Summary - 2015/3.

Vol. 2015/3 of Fotóművészet begins with an interview made by Sándor Bacskai with Réka Nyári fashion photographer of partly Hungarian birth who lives in New York: “I decided to get a job that would allow me to work the least amount of hours for maximum pay. So I started working in NYC nightlife, selling bottles for thousand of dollars. But the lifestyle swallows you, and makes it really difficult to be productive. With all the late nights I did not feel like painting during the day. But what I did start doing, was I started taking photos. Initially I worked with a model that was always available, at all hours, never complained and work for free. Me! I started shooting myself every morning after coming home from work. I couldn’t wait to finish my long shift and come home, and cover myself with paint, with glitter, and Vaseline. By the way, I don’t recommend you do that, because I couldn’t get the Vaseline out of my hair for a week! At 1st, I did not show these photos to anyone. They were my secret, but they really sparked my love for photography, and made me realize I did not need to paint my photographs. They were strong enough on their own.”

In Living Halas Károly Kincses deals with István Halas: “I don’t take photo of someone unknown to me, no matter if he or she is a celebrity – he says, and usually you can believe him that it is true. But what conclusion can be drawn from it? Well, Halas’s photos you see here are presence photos, diary pictures, from which as many conclusions can be drawn as from any person on the pictures since – as you know – Halas has also been present, participated, directed the events, he has not (just) documented them. Photos made then are bonds with things and people of that time to him and sometimes to us, as well.”

In János Vető a survivor of a vanished world Endre T Rózsa sums up the career of one of the best-known artists of the underground culture in the seventies and eighties: “The lower part of a face on one of the pictures. Slightly open mouth, short moustache, beard, fingers of the left hand stick a toothpick into the teeth. The eyes cannot be seen because of the picture cutting, and yet it is easy to recognize the features of György Szemadám. On another picture János Baksa Soós and András Koncz are going on an excursion, Baksa wears white-rimed spectacles, Koncz has some locks of hair hanging down into his face. You can hardly recognize them. On some other photos Baksa Soós is playing the guitar and singing. Excellent Kex-mood, caught in János Vető’s style. Freedom is oozing from the pictures.”

In her appraisal – Back to the topoi – Rita Somosi presents the diploma works of ten students graduating from the faculty of photographing of the Moholy-Nagy Art Academy. The graduates and their diploma works are Anikó Antalfi: Why here the “in that place”?; Kata Száraz: Nocturne; Zsuzsa Darab: At home; Zita Gyurokovics: Borders alive; Eszter Herczeg: Dad pictures; Péter Trembeczki: Infantia; Anna Magérusz: Pandoras; Richard Usher: Water wall; Nándor Balvin: Out of focus; Jónás Mátyássy: Piroskanna.

In Between memory and history. The art of co-vision Éva Fisli reports partly on the conversation in the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre, where John Morris one-time editor of Life magazine, took part, and the apropos of it was the exhibition Somewhere in France – The Summer of ’44. Partly she reports on the exhibition Capa in Colour opened in January 2014 in New York, which arrived in June 2015 to Budapest. As she points out, “the (exhibition) Capa in Color was born in a peculiarly extreme situation. Between history and memory, the reputation, the context of the oeuvre of the photographer, who was 40 when he passed away sixty years ago, is changing.”

György Szegő visited two exhibitions in Vienna. In Miss Courage’s photographs Szegő writes about Lee Miller apropos of her exhibition in the Albertina Museum in Vienna: In 1942 she joined the army as war-correspondent. A new fantastic oeuvre took form by the photos made of the landing in Normandy which were censored by the Allied forces. These front-line reports and the pictures exhibited now in Vienna had been made mostly in Paris, Dachau, Munich and Vienna, by a press photographer both socially and morally very sensitive – the famous photos made in Budapest – very upsetting to us Hungarians – are this time not put on show at this exhibition.”

The article An American in New York deals with Joel Meyerowitz in the Kunsthaus in Wien. “In the mid-sixties Meyerowitz invented something genuinely original. He made this series of his successful known as From a Moving Car (1968). For decades the American life-style was more and more defined by mobilization. Meyerowitz tells that he used to consider the car itself to be his camera obscure. He used to snap loosely.”

In Inquiring glance Éva Fisli examines photos made by Ergy Landau during a visit in autumn 1954 in China. “Erzsi Landau born in 1896 in Budapest, travelled as expert photographer to China. She, too, was member of the French delegation, one of those who were the first to make picture of the huge country being devastated for long by civil wars. She took part in an organised tour, what meant among others that a photographer could not necessarily travel alone and at her own pleasure; according to the memories of her fellow-traveller, Roger Portal, it was possible to go for a walk alone, mostly in those towns where the delegation was staying for a longer time; e.g. they spent about two weeks altogether in the capital, and 3 to 5 days in Shanghai and Canton.”

The subject of Béla Albertini’s article is László Moholy-Nagy’s publications in German illustrated magazines. The second part dealing with the year 1929 is published in the present issue: “Going over the photographs a well discernible tendency becomes distinct. The way starts from Uhu, it continues in time through Das Magazin to the Das Leben, meanwhile sometimes there is a returning to the Uhu magazine, the starting point, visibly highly appreciated by Moholy-Nagy. Although one can hardly talk about deliberateness, the situation is as if one were faced with a musical composition of harmonic structure; moving forward with big steps then returning to the starting point just for a »thought«; further big steps forward, then again the sudden appearance of the »thought« in the first sphere.”

“The Ernst Leitz GmbH manufactured Leica M1 between 1959 and 1964, in which no range-finder was built in because of easier handling and more favourable price making” writes Zoltán Fejér in his photography-historical article. For years for many people the word Leica meant the miniature camera with range-finder. Glancing over a collector book (reference book) publicizing Leitz products, it is amazing how many kinds of camera without range-finder and how long were sold by the company! Over the period of 1925 to 1987 eleven models of Leica had no range-finder and altogether 194 500 cameras of this type were produced.”

Attila Montvai’s new series – Digital eternity, “Due to the binary technology the photographic display process has become a global signal processing action – in flat contradiction with the »analogue« method based on classical silver crystals and colouring grains. This fact raises the problem of the many times questionable »folkloristic« education and of other persuasion attempts leading to other fields. No exemption of it is the propagation of part of the »analogue« conceptions »based« on commonplaces. Therefore, it would be very important to create a modern structure in the personal and collective knowledge background of photography.”

New albums on Péter Tímár’s Bookshelf: Károly Chochol: My called forth memories; Ghosting: Masters and students 1994–2014; Emőke Tomsics: Cape (kacagány) and camera (photos of the coronation in 1867, in the Hungarian National Museum); György Sümegi: Posters of 1956 (1956–2006).