Summary - 2016/2.

Vol. 2016/2 of Fotóművészet begins with an interview made by Sándor Bacskai with photographer Márton Perlaki – Besides planning, I follow mostly my own  intuitions. “Before starting any work I used to be very excited, I clung to my conceptions tenaciously, it did not matter at what price but the result had to be good, and this attitude was the root of many conflicts. Yet, the photographer’s task is to keep the team together. The imagined sketches just serve as starting point, to which it is not worth clinging at any price. I believe, by now I have learned how to communicate, I am much more composed, therefore I am able to concentrate much better.”

In “Meddling, or about the  shutter time and the spoon Gábor Németh reports on György Stalter’s photos: “Many years ago he put a lot of (photographic) papers aside, he says. But, I ask, it ought to have spoiled for long, am I right? He gives a quizzical glance at me from behind his glasses. He starts to talk to me like to a child, arguing that a hard paper is a bit softer, but after such a long time blacks would indeed disappear from a soft paper, then some »bs« come as well, I keep nodding, I can’t understand one single word of it, I am indeed about falling asleep in a minute, just like a child. Finally, suddenly he says, to throw away unused papers is like throwing flower-seeds into the dustbin, but this wakes me up.”

In Stale green sci-fi. The nature and the layers of post-modern town Rita Somosi examines Márk Martinkó’s photo series: “The urban environment of his works and the vegetation appearing here and there in it, shows us the areas of postmodern towns becoming empty. The vision-like photos, doesn’t matter if we are talking about his REM or »Artificial green« series, are all put together of the elements of reality. It is not easy to state whether it is dystopia or reality what the artist wants us to see. By the carefully selected scenes and planned compositions the scenery transforms itself, and their contents of meaning broaden by the various emphases and gesture of stressing.”

“Is it possible to separate the »outside« and the »inside«? Can the often gloomy norm- and expectation-system of the outside world   be isolated in principle from the personality, intimacies of our inside world? Don’t we violate our self-estimation by separating them many times »in line«? The answer is very simple, and at the same time very complicated. If it were separable, then there would be neither clinical psychology, or social psychology nor psychoanalysis” Zsolt K. Horváth notes about the exhibition Life – spaces.

“The photo art is a complicated steadily changing rhizome, with the open interplay with unpredictable consequences of countless elements” György Cséka argues in Comments on photo art. “It is such a labyrinth which you enter into, no matter having a map in your hand, made with great precision by people who have earlier been in this labyrinth, it won’t always put you on the right road, because     the roads, the trails are changing, they are somewhere else, they would mislead, and the system is highly responsive even to those walking in the labyrinth. It’s a system the rules of which you would understand, construct and rewrite in most cases only later. Since we have neither adequately precise terms, definitions, nor ample always relevant descriptions, i.e. we don’t have and won’t have photo arts identification handbook, there is one thing we can do:…”

Gábor Pfisztner’s essay planned to be a multi-part work is meant to analyse the relationship between photo art and contemporary art: “I will try to outline what definitions are actually feasible that are called contemporary arts, not necessarily following or accepting the viewpoints preferred by the »art industry«. I’ll touch upon another interesting discussion the subject of which is mediality (if once  there exists intermediary and media-art, then the notion of medium can neither be discarded without any consequences), taking the various definitions and interpretations of the notion, one after the other into account.”

Judit Gellér scrutinizes the topic of Archives created with the objective of collecting, classifying, sorting, structuring, and undergoing a change at the moment: “While the foxed pages of old, paper-based archives are slowly decaying, the new digital archives, although in their immaterial and ephemeral character, still counteract this process. The new archives do not exist in their physical reality. The pictures transform into numbers and data. The new archives are stored in clouds, on virtual data carriers; the place of photosensitive material has been taken over by sensors.”

János Palotai selected two exhibitions from the Vienna spring supply. One is: “Albertina put on show a segment of the Japanese photo art from 1960 to 1975 and within it the short-lived progressive review Provoke, the influence of which could be felt for decades. Between the protest and the performance, indicates the subtitle of the exhibition.”  The other one: “Commemorative exhibition in the Museum Moderner Kust about the Vienna actionism in the sixties, titled Körper, Psyché und Tabu.”

In her two-part essay – In defence of the authenticity of historical  photographs – Katalin Jalsovszky discusses the problems of archiving and publishing Hungarian holocaust photos via concrete examples: From the Hungarian holocaust photos modified in contents by restoring, one can see most frequently the one made by Tamás Veres in November 1944 in Budapest. Tamás Veres as escaped inmate of a forced labour camp ended up in Raoul Wallenberg’s surroundings, who employed the 21 years old young man as photographer. Thus he was the only one who had the opportunity to make photos of the Swedish diplomat’s man-rescuing activity and of the persecution of Jewish people during the Nazi terror in Budapest. The negatives got lost in the chaos of the siege of Budapest. The fact that some of the photos survived is thanks to Wallenberg who forwarded some of the photos enclosed to his diplomatic reports and letters sent by diplomatic courier to Sweden. But unfortunately none of those photos can be found from the nineties in  Sweden.

In Everyday life of Márton Munkácsi Etelka Baji presents a bunch   of photos unknown so far to the Readers of Fotóművészet: “Since  my last article published in 2010 another 10 photos have come across me, and we managed to put all of them on file in the Historical Photographic Archives of the Hungarian National Museum. Unfortunately and undeniably, the photos do not belong to Munkácsi’s best photos. Anyway, it is important to report on the worldwide known Hungarian press photographer’s photos put lately in the Hungarian collection, and that these photos have also become well-known pieces of the Hungarian photo history.”

“Langer & Comp. whose name has been changed more than once in the past years, produced and sold its characteristic wooden-frame cameras in Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy” reports Zoltán Fejér on the Langer-Elso camera in his article about the history of photographing technique. – “One can argue, a common characteristic of the wooden-frame camera on our pictures is that the elaborateness and the quality of workmanship of these cameras cannot be compared to that of the Werner cameras designed and sold by Lechner-Müller.”

Attila Montvai started a new series of articles – How many megapixels had Michelangelo’s hammer had? Or is photo technology a   creator means? Here is an excerpt from the first part: “Computer technology plays a role of vital importance in visual communication and photography, as well. The first step in the direction of sweeping changes in visual culture was made in 1975, when Martin Newell researcher at the Utah University, created the 3-D mathematical model of a tea cup. In 1987 a picture of photographic quality designed with numerical methods based on this 3-D model opened a way to the binary technology based on recording of the scene, the so-called digital photography.”