Eight years ago, a group of friends – artists, photographers and theoreticians - who wanted to show and promote the recent tendencies in contemporary Hungarian photography, established Lumen Photography Foundation. They were filling an enormous gap in the cultural life of Budapest and wished to compare the works of their generation with those of international artists. Since then, the presence and visibility of contemporary photography has gained much more space in Hungary and parallel to this, the gallery of the foundation has become an internationally acclaimed physical and virtual place for exhibitions, collaborations, and residencies.
The exhibitions and events in Lumen Gallery are generally founded on intelligible social, historical or political issues of common interest and they share the analytic initiative, questioning the power and the impact of photography as one of the most influential contemporary mass medium governing our society. The program of the gallery is discussed and decided by a board of curators: Claudia Martins, Gergely László, György Orbán, Judit Csatlós, Krisztina Erdei and Miklós Surányi – assuring a democratic and open minded choice and creating an extensive panorama on current achievements in photography.
Almost a decade of work and this year’s initiative, Focus on Central Europe, proposed by the team of Paris Photo , provided our participation in the section Statements. In our booth we will represent three artists whose work is characterized by three different kinds of visual and conceptual approaches toward Hungarian reality, embedded in diverse stories and realized with singular imagery.The photographs of Zsolt Fekete (1967) in his series “Search of Time” (2003-2010) present Transylvanian land and cityscapes—a region which once belonged to Hungary. This loss and in general, Eastern European past is still a hypersensitive question in everyday discourse. Fekete circumspectly re-photographs some nineteenth century descriptive and romantic shots to underline the barely perceptible configurations of change by confronting the illusion of past end present, by juxtaposing the history of the soil and of nations. The photographer also adds a personal sense and time to his series, broadening the comparison between the images from his past and present.
(Photo: Törökszentgyörgy, Balázs Orbán 1869 / Zsolt Fekete 2003)
Krisztina Erdei (1976) records the fragments of her environment in bittersweet pictures, or as she expresses it, she tries to draw the ‘geography of the everyday’ with them. It seems as if grotesque accidents and unnoticed trifles were paraded out together in her images. Scenes formed and given by life are recorded like snapshots, and this ad hoc sensation brings us to a point where we cannot stop to smile at the banality of the everyday, at others and thus, at ourselves.
One of Krisztina’s images, from the series Diósor (Sci-fi), is nominated for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo .
Tehnica Schweiz (Péter Rákosi, 1970 and Gergely László, 1979) produces socially sensitive, mostly collaborative projects in order to give visibility to hidden problems in Hungary. The “Garage Project” (2007-2010) was a long-term, participative mission of the group where they intervened in a monotone settlement of a union of 1200 garages built in Socialist times by an iron-factory in the industrial city of Dunaújváros. They staged photographs in the small interiors of this communist construction (everybody has a cube) - using also the ideas of some other artists. To accomplish their action, they’ve organized already the Garage Festival twice, which fulfilled the participation of the local community and involved the entire neighborhood.
(Photo: Tehnica Schweiz)
Beside these conceptual projects we will show eight other emerging photographers in our booth – to hold on to the engagement of Lumen also at Paris Photo – in order to offer a wider platform for the talented young photographers of Hungary. Thus we will represent limited edition portfolios, specially made for this occasion with the series of Sári Ember, Marcell Esterházy, Arion Gábor Kudász, Dániel Németh, György Orbán, Péter Puklus, Miklós Surányi, and Róbert Szabó Benke.
The participation of the Lumen Gallery at Paris Photo is sponsored by the Hungarian Ministry of National Resources and the Hungarian National Cultural Fund.
Also we are grateful to the Hungarian Institute, the Godot Gallery, the Sulyok Family, the Bortársaság and the Lab4Art studio in Budapest for their precious help.
Le Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris
Salle Soufflot, Statement Section, D 33-as stand
Open: Thursday - Saturday 11:30 - 20:00 and Sunday 11:30-19:00