Summary - 2015/4.

Vol. 2015/4 of Fotóművészet begins with an interview made by Sándor Bacskai with photo artist Miklós Déri. It is not the first interview with Miklós Déri, he had been interviewed about his career and works by the editor of this magazine in Vol. 2003/2. This time he is talking about what he has done since the last interview and about his pictures put on show this year: “The quasi artistic or creator portrait has always been an artistic form difficult to me to understand, with portraits I have enjoyed much lesser the experience as with genre pictures or press photos, where the environment helps the interpretation. Curiosity prompted me to try what I could make out of it, usually I had only roughly an idea of what I wanted to make people see or show of a character.”

“Hungarian photographers’ society is again compelled to part from someone. Last September Balázs Telek passed away” – this is the opening sentence of Mihály Surányi’s obituary – Unique copy. And then he goes on: “There was a kind of renaissance feature in his personality. He, too, might feel to be related to that world, for sure it was not accidently that he created and used as ars poetica, his own formulation of Uomo de Vitrovio. In this polymath picture also fitted in what just a few people know about him, namely he was a very creative musician: those who lived in the FotóFalu (Photo-Village) can attest it.”

In To see ghosts Virág Böröczfy writes about Gabriella Cseh’s photo series – Interior stories: “the scenes of the series are addresses in Paris, none of which might probably be familiar to anybody: 5 rue de Vanves, 75 boulevard du Monparnasse, 7 rue Servandoni etc. There is no memorial plaque at the entrance or sign about what indeed happened there, even photo historical monographs make just a mention of them. These are the stories of two lives and of two careers (those of Kertész and Brassai), which were in many respects very similar and yet rather different. Two photographers were strolling round the streets in Paris to make novel photos of the »city of lights«. These photos brought the first real success to them, which since then are still the emblematic pictures of the French capital.”

The title of Gusztáv Hámos’s interview with Mihály Surányi is Sample cities – guide book to fictitious towns: “In 2005, jointly with Katja Pratschke and Thomas Toda we started thinking about the nature of photo film. During our six month research work we found more than 300 films made of still pictures. Using these films we fit together a six-part program, each part lasting about 90 minutes. The selection was presented first in the Dresden Film Festival, followed then by the Hamburg Triennial and the Berlin Photo Day. But it was presented in the London Tate Modern Gallery and in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.”

In The art of instant, Anita Nagy reviews the situation of instant photography: “Today’s devotees of Polaroid can be divided practically into three different groups: the older age-group who reach out for instant photos out of nostalgia and they recall their family memories and those of their youth; the young generation who reckon it as a trendy accessory, thanks to effective marketing; and the photo artists who conjure something new from a corner of the past.”

János Palotai makes the Reader acquainted with Russian photo artist Olga Tobreluts: “In the series of soldiers of the Foreign Legion she immortalizes the heroes of the present in archaic costumes as the opposite of demitization. It was this way that the football star C. Ronaldo was put in the same team with Ronaldinho and Prince. (Let alone that the first name of the first person – Cristiano also hints at the bloody »games« in the antic arenas.) In his saints he mixes the glorified of the past and the present, the today’s Madonna turned to Eve of our age, you see Elvis Presley as Adam, and Saint Sebastian became di Caprio.”

“Wolfgang Zurborn is not Cartier-Bresson, but neither Walker Evans nor Lee Friedlander. And nor Martin Parr or Dougie Wallance – writes Anne Kotzan in her article about the German photo artist, in The symphony of reality. – It is not storyteller, world savvier or critic. He is neither documentalist, and he doesn’t direct film like Philip-Lorca diCorcia. It could be recounted for long who is he not. But it is more difficult to put in words what his work is characterized by. Probably he resembles more Robert Franka or Saul Leiter, or he is the mixture of the two, tempered with William Egleston, and seasoned with Viviane Sassen. No doubt, his way of looking at things is individual; it is contrary to the regulation, radical, playful, it is not devoid of beauty, poetical and musical allusions.”

For six years Klára Szarka has been dealing with the fantastic oeuvre of Károly Hemző passed away recently.: “When during the research – thanks to good luck and Fanni Lukács – Hemző’s more than hundred negatives from the early ‘50s was found in the War History Archives of the Institute and Museum of War History, the first thing that came to my mind was how pleased he would be with this precious »finding«, because he, too, was in the belief that his negatives made in his first sports photographer’s era when he had been working for the Budapest Honvéd Sports Club, were lost.”

In What was left out from the newspapers, or photos behind the press illustrations commenting on the collection of photos published in Népszabadság and other papers, by now accessible in museums, Katalin Bognár writes the following: “Many questions can be answered by examining negatives that remained in the archives of the newspapers: it can be traced back which photo had been published in a report which way was it cut, touched up, and finally how many photos related to the story were not published.”

The subject of Béla Albertini’s series of articles is László Moholy-Nagy’s publications in German illustrated magazines. Now the third part dealing with the years 1930 and 1931 is published in this issue. “Going over vol. November, 1930 of the magazine Der Querschnitt the Reader comes across a peculiar surprise. One of the four children’s portraits is from Márton Munkácsi (in original: Munkacsy), two others are signed by Moholy-Nagy. Pictures of Moholy-Nagy and of Munkacsy on the same magazine page: it is an unparallel common appearance. No doubt, a lot of questions relating to the possible relationship can be asked. All the more so because – as I have pointed out earlier – it had happened that a photo of Munkácsi got mixed with Moholy-Nagy’s pictures.”

“By the appearance of the mirror housing Leica rose from a rangefinder to a reflex camera” Zoltán Fejér writes in his article about the Leica reflex housing. It was this way that Leitz managed to enter the field of roll film cameras well-known for long. One year later their miniature camera “autocracy” was broken by Kine Exakta produced in Dresden put on show on 3 March 1936 at the Leipzig Spring Fair. All authors of photo-technology books mention that at that time a roll film miniature camera under the trade name Sport was produced in the Soviet Union which became much later well-known worldwide.”

Subjects of Part 2 of Attila Montvai’s series – Digital eternity: The Neumann-galaxies”; How does the photo reach an other country? The question of archiving. According to the author “The web as communication and in some sense an achieving medium, does not solve the accessible storing possibility problems meeting the author’s genuine intentions. Nor is the case of prints solved. The air-conditioned, radiation and other environmental influences minimizing storing seems to be promising, but the reliability of the results of the simulated, accelerated aging processes is questionable as long as they are not certified by an ageing taking place under real circumstances – and it might take as long time as hundred years.”

New albums on Péter Tímár’s bookshelf: The History of European Photography 1939–1969; Vivian Maier – a Photographer found and Vivian Maier – Street Photographer; Katalin London: Time and Portraits.