‘Present Continous’ – Sodobna fotografija iz Madžarske

from November 11 until December 5, 2010

Galerija sodobne umetnosti Celje

The young artists selected for the series – started in 2005 and continuously expanding since then – represent every type of photography: from autonomous photographers, documentary photographers working with photo-essays as well as photo-reporters. The diversity and uniqueness of their works reflect the questions of the present. The theory behind these exhibitions is to give a reflection to a given question from many points of views, as it was reflected in the series of the individual artists following their own styles. The continuously expanding exhibition material is providing comprehensive picture of the Hungarian contemporary trends.

The exhibition is organized into four thematic chapters: Anxious Looks, Silent Moments, Living Together and Visible Stories.

Present Continuous I – Anxious Looks

Gabriella Csoszó has been taking photographs of her four adopted brothers for many years. Her portraits show episodes from the universal story of growing up, grasped with a fine, sensual hand. The photographical journal of Judit Katalin Elek belongs to the category of the self-examining and self-revealing photography. Her personality is the magnet that draws presented landscapes, people, meetings and atmospheres into one pictorial story. Sarolta Szabó examines the place she lives in – this happens to be a housing project. In her pictures, she is looking for the answers to various basic questions in the form of investigation. With this she distances herself from private experiences and interprets the setting of her life from the viewpoint of a stranger. In her series, Szilvi Tóth shows specific and interesting people, who are however mostly unknown to us. Wherever she roams in the cities of Europe she always finds and depicts the same things as the life signs of her own generation.

Present Continuous II – Silent Moments

Enikő Hangay depicts picturesque scenes in our chaotic everyday lives. She uses hidden interrelationships of shapes and colours to show us the presence of nature in our lives everywhere and eternally. The origin of Zsuzsanna Kemenesi’s series Sweet like cherry, fine like wine is a self-portrait, which collects five generations within different realizations of presence in one picture. Tamás Nagy takes photos with greatest care, patience and discipline. He presents places, objects and people situated in his neighbourhood in photos coloured with tea. Through his observations he always highlights things, sets borders and at the same time opens gates to internal attention and meditation. Péter Puklus takes photos of people in  their  private lives: photos taken in homes of his models not only uncover their originality, but also show objects surrounding the models’ everyday lives.

Present Continuous III – Living Together

Tamás Hossala introduces his own workplace through situations, portraits, objects and interiors of the home for orphans he works at. He observes the contingency of the tools and processes of photographing and preserves the totality and uniqueness of that given moment. Daniel Kovalovszky attempts to tell how old people in their houses for the elderly live. The conditions of coexistence for different generations have changed, the traditional family model has disintegrated and shut the experienced old people out of the circle of everyday life and thus enhanced their isolation. Mónika Merva introduces the dwellers of the children’s town, through her lyrical portraits that always take the viewer to the heart of personalities, as she sees them. In her series, which presents female lives, Lilla Szász constantly reflects on people whose future is fundamentally determined by their social situation. Her choice of subject is already a provocation of the indifference of society, the lack of courage to face the problem.

Present Continuous IV – Visible Stories

In his Tébánya series Szabolcs Barakonyi records the everyday life of a generation about to be lost with a sensitive eye and real care. The children born in the years around the regime-change are becoming young adults now. Tamás Dezső’s photographs made in Romania present the country and its inhabitants in artistic compositions. His subject matter consists of people showing their obedience to the most basic human rules and living in unbelievable poverty. András Fekete shows us his “motherland”, its great cities and their thousand faces, people interacting with the landscape and a closed world seen in the mirror of an unusual community. Landscapes presenting cities and the country are complemented by portraits and snapshots of the inhabitants of a juvenile prison. Zoltán Molnár has taken his Transylvanian gypsy portraits from the position of the photographer coming from the outside world and becoming accepted, finding a place and a role in the community. With the force of their simplicity and minimalism these pictures state simple positive truths about these people and their universe.

Gabriella Csizek

In collaboration with Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House, Budapest.