SUMMARY 2015/2

Fotóművészet begins with an interview made by Sándor Bacskai with Lehel Fuchs photographer and cinematographer (cameraman), founder and artistic director of the Szellemkép Szabadiskola: "We started with about ten or twelve students, we had nothing at all, apart from a table which we had sat around. About 2000 there was a memorable media boom, everybody wanted to study photography and film making; at that time we had sometimes fifty or sixty freshmen, so we had to »call a halt«, because we did not have enough teachers to undertake their training without risking the quality. At that time we were able to develop the equipment park, to set up an office, but then the number of students started to lessen. Maybe the reason why we are still able to operate is that we wanted to develop never in quantity just in quality."

Gábor Pfisztner reports on Szilvia Mucsy's exhibition "Personal presence": "The diary is a means in which the moments of passing through are collected, the visual imprints of brain flash are stored, which is evoked or generated by the outside world in the moment of passing through. The passing through, the image moment of staying somewhere may contain the flashing through of later recognition and realization. Therefore, the concrete scene is unimportant, this is why nor does it require the »narration« referring to it, because it is not about that, it does not want to present it or to document it, it just wants to present that certain flash in question."

"On the 101st anniversary of the birth of Robert Capa the Budapest Capa Center founded a new prize of photography to reward year by year photographers who achieve the best results in the field of Hungarian photography" Rita Somosi reports in this article. – The three photographers who were awarded by a scholarship by the jury are Gábor Arion Kudász, Gyula Sopronyi and Ákos Stiller. All of them have ample experience in photography and a remarkable list of exhibitions. Three photographers, three series (of photographs) in progress – this presentation is a station, it is snapshot from a process which might come to an end, following the work of the coming months, at Capa's next jubilee celebration."

In The agents of death János Palotai writes about three members of the young photographer generation – András Vég, András Vizi and Cinthya Gombos – namely how they concern themselves with the idea of death in their degree work MOME: "What one can see are always the concrete pictures of the unfolding of a real and complex tragic situation. The basis of it is the personal experience and the  emotional  empathy, the internal seeking ways, phases of getting  from one situation into the other one. In other words: to these young photographers it is typical the formulation of the relations of memory and the subjective inner world, the formulation of the tenseness of the Ego and the world outside of the ego."

In "You just have to survive somehow?" Klára Szarka scrutinizes the state of the Hungarian press photo in the early 21st century in a not really positive tone: "At the turn of this century we could get accustomed to the fact that the new generation of the photographers gather laurels in succession not only at the World Press Photo exhibition but also at the Pictures of the Year. Probably it was at that time that the trend turned, the Hungarian photos turned out to be more interesting and more existing than the world famous international ones, both the professionals and the general public has come to the conclusion. When – by the way quite understandably – the two events separated in 1997, there was no reason to fear that the Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition would be unable to stand on its own legs."

"In early May a pleasant – and because of the unusual location – exquisite exhibition has been opened in a luxury hotel at the Danube in Budapest: the curator, Olivier Wildmaier the grandson of Picasso the famous artist, selected thirty pictures from the photo collection of the not less famous review Paris Match. The selection was not bias. Besides Picasso, other artist-celebrities like Matisse, Miró, Dali, Chagall, Magritte, and the younger ones like Kons, Haring or Hockney were also represented" Péter Tímár reports in his article Insight. "Revealed" by Sofitel.

In an interview Recording the moments of a happening Anne Lefebvre answers Jenő Detvay's questions: "My prints are often individual, and it may seem to reflect another time, as if they talk to us in a foreign language. One could believe that these pictures have just now stepped out from a family photo, there are the photos of the family immigrated from Russia arriving to France, to Boulogne-Billacourt (this is my birthplace). I renamed Boulogne-Billacourt to Billankoursk. My first monographic publication was given this title."

György Szegő reports on Vilmos Zsigmond's exhibitions in the Ludwig Museum: "Vilmos Zsigmond's personality is legendarily »human«. E.g. that gesture that – as a termination of the exhibition he is prepared to undertake his three favourite black-and-white photos, too. One was made on the terrace of a hotel in Santorini. But he was captivated not by the splendid blue touristic topic, but by the scenery, the chiaroscuro after rain that could fit into the ancient classical tragedies. One could say that he is the East-European (war) child of the 20th century, whose dramatic image-making life-work has been made of »customer's own material«".

The subject of Béla Arbertini's comprehensive essay is László Moholy-Nagy's publications in German illustrated papers: "How much do we know his photographer activity? … this question might seem even provocative. But now the emphasis is on how much. Apparently, we still owe debts in regard of the profoundness and accuracy of knowledge. I want to contribute to refunding by this three-part writings below. Partly, it can help to reveal more profoundly the relations between path of life and life-work, partly it can have part in  getting acquainted with a sphere like knowing the German illustrated papers, which used to be of great importance in regard of the Hungarian photo culture between the two world wars. Last but not least such a processing has methodological lessons, as well: whatever we are writing about, it is advisable to rely first of all on the original sources/documents." The first part of the essay is published here.

In Stone on stone Tímea Bata reports on the Photos of Jewish subject in the Museum of Ethnography: "Due to banning to photograph Jewish communities, we have poor knowledge of the image world of weekdays and holidays related to the religious and ritual life of the country Jewish people before the second WW. Therefore, each photo about the lifestyle and customs of these rural communities constitutes a source that contributes to further enlarging our knowledge of them. Portraits made in photo studios, topics found »in the street« by ethnographers or professionals or amateurs wandering in the countryside – despite typically poor reference – constitute a rare and valuable museum photo collection."

A photography-historical article by Zoltán Fejér presents the Leotax camera: "The Showa Kogaku company was founded by Nakagawa Kenzo one-time engineer of Konishiroku, in January 1938. Nakagawa put first his roll film camera with 4,5×6 picture format on the market, later he decided to reduce the picture format and to use 35 mm films. Although Japan was allied with Germany, the Japanese engineers were not allowed to use the technical solutions of Leica:   the distance meter coupled with sharpness control was patented. When using Leotax put on the market in the early 1940s, looking a lot like Leica II, the distance indicated by the distance meter had to be read on a scale on the top of the camera then set on the lens. Nor the order of the view-finder and the distance meter was the »usual«".