SUMMARY– 2019/4

Béla Albertini: Hungarian photography history series, August 1919 – June 1941 Part six
In the first part of his article Béla Albertini provides a clear and odd interpretation of the appearance of pictorial photography in the late XIX century in Britain. His approach combines Heinrich Wölfflin's concept about the alternation of the linear and painterly artistic visions and the sensation of life in the rapidly changing society and economy within the British Empire.  Supposing that the theory is correct and describes the emergence of the pictorial photography in Britain and societies with similar conditions, what could have been the reason of the rise of the pictorial photography in Hungary, with a different social and economic background?

Gábor Ébli: Czech museum + collector from Pécs + exhibition in Bratislava = V4 canonisation - Action shots in the spirit of common regional neo-avant-garde art
Balázs Szluka began working with members of the Pécsi Műhely {Workshop of Pécs} several decades ago. His collection was built up systematically, and it continues to expand with the works of more and more artists. The Museum of Modern Art in Olomouc organised the exhibition of the Pécsi Műhely in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Szluka and the same Czech museum organised the exhibition of the collection during the Month of Photography held in Bratislava. Gábor Ébli provides a detailed analysis of the situation, intentions, collection management strategy and relevant international activities of the Museum of Modern Art in Olomouc. 

Gábor Ébli: Document and aesthetics – Exhibition from the artist portraits collection of Csaba Kertész Csaba
The main characteristic of the Kertész Csaba collection is that it consists of artist portraits. Csaba Kertész is known as gallerist and art dealer as well, but his main activity is collection management. Because of the focus of the collection, it is rich in photography. On the photos, we can find all genre of the Hungarian artist from the poets to the virtuoso pianist. The main part of the collection is about artists from the Kádár era. Artist portraits from the Hungarian underground to the most acclaimed international musicians as well. From this perspective, these portraits form a kind of mirror of cultural life during these decades. Because of the considerable amount of works, it provides an unparalleled source to discover the world behind the scenes of this epoch. Besides this, we can find works in the collection about artists from the late XIX and the early XX century as well.

Zsuzsa Farkas: Hungarian photograph collectors - Interview with Valter Torjay
Valter Torjay, art historian and an essential figure among the collectors of 19th-century photographs. His collection is available online as well. The interview planned with him turned into a series of analyses and stories he told in connection with the photographs in the collection. Through these analyses, the character of an expert possessing a complete understanding of and a researcher greatly interested in the history of photography is outlined.

Zsuzsa Farkas: Cluj through the lens of Lajos Orbán – Ed. Melinda Blos-Jáni: A látható Kolozsvár. Orbán Lajos fotói a két világháború közötti városról [The visible Cluj, Lajos Orbán's photos about the city from the interwar period], Cluj, EXIT Publishing, 2018, 196 pages
The EXIT publishing company issued a book about Lajos Orbán, lived and worked in Cluj, Romania. The book consists of three essays. László Orbán, the son of the photographer, compiled the biographical part. In focus Melinda Blos-Jáni's theme are the works, the classification, the analysis of the life and the inherent connections in the oeuvre. Dorottya Udvari's article describes the photographic experience in Cluj, and so the reader can see the works of Lajos Orbán in a broader, but even local context. In her recension, Zsuzsa Farkas analysed not only the book but she emphasis as well, that this book presents a still unknown oeuvre for the Hungarian photo history.

Zoltán Fejér: Super Ikonta
As the pretext of the Super Ikonta camera, in this issue, Zoltán Fejér provides for the reader a detailed industry history overview about the Zeiss Ikon factory from the mid of the XIX century, through the different company merges and buying-ins. Adding to this we receive a precise history about a camera which appeared a particular Araki work.    

Balázs Gáspár: From the Photo Propaganda Department to the Opera House – the life and work of Manó Vajda, also known as Pál M. Vajda
In our previous issue, Balázs Gáspár presented Manó Vajda as the editor of an album of photographs taken at the Labour Day celebrations of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. However, his career involved more than just leading the Photo Propaganda Department. He stayed in Budapest even after the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic; witnesses claimed that he worked as a caretaker during the revolution. Afterwards, he gave up politics and primarily reported on the world of theatre but kept his studio as well, where aristocrats and prominent figures of theatre were regular visitors. Balázs Gáspár's article helps researchers interested in this era understand and evaluate the life and work of Manó Vajda, later Pál M. Vajda, more accurately.    

Anne Kotzan: Boris Becker and the high-rise bunkers
To most readers, the word bunker means a reinforced underground shelter. However, Germany erected several-story-high camouflaged buildings for the same purpose during the war. These buildings continue to stand today, woven into the fabric of cities. Anne Kotzan presents the photo series and book compiled and written by Boris Becker on this topic, published in parallel with the organisation of an exhibition in Cologne.   

Zsófia Somogyi: "No one knows the unifiable emptiness. No one but you." - Examples of processing grief in contemporary Hungarian photography
In what way is grief represented in the works of contemporary Hungarian photographers? Can we deduce something generally true in connection with this? Zsófia Somogyi compares the photograph series of seven contemporary artists focused on grief and the processing of grief in her article.  

Zsófia Somogyi: Nadja Massün: Intimate Univers - (Capa Center. 19. Septembre 2019. – 10. November)
Zsófi Somogyi analyses the artistic approach of Nadja Massün through the works exhibited in the Capa Center recently. She interprets the intimacy, the interpersonal connections between the artist and her daughters with sincere empathy. How these relations form a Universe? How these relations fill the Universe with the feeling of cosiness? How is this warmth mirroring on the works without to be kitsch? It's a sensible border. The essay of Zsófi Sonogyi helps us to believe, in this case of this series, it was an adequate way of the presentation.  

Réka Szentirmay: Lust for Life
The Nederlands Fotomuseum preserves more than 40.000 diapositives from Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990). In the last year, the museum organised a vast exhibition from the finally conserved heritage. Though the black and white works wasn't a part of the exhibition, the show provided a characteristic overview of van der Elsken's style of living, his interest and his way of seeing. The article introduced the reader into the details of the life of this street photographer, his socio-sensitive approach, his openness to human fate.

Balázs Zoltán Tóth: Photos in purgatory
The leading exhibition of the Photo Month in Bratislava was organised from the works of Joan Fontcuberta under the title: Gastropoda. Using this occasion and the opportunity to meet the Spanish master, Balázs Zoltán Tóth compiled a unique overview of his series. The concepts of his series continuously questioning the documentative function of the photography: where are the borders, why we believe it? Fontcuberta is very active as a theoretician and teacher as well. His approach is based on the thought that a photo is sui generis a manipulated record from reality.

Klára Tőry: Dr Jenő Sevcsik was born 120 years ago.
The 120th anniversary of Jenő Sevcsik's birth was in 2019. His person, work and passion for photography left a deep mark on the history of Hungarian photography. He wrote more than thirty books and was teaching or organising courses practically regularly from the end of the 1920s. To celebrate his birthday, Klára Tőry wrote a commemorative article about his life.