Hungarian House of Photography

József Pécsi GranteesJózsef Pécsi Grantees

Awarding a photography grant prompts several questions. The applications are judged by a jury whose members all wish to assert their own opinions. The result is mostly an assessment of quality, but also must reach an agreement as to the best works amongst what is shown that year.

The exhibition of József Pécsi Grant-holders may embarrass some viewers. The points of view, the philosophies of the five photographers on show are different that is begs the question whether it is adequate to judge the exhibited works by quality or would it be better to consider content. In brief, we should not brood over the question of which is good or which is the best, but over the message the photograph conveys.

The professional backgrounds of the five artists offer distinct differences which may explain the range of ideas and attitudes so apparent in their pictures. Dezső Szabó and Ákos Wechter approach photography from the field of fine arts, while Luca Gőbölyös, András Fekete and Zsuzsanna Kemenesi from a traditional standpoint. The aspect of content can be examined between two ’poles’. On one side, there is the documentary representation of reality, on the other a constructed world captured by photography. András Fekete stands at the former pole. He photographs his everyday life and the social problems he observes. His constantly changing canvas – the former Soviet Union – reveals a simultaneous inspection of the past, present and future through a very special world of objects and scenes.

Zsuzsanna Kemenesi also tackles reality, though what she does is far from documentary photographgy. Her visual notions drive her toward abstract images made explicit by her methods of enlarging and editing photographs. Her intentions are also emphasized by contrasted black and white development. The result is a series in wich the highlighted motifs become metaphors through the emphasis they receive and the role they play in the compositions. Luca Gőbölyös’ realism is more consistent and narrower in theme. She is interested in the symbolism of female body and how the body itself changes over time. She takes advantage of her subject’s accessibility in several different ways, allowing the technical aspect of the image to contribute to the diversity of presentation. Luca Gőbölyös is an experimental artist and highly influenced by fine arts as her unique work involvong plastic frames attests.

Ákos Wechter is known as a painter. His photography-series of the past two years reflects a search for the contemporary projection of baroque art. He revives the ’vanitas’ image in his arranged and manipulated compositions, in wich he mixes well-known symbols (coins, skull, book) with others lesser known. The background and the accesories, which define the identity and age of the artist, play a significant role in emphasizing the idea of transience.

Dezső Szabó’s art is based on a fictional re-thinking of the world. He arranges his thematic series from images found in magazines and television, though he consistently re-builds the world presented this way. He creates small maquettes, which are photographed on sensitized film to evoke uncertainly in the viewer about the question of truth and falsity, reality and unreality. His works address criticism to the one-sided presentation of the world given by the news media.

The conceptions presented above lie between documentary and a re-created world. We have the chance to meet five artistic interpretations of presentation and representation of reality at the exhibition of the second year József Pécsi-Grant holders. They represent Hungarian photography today with its many paths, ideas and practices.

Zsolt Petrányi


Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymező utca 20.
Telephone: 473-2666
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