What else could we do on a rainy Monday afternoon than visit a photo exhibition of Hungarian contemporary artists in Hungarian House of Photography? Hungary has always been famous for its great photographers and their ability to be in the right place at the right time. In the Budapest Broadway district, in front of Moulin Rouge we find “Mai Manó Ház”, smartly hidden between a hair salon and an artsy café in street Nagymező.
Mai Manó Ház gives home to several temporary photo exhibitions, this time the visitors can see the works of Emese Kudász and Tamás Féner.
Emese Kudász , the famous painter ad graphic designer has passed away recently and her legacy was carefully collected by his son. The visitors can walk room by room and follow the mind of an artist as she collects materials from the outer world to express her inner feelings. It seems that the first exhibition serves as a preparation for what we call photography. It shows how many things in life can be inspiring from a ball of rice to extruded vegetation.
Tamás Féner documented the Hungarian „milieu” between 1952 and 2013 as a professional photographer and a co-worker of MTI (Hungarian National News Agency).
The concept of the second exhibition is again, clear and followable due to nice arrangement and spacious halls. In the 50’s and 60’s he mainly focused on portraits about Hungarian artists such as Kassák Lajos, the famous avant-garde poet and painter. All of the artists are portrayed as people who are truly committed to their work and aware of the power of their art. As they are standing, sitting in their studio, these black and white photos tell you a lot. Tamás Féner has definitely managed to deliver the message: beside pure talent, there is hard work, diligence and effort.
On the second wall of the first hall, there is a nice mixture of genre-photos and set photos about artists who had performed during their whole life. Who does not like the melancholic figure of Zoltán Latinovits and his everlasting roles or the grace of ballet dancers? There is an obvious parallel between ordinary and exceptional moments in life when rare, but big things happen to us, and we are „ in the spotlight”.
In the second hall, the photographer shows a completely different side of his and invites us to the world of Hungarian countryside. This time he plays with geometry in nature, depicting the landscape in its solitude. He shows the result but leaves the process unsaid; he wants us to associate the plough, crop and the harvest with the sweat and hard work again.
It seems that the message has been delivered successfully: walking down on the stairs, I took a roundabout way and visited the book and photo shop on the basement. The nice lady patiently waited until I made my decision: a black and white postcard, portraying a clown while he is improvising on a field. Life is a theater indeed.
by Wilson Luca