SUMMARY 2002/5-6

As usual volume 2002/5–6 of the Fotóművészet starts with interviews with Hungarian contemporary photographers.

The first interview made by Sándor Bacskai is not an ordinary interview. The “Karcsi – memories of a photo artist’s wife” is an interview made with Maria Magdolna Dicső widow of Károly Gink who passed away early 2002. The monologue is an imprint of the fifty year long common life of the couple, a melancholic stream of memories, a subjective photo history; but at the same time the system of relationship between artists and their wives.

In this interview Vince Lussa prominent Hungarian photographer of nudes talks about his life: the photo artist was born in 1924, and started photographing in 1940. He had learned the basics of photographing in the Förster photo laboratory, then he was co-worker of László Várkonyi, and worked for theatrical and film journals. After World War II for long he used to have a job other than his “trade”; he started again photographing in 1957. It is known to not too many people that one of Hungary’s most prominent photographer of nudes was accused of pornography and brought to trial in the late fifties.

The third interviewee is György Stalter known for his social-sensitive reports who now presents his extraordinary portraits. The photo artist and photographer of the one-time youth magazines Ifjúsági Magazin, Magyar Ifjúság and the weekly Képes 7, who was born in 1956, is talking enthusiastically about his relation to photography. To have an inkling of it let’s quote an early experience of his: “I can clearly define facts through which photography was getting more important to me… I started rummaging through my father’s negatives and enlarging blurred and spoiled pictures… I was like someone rummaging, looking unauthorised into his family’s life, like opening a drawer, or going up to the garret which I have to do with, but I haven’t been there for thirty years.”

“Message note” is the title of the article in which Ernő Fejér interprets his characteristic still lifes that cross the boundaries between photography and graphics: “I am sending messages to the scarry time… I leave behind signals, peeling pieces of my sentiments. I am hiding in objects, I enclose my growing fears, irony, anger, desires, neurosis and my shutting and opening myself into silver grains; like an artisan private mythologist. Because it is a nonsense that the imprint of my existence thinner than film, would dissolve into thin air in the draught of history.”

Gábor Pfisztner, too, comments on Ernő Fejér’s work: “The photograph is just a fragment of the meaning of the whole of a work. More meanings are contained in the installations on the picture, or sometimes in montages or collages interpreted as their background or as their integral part. By means of the installations Fejér creates unrealistic spaces distorted to indiscernible, which often reminds you of the inconsistent perspectives in unrealistically deep spaces, of Carrá’s and de Chirico’s metaphysical period, evoking unreal circumstances and reflections you encounter there.”

Roger Eldridge editor of the Camera Press Photo Agency salutes the memory of Yousuf Karsh who passed away at age of ninety-three. He outlines the career of perhaps the greatest figure of portrait photography, and at the same time he discloses “secrets” which are usually known only to colleagues having an intimate relationship. Eldridge could enjoy Karsh’s friendship for thirty years, and at the same time as picture editor he could work with the marvellous pictures which he will never ever again be able to see.

In our Nikon Gallery we usually display the works of contemporary artists. This time, however, the colour photos of photo artist Jenő Dulovits who passed away thirty years ago, are put on show. Part of the photos from the thirties and the forties is experimenting with reversible diapositive film which at that time counted as novelty. The photo collection is completed with an essay “Colours and light” by this prominent personality of Hungarian photo history.

Thanks to Ibolya Cs. Plank, here are two recently published books by László Lugo Lugosi dealing with photography – “György Klösz Monography 1844 – 1913” and “György Klösz – photographs”. Plank goes into these books more thoroughly than her essay could be counted as an ordinary book review. A summary of the book review is published in this magazine; for the complete version go to the Internet.

Károly Kincses reviews the latest volume of a series of photo historical books published by the Hungarian Photographic Museum. The books, titled “Apropos Angelo” are illustrated with 110 pictures. According to the photo museologist, Angelo was one of the most prominent personalities in Hungarian photography. The book can serve both to confirm those who agree with it, and to convince the sceptics, or to draw the attention of the indifferent.

Author of the next part of the photo historical series is Etelka L. Baji. On the basis of the Marastoni-daguerreotypy acquired mid-2002 by the Photographic Archive of the Hungarian National Museum, she sums up what should be known of one of the first Hungarian photographers, and of the Kossuth-daguerreotypy.

In an essay “Hidden Escher-pictures” Ferenc Markovics reports that he came across accidentally the great reporter’s unknown photos in a family photo album. While something “turned up” in that report, something has been lost in his other essay “Our compatriots on the stamps”: in 1989 on the 150th anniversary of inventing photography: the Hungarian Post rejected a stamp sketch that has now been realised by the Americans.

Zoltán Fejér reports on photokina 2002 i.e. on the 16th International Photoscene: “The photokina could be compared to an orchestra with excellent soloists, which is directed by more than one conductor. And yet the products exhibited on the Show, talks, conferences and exhibitions of the skeleton programme are harmonising, the most important findings can be formulated with some overgeneralization. This time there has been no common denominator, as the APS camera was a few years ago. For all that it is impossible not to notice that currently the main topic was the preparation of the print.”