Hungarian House of Photography
Earlier Exhibitions
André Kertész Hall


Colored Old Air
NahTe Presents the Photographic Works of János Vető and of Prince Kina on Digital Prints + Original Silver Gelatins 24. May 2003. - 8. July 2003.

Opening Ceremony: 24. May 2003. at 6 p.m.

Fragments about “About The New Photo”
On the pretext of the works of János Vető (b.1953)

I know, says János Vető, why I didn’t become, let’s say, a painter. Because, compared to a space ship, a painting is a prehistoric thing.

The camera is contemporary to the present level of technological development, but at the same time, it is more progressive than the more modern medium of motion pictures or television, because the use of them depends on a superstructure generally known to be sluggish. Motion pictures and the apparatus to project them are incomprehensible. The papua native can play wonderfully with a model airplane. The time of motion pictures has not arrived.

The photograph is a climatic environment. The photo is the century’s global view. The photo is real.

A whole generation suddenly happened upon photography, as one of the five most preferable representational activities. The one who stands out in this sociological soup, yet doesn’t alienate himself from it in the process, is a model of integrity.

I was always careful, says János Vető, to remain an amateur. To a professional degree.

My models, says János Vető, while I worked with models, were completely professional amateurs. Amateurs, because they were my friends. Professionals, because they knew how to look into my camera.

The successful picture is a successful face, a successful motion. Photos don’t document us, they realize our appearances.

The photo impels a man to be a woman, a young man to be old, a son to be his own mother, the stranger to be another stranger, whose only connections are resemblance.

It incites the crossing of the borders and the limits of personality.

I strive, says János Vető, to do something other than what the rest of the field is doing. Something else, somehow differently. It’s not just the product that is new, the intellectual market is, too.

The photo is the cult of the dead for the twentieth century. It intermingles, unobstructed, with actual reality; it is homogeneous with it; it so interweaves and re-weaves everyday practical experience, and so stimulates our viewpoint, that it becomes indeterminable which records the past and which irritates the future.

To discover something, says János Vető, is a good thing. To receive it complete is even better, because from there you can see the next step. I was born after the end of the world; this, of course, makes it difficult for me to deal with the things of people who still trouble themselves with manufacturing or averting the apocalypse.

The photo is another world. That other world, is the world we live in, yet we haven’t realized it. The photograph has become comprehensible to us.?Let’s plug in, says János Vető, that microphone into the cassette-player. Then, the most we’ll have to do is talk. I sympathize with the twentieth century.

Those who imagine that the medium can change their image without them changing themselves are wrong; they don’t recognize that they are serving that which they wish to rule, this would be the anachronistic collaboration of reaction.

After a while, says János Vető, I became topical to myself, as a subject. This doesn’t result in self-analysis, but in analysis of the combination of personality and the camera. The photographer person is another kind of being, like the watcher in a mirror.

Of course, I spent quite a lot of time looking in a mirror. With my camera. Perception of the new medium points in the direction of freedom. Perception of the new medium is a changed perception; a kind that perceives it’s own changes. The perception of changes is a minimum requirement for the evolution of a program of change.

Changed perception comes to an object, like upon raw material; realization of the “exterior” theme flows into the “interior”, just as acquisition in the “interior” is a theme of the “exterior”.

For the sake of the picture, says János Vető, I must dip my hand in reality. I hate the “lost moments”. The camera doesn’t spy. One must employ the object for the camera.

Photography: action. To be “perceived through instruments” or to “perceive with instruments” creates a new situation. Change in perception suggests a change in the form of existence; those who recognize the possibilities in these changes create connections, not with reality, but with history.

First and foremost, says János Vető, I consider myself a photographer, because this is where we must substitute the greatest shortcomings. But I don’t see sense in differentiating the problems of fine art from those of the photo.

The creative photo is the fine art of the seventies. Not one of the branches of fine art, but the fine art. The photograph is the front. This is where, for a good period already, the deciding battle of the changing viewpoint is occurring, because technology is democratic and international.

The revolution of the industrial point of view has already happened. We just haven’t taken account of the consequences. Indeed, in order to see it clearly, we haven’t even noticed them.

The “New Photo” speaks from the instrument-saturated world, about just that. From its vantage, the “New Photo” can denounce its transitive alliance with photography as well as art; its accomplishments speak in the name of that entire civilization, which made this medium one of the foundational forms of communication.

From: Mozgó Világ 1977/1. 68-70. p.


Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
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