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FERENZ SCHMIDT: NemciFERENZ SCHMIDT: Germans

 
 
 

Ferenz Schmidt, Veterana, 1958

6. junij – 29. junij 2012

Otvoritev: sreda, 6. junij ob 20. uri

KUD atelje Mikado Ljubljana

Fotografije Ferenza Schmidta so pomemben dokument atmosfere v povojnem Münchnu in Nemčiji. Razkrivajo ga kot pretanjenega opazovalca vsakdanjega življenja z izrednim občutkom za ujetje pravega trenutka in smislom za slikarsko kompozicijo. Schmidta ni zanimala vnaprej postavljena scenska fotografija. V nekem smislu so njegove fotografije kot zen ali poezija, ki zahtevata dolge in natančne priprave za trenutek izražanja. Schmidt je to razumel in uporabil fotografsko tehniko kot svoj izraz.

Ferenz Schmidt je bil rojen v Budimpešti leta 1934. Že kot študent na filmski akademiji v Budimpešti je bral večinoma klasično literaturo (na primer Dostojevskega, Cervantesa, Danteja ali Homerja) ter tudi sam objavil nekaj kratkih zgodb. Ob branju marksistične literature je razvil občutek za socialna vprašanja. Leta 1956, ko je sovjetska vojska okupirala Madžarsko, je Ferenz skupaj z drugimi študenti protestiral. Zaradi goreče angažiranosti je bil aretiran in moral je zapustiti Madžarsko v 24 urah, sicer bi ostal v zaporu. Odšel je. Preko Dunaja je pripotoval v München v začetku leta 1957, star komaj 23 let. Po naključju je srečal svojega strica, ki ga je pozneje podpiral. Stric je v Ferenzu prepoznal umetniški talent in ga je spodbudil, da je začel obiskovati šolo za novinarsko fotografijo.

Med študijem je moral delati reportaže. Motive je iskal na cesti, v parkih povojnega Münchna in Pariza: ljudi med pogovori, zaljubljene pare ali božična obdarovanja v pivnicah in gostilniških vrtovih; na drugi strani pa je dokumentiral brezdomce v tunelih železniške postaje. Leta 1962 se je njegova zelo kratka triletna fotografska kariera končala. Na bavarski televiziji je dobil dokaj rutinsko delo snemalca, močno pa si je želel sodelovati z velikimi režiserji, kot so Fellini, Bergman ali Cocteau – slednji se mu je podpisal na njegovo Leico M2. Ob premieri filma Dolce Vita v Münchnu je fotografiral znane osebnosti kot sta režiser Federico Fellini in igralka Gina Lollobrigida. Leta 1972 je Schmidt tragično umrl v prometni nesreči, star komaj 38 let.

Zaključimo z besedami Cartier-Bressona: »Ferenz Schmidt je vedel, kdaj je treba pritisniti na sprožilec, kdaj nastopi odločilni trenutek«.

(Marko Lah)

Ferenz Schmidt, Veterans, 1958

6 June – 29 June 2012

Opening: Wednesday, 6 June at 8 pm

KUD atelje Mikado Ljubljana

As seen in retrospect, Ferenz Schmidt‘s photographs are valuable documents of the atmosphere in postwar Munich and Germany. His photographs reveal him as a sophisticated observer of daily life, who had an exceptional gift to catch the right moment with a great sense for composition of a painter. Staged or “manufactured” photography did not concern him. Schmidt’s photographs may be compared to Zen or poetry, where the moment of expression can be only precise after long and good preparation. Ferenz Schmidt understood and used the technology of photography for his expression.

Ferenz Schmidt was born in Budapest in May 1934. As a student on Budapest Film Academy he was showing interest in human nature and destiny by reading novels, mainly classics, like Dostoyevsky, Cervantes, Dante and Homer and published some short stories. He also read Marxist literature and developed a sense for social questions which, together with his explosive character, made him a radical student. When in 1956 the Soviet Army invaded Hungary and protests were brutally stopped, Ferenz was arrested together with a group of resisting students. He was told that he had to leave the country in 24 hours otherwise he will remain in prison. He left Hungary. Via Vienna he arrived in Munich in early 1957, at the age of 23. By chance he met his uncle, who became his supporter. He noticed the artistic talents of the young refugee and encouraged him to join the Munich school of photojournalism. Ferenz Schmidt’s artistic expressions were changing: from literature towards photography.

During his studies Schmidt had to do reportages, as well as observations of daily life. His hunting grounds were streets and parks of Munich and Paris, beer gardens, tunnels under the central railway station of Munich, where he was shooting homeless people, people discussing, couples in love or a Christmas charity in a restaurant. In 1962 his very short, only three years long, photographic career ended. He was hired by the news office of Bavarian Television for a routine work of a cameraman, but hoping that one day he will work with directors such as Fellini, Bergman or Cocteau, who as a gesture of sympathy put a signature on his Leica M2. Occasionally, he was shooting celebrities of that time such as Frederico Fellini and Gina Lolobrigida. Schmidt died tragically in a traffic accident in 1972.

To end using Cartier Bresson’s words: Ferenz Schmidt knew when to press the button, when the decisive moments happen.

(Marko Lah)