SUMMARY– 2017/2

Zoltán Szalay (1935-2017) did not reach the 35th opening of the Hungarian Press Photography, of which he was the director for nearly 30 years. He started his career in the fifties and for the past sixty years or more worked as a press photographer and image editor for practically every major national news media outlets. A generation of youths viewed him and looked up to him as their master. He left behind a gigantic life’s work. The Art of Photography bids him goodbye through the writing of Károly Kincses.

The series by Rita Somosi introducing young photographers, continues by introducing Balázs Deim with his article, Nyomokban embert is tartalmaz (Also Contains Traces of Humans) It is a systematic overview until now ofBalázs Deim’s series, with flashes of the source of a few outside influences that touched the artist. The central role in a significant part of Balázs Deim’s works is played by the man-made physical environment and the abstraction originating thereof. His other series employ everyday objects, using their triviality to formulate statements about the communication between man and his environment. For good measure, in the case of his works, our own observation has an important place as well, since that is his main concern in the CCTV series as well as the Térfigyelők (Space Observers) series.

Whoever or whatever is not on a photograph could often be as important in terms of the message, as what is portrayed. What avenues could the feeling of not being there have, or the feeling of deprivation of something, someone? What connection could there be between the „being there”, the „present” and the „now”?  Gábor Pfisztner’s essay circles around this aspect of the problem.  The question itself is not alien from the exhibition at the Mai Manó Ház (Today’s Gnome house) organised by the house under the title Látható hiány (Visible Void) in recent past. The observations in this essay are worthy of reflection about such image types where, what is not there, is yet somehow summoned up, even for those where the present is rather effaced, hidden, and handed over to invisibility.

Rediscoveries abounded in recent past. Anne Kotzen’s article offers a richly illustrated review of an impending rediscovery of a photographer’s career and works.  Although E. O. Hoppé (1878-1972) was born in Vienna, he worked in London since the beginning of the twentieth century, where, at the age of 29, he abandoned his banking career and opened his own studio.  He was a member of the Link Ring Brotherhood, and a contemporary of Stieglitz, Steichen and Coburn.  Throughout his life, pictorialism was always a decisive factor. Cecil Beaton wrote the preface in his book, published in 1945. The portrait photographs, as well as those of industrial establishments, reflected an original romantic perception conceived at the beginning of the century.  He left a colossal photographic legacy, as he had worked to the end of his life, and after a long silence, this legacy is being recently explored and processed. 

For decades, the artist-duo Gilbert & George played a characteristic role on the international photography scene. György Cséka’s article, Szar és ornamentika (Shit and Ornamentals) undertakes the offering of an overview of the artist-duo’s accomplishments from their beginnings to their current activities.  The piece does not propose to engage in details about their 50-year creative period. It is confined to highlighting and commenting on a few nodes in the duo’s work history, which may give the reader some guidance into getting to know this life-long extraordinary artistic labours and identifying possible interpretations of their ranges.


The Sebastião Salgado series, Genesis, shall be featured at the soon to be organised exhibition at the Műcsarnok (Art Gallery).  He belongs to the class of photographers who bravely undertake the fact that their work is at the same time accountable for heir moral aspect and responsible for both the present and the future of our planet. András Bán’s article aims to be a one of a kind examination, exposing the background of some of the series’ inner connections of certain parts of a few of his life’s work for a better insight to the creative approach that also makes Salgado’s stature grand and unique.


Lajos Kassák and the Munka-kör (Workshop) group assembling around him are, in numerous regards, connected to photography. The creation of the photography group had numerous parallel reasons as well.  Béla Albertini delivered a speech at the conference held at the Pompidou Centre about their coming into existence and the formation of their activities. Due to space limitations, we are publishing the lecture in three parts.  The first part, outlining the historical background, with detailed technical references in the field, may be read in our present issue. The author made special efforts to place the activities of the photography group and the creators’ works into the ideological concept and within historical and international contexts.


The Kiscell Museum organised an exhibition titled KÉPLET (formula), embedding today’s concept of street photography into the Hungarian photographic past. Mihály Surányi produced an interview with one of the curators of the exhibit, Miklós Gulyás. Because the first image stems from the end of the nineteenth century within the broad time limits designated by the exhibition, it outlines the very context in which street photography appears on the scene and the conversationalists, within the concept of the exhibit, had a chance to digress into raising a few specifically Hungarian questions in order to examine each creator’s approach and the changes therein.


The AIPAD Show is the most important exhibition since 1985 for dealers and galleries in the photographic field. This year, the New York fair has moved to a new venue in order to secure a more suitable site for the 115 exhibitors. Tamás Révész has summarized his strongest impressions of this year’s fair. He focussed on two things in his poll.  The first question he posed to the gallery owners concerned the basis on which the artists whom they would eventually represent, were chosen. With the second question he aimed at finding out whether the participants in the poll could highlight one or two tendencies to best characterize contemporary photography in 2017.


János Palotai’s article was created in connection with one of last year’s exhibition at the Ludwig Museum. Within the framework of this exhibition, Albanian artists exhibited their most important work produced in recent years. János Palotai’s writing interprets the works as a manifestation of occurrences surrounding the search for new identities extorted by history Albanian art truly stands before being particularly noticed on the international scene, which is why the author’s article may serve as valuable contribution within the circle of interest towards the subject.


With regards to the history of photographic apparatus, Zoltán Fejér writes in our current issue about the British Micro-Precision Products’ cameras. The article Az angol Linhof (The English Linhof) discusses in detail the history of the company and the development of their product, the Mark camera, from its first appearance on the market (1948) up until the Mark VIII camera. The camera was specifically developed for professional photographers, hence the interesting comparisons that may be found between the solutions with the Mark camera series and the wider known Linhof cameras.  The article discusses in detail the technical refinements attained and the answers to the continuously emerging shopping and standardisation demands during the four decades of existence of the Mark camera lineage.