Our series of exhibitions with catalogues, called Present Continuous aims to present the works of young Hungarian photographers without restrictions concerning genre or technique, interpreting a subject from a wide angle of views.
The first of the exhibition – housed by Museu de Imagem, Braga, Portugal, in May, 2005 – featured the works of Gabriella Csoszó, Katalin Elek Judit, Sarolta Szabó and Szilvi Tóth. The photographers introduced at this exhibition, titled “Restless glances” reflect to their personal experiences of life in different ways, sometimes unsettling, sometimes contemplative.
Present Continuous II was organized in the Platán Gallery of Institut Polski, Budapest, in spring, 2006, featuring the works of Enikõ Hangay, Zsuzsanna Kemenesi, Tamás Nagy, Péter Puklus. The subject of the second exhibition - titled “Silent moments” – is, just like the first time, the personal space of the artists, and its definitive, private elements: family, social and human connections, their homes’ private landscapes, the objects and persons appearing in those lands, and the question, how can these things be shown on a photograph?
Present Continuous III – exhibiting the pictures of this catalogue – shall be housed by the upstairs rooms of Budapest Gallery in the end of September, 2007, featuring the works of Tamás Hossala, Mónika Merva, Dániel Kovalovszky and Lilla Szász. The exhibition titled “Living together” presents the lives of communities consisting of people joined by their similar circumstances of life. The reason for their living together is their age, social state, or their place in society, or the lack of it. They live in some kind of institutes not as a consequence of their own choice, but only by chance, as a consequence of imperatives supposed to be unavoidable. Their everyday lives and their almost identical aspirations are defined by their common fate, stemming in their similar conditions of life. They live in a world, where the freedom of choice is not a valid alternative.
The photographers have already taken sides by their choice of subject matter. They decided to show and share intimate moments, the fates, and desires of these people by their own photographical means. They each make their photographs using different artistic strategies during the long time spent together.
Tamás Hossala introduces us to his own workplace. He presents us situations, portraits, objects and interiors of the home for orphans he works at. He observes the contingency of the tools and processes of photographing, to preserve the totality and uniqueness of the given moment. We can see some of the chosen moments paired up with another one. By pairing these images made in different times, and different places, he managed to create a new reality only valid in this new context.
Daniel Kovalovszky attempts to tell, how old people live in their houses for the elderly. The conditions of coexistence for different generations have changed, the traditional family model disintegrated, shutting experienced old people out of the circle of everyday life, making them the inhabitants of a special institute, enhancing their isolation. What can still make them happy? Can they find their places in the monotony of everyday life, can they pass on their knowledge, can they express their emotions? While we read the answers on their wrinkled faces, we become part of their slow and painful passing.
Mónika Merva introduces the dwellers of the children’s town, through her lyrical portraits. Her pictures taken indoors or outdoors, from close up or faraway, always take us to the heart of personalities, as she sees them. She is making a family photo-album of a family bound together not by blood, but by the acceptance of a common fate, and attention, openness to each other. We can catch a glimpse of an unknown world, strange fates closed into the depths of their eyes through the gestures recorded by her sensually beautiful photographs.
Lilla Szász in her series presenting female lives 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. Her photographs are always the parts of a commons story, begun well before the exposition, not ending in the photograph. Enlarged photographs are shown to its subjects, making way for further conversation, and the further forming of the photograph by dialogue. Her photographs do not only talk about those on the picture, but always relate the connection between the subjects, and its emotional contents.
Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymezõ utca 20.