 1914, in terms of the invitation anyone – both professional and amateur photographers or members of photographic agencies – could participate with the reser-vation that photographs not yet published were only accepted… Already in early 1915 decision was made to publish the War Album of Érdekes Újság compiled from the ample collection of photographs sent in…”

The title and the topic of Emőke Tomsics’s article is Reconstructed reality. József Pataki’s reconstructed pictures of the coronation of Franz Joseph I. The album about the coronation in 1867 “ reflects the situation between the lithographed engravings meant for preser-vation and the press photographing to come, and although in regards to its aim it is closer to the first one, thanks to the way of reali-sation it can be regarded as pioneer in the history of Hungarian photographing. By ensuring leading part for the real photograph in creating the pictures, and not solely arranging the portraits of the players of the event of historical significance in an album, instead putting them in a framework evoking those events, his pictures can be regarded as heralds of press photography.”

Vienna tasting is the title of Etelka Baji’s account on the work done thanks to a Klebelsberg Kuno scholarship: “The objective of which is to collect, to explore the historical relics abroad, related to Hungary, let they be objects, pictures, written documents or oral history… Target sites of importance for collecting activity can be France, Italy, the UK, the USA; but special attention should be given to the collections in neighbouring Austria.”

Zoltán Fejér summarizes the “Life work and Hungarian relations of Heinrich Kühn (1866 to 1944) in his two-volume book. Kühn known as photo artist of the Art Nouveau era “became a prominent artist thanks to not only his pictures but to his writings, as well. His procedure to make platinotype pictures of brown tone was published in 1895 in the Wiener Photographische Blätter. His gum prints were published in two issues of Ver Sacrum the journal of Art Nouveau painters in 1898 … He is one of those photo artists whose colour photos were published among the first ones in one of the most prominent places.”

Three new albums on Péter Tímár’s Bookshelf: Zsuzsa Farkas: Man copyist. The history of József Borsos’ photographs; Normantas Paulius: the Dragon Kingdom of Prayer and Golden Buddha’s Wind; Imre Benkő: Twins 1982 to 2008.