SUMMARY – 2014/2.

Vol. 2014/2 of Fotóművészet begins with an interview with photo artist Bence Bakonyi made by Sándor Bacskai. “Many times I have dipped into others’ works in order to see how they approach a subject I am also interested in. Obviously, it is good »to get a pictures«, and to know what kind of works have been made, but in my opinion, it is not easy to come forward with anything new in photography. Should I be dealing with it before starting each of my new projects, my enthusiasm would disappear, sometimes I would never accomplish the work. In my view it would spoil not only my interest in photographing but others’, as well, just because this and that has been done. I do photographing because it provides me freedom. Then please don’t restrict me and confine me within limits but let me feel well in it.”

In Photo/Poem János Palotai  reports on Zoltán Molnár’s exhibitlion in the Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeum (Museum of Literature): “Zoltán Molnár has always had great empathy with the poor, the outcast, e.g. with the Romas. He visited fishermen having hard times in Normandy, and went to the South to St. Maries de la Mer where the Gípsy Madonna is celebrated; this picture can be considered a blasphemy from the latest series – the woman nursing her baby or the smoking woman with her child, to which Menyhért Lakatos’s lullaby rhymes (»dream on your mother’s lap«). The colour photo – and it is a new element with Molnár in this subject – emphasizes better the contrast, the dark, giving dramatic charge to the picture: the »living in mess«, »thinking of a new shirt«, on the other hand it is linked with the colour world of the Rome culture.”

In Combined past Zsófia Somogyi is meditating on Kolos Somlói’s exhibits: “He found the first photos of the Morasá series in the dustbin of his house, quite accidentally when one night he took the rubbish down … having returned to the flat and getting down with his family to put together the pieces of photos found in the dustbin they were amazed to see that part of scenes were in their own garden and flat; that the past of their house and flat is coming to life under their very eyes; that those walls had indeed seen those photographed. This way the work on the stuff found turned out to be at the same time digging up their own past.”

In Private photos coded Judit Gellér presents Gergely Barcza’s work – QR code: “Many years ago the member of the Studio of Young Photo Artists started to deal with private photos which he found in slide frames bought in second-hand photo shops. When sorting photos from the 1970s and 1980s he noticed that not only the subjects, scenes and events but also the colours fading, bleaching due to the technology and to getting old, contribute to the nostalgic atmosphere of the slides.”

In Alphas and origins Rita Somosi writes about the diploma works of students graduating from the faculty of photographing of the Moholy-Nagy Art Academy. While in the previous years the subjective topics used to be present as strongly marked tendencies, the selection of subject by the eleven students graduating this year presents a more diverse picture besides the subjective adaptation of reflection typical of our age, and in quite a few cases it can be considered as a kind of summing up. Graduates are Alíz Ács, Benedek Bognár, Nóra Dénes, Bettina Gál, László Kőhegyi, Máté Lukács, Balázs Máté, Máté Móró, Julianna Nyíri, András Vég, Dorottya Vékony.

The Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre jointly with the Magnum agency organised an exhibition from the contact-prints of the archive of the photo agency. In Tool as artwork Gábor Pfiszter comments on the exhibition: “The contact became for technical reasons – and at the same time from more than one point of view – a very important tool in the process of image processing. Firstly, the photograph considered to be the best had to be chosen, but the fact which one counts as being the best, was also decided at that time, and mostly based on the image and composition solutions. The main point was the position and highlighting of the subject, and its image forming. As basic rule the subject was usually put in the centre of the picture but nor other parts of the image space could be neglected because they could contribute to the interpretation of the subject.

György Szegő presents famous film director Stanley Kubrick as the photographer based on his photo show in the Vienna Kunstforum. “The »start« itself is a mythical press historical gag: Kubrich’s first photo was published in the Look on 26th June 1945. The subject: a bored newsboy leans on his elbow in the window of the news-stand. His eyelids lowered, he is interested neither in his buyers nor in the news. More than one month before the USA won the war in Europe, one month is left until Hiroshima. But in this dull season neither the news about President Roosevelt’s death and that Truman took the helm can rouse the newsboy, nor, that the cold war is drawing near. And yet, all that, this calm after and before the storm, is on that photo. Kubrick took the photo to the editorial office, it was published, he was paid $20 for it, and was immediately given a job.”

In A pro under the conditions of provincialism Klára Szarka presents the years the legendary photo artist Béla Hemző spent at the daily Magyar Szemle.  “His photos made of young artists on two pages in vol. September 1970 are shots so varied, so up-to-date, so realistic that the report would have stood the test in any global newspaper. (It was not really typical of the standard of Hungarian press  photography of that time.) The Budapest topic went on in the early seventies. There exists newspaper on the first six pages of which 16 Hemző-photos present Budapest. It shows not only the usual places, and in particular not in the usual way. His photo displaying the Deák Ferenc square from aerial perspective on the back of vol. April 1972 was a novelty.”

Ferenc Nádai wrote the obituary of Mihály Gera photo historian, died at 83: “It was on 5 May, 2014 afternoon I shook hand with Misi for the last time; without saying it, we both knew it was indeed the last hand-shake. Leaving the hospital ward I turned around, we looked at each other, and as always before, we waved with encouraging smile.”

In The printing of replicas Júlia Papp writes about the treasures of the Hungarian National Museum, about photos made of replicas of ivory carvings by John Brampton Philpot. “The photo series is a lively example of the reproductive continuum i.e. the interconnection of various artwork reproducing techniques (drawings, engravings, plaster- and galvanoplasty casts, paper mosaics, photographs, picture postcards of sculpture replicas made in great number for propagating general knowledge). The series of photos made of the replicas of ivory carvings, i.e. the printing of replicas shows the interrelationship between different reproducing techniques.”        n

The world consists not only of Photoshop! argues Attila Montvai in his latest series of articles. “The first step is to define the basic characteristics of picture generating process based on binary technology, and their deviations from the classical process resp. It is needed because not even today can this be considered as a problem generally solved. In many cases the nostalgic dispositions mentioned above, the lack of proper knowledge lead to statements starting from unfounded and illogical parallels.”

Ah, Mr. Sanderson….! Zoltán Fejér sighs in relation with that the British cabinet-maker accomplished his invention about how to move the lens in level, 120 years ago. “Cameras using Sanderson’s patent were produced over the period of 1896 to 1938, roughly twenty-six-thousand cameras according to the scientific literature. The question is how many of them were exported. It would not be probably an exaggeration to say that in Europe and in Hungary this product – owing to which photographing was spreading speedily in the 1920s and 1930s  – was not known that much as it would have deserved.”

New Albums on Péter Tímár’s Bookshelf: Nadav Kander: Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man; Focus Group and Károly Méhes: Pécs, 2013; Virág Böröczfy: Katalin Sylvester’s studio (with László Beke’s foreword); Bálint Szombathy: Signs of the city 1971–2012.