In our series, in a thematic selection, we show artworks, which were made with the support of the Pécsi József Photography Grant. The second subject is the human and its environment. How do we live in our natural and our artificial environment? What traces do we leave behind in nature and in the city, and what impact do we have on each other and on the landscape? The photos of Attila Haid, Gábor Arion Kudász and Máté Bartha deal with these particularly current issues.
“In Attila Haid’s photos the phenomenon of nature created in pictures in different series. The geometrical elements, made by man, get closer to natural forms with a subjective picture cutting. The clear, simply composed pictures, conveying a lot at the same time, suggest his respect for traditional photo technique.” (Kutasi Tünde, 1999)
Attila Haid received the Pécsi József Photography Grant in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Have a look at the other photos of the series on the site of the Pécsi József Photography Grant!
“When denoting humans, 6 billion, 1 million, even 10,000, seem beyond one’s grasp: even ten people may be too many for a room. Why do people gather in a particular place, and how do they preserve their individuality? What kind of people are they anyway? What is the purpose they unite for – if it is unity, and not chance mixing? Are they happier together? Does their union not make them ludicrous in the eyes of the outside observer? Do the participants of a mass event need the justification provided by their number to feel good, as if it were a proof of a good choice: since others are also present, this must be the right place at the right time?
We know man is a social animal, but a crowd is not company. Somewhere the group ends in which every participant has a perceptibly formative role, and another, larger-scale organization begins. Social loneliness is a common occurrence in a crowd, as is voluntary uniformity and frustration. On this scale, the personal interaction of members loses its natural quality, becomes noise that hinders homogeneity, an unwanted manifestation of poor organization. It is replaced by thinking along rallying cries that answer simplistic questions. The crowd sets an obstacle to dispassionate dialogue, which is why it is favored by dictators and whoever likes to fish in troubled waters. Any individual would shun a crowd, yet people instinctively seek those situations where the formation of a crowd is likely. There must be a shifting boundary, where the group still does not melt into the crowd, where in the foreground of the homogenous mass man seeking happiness is still identifiable.” (Gábor Arion Kudász)
Gábor Arion Kudász received the Pécsi József Photography Grant in 2004, 2007 and 2011.
“Máté Bartha’s first book, Common Nature observes human society adapted in urban space, with Budapest being representation for all the other cities – societies. A city is visualized as a mirror of human society. It can be understood as a criticism of twisted human values, shaped by an urban environment. However, the book ultimately deals with questions regarding human perception, that easily allows one to accept phenomena that is contradictory to human and social needs. Photographic approach cannot be classified as a pure documentary as the author does not hesitate to stage situations he needs in his message. However, staged and not-staged imagery merge to compose one common visuality, wherein ambivalence corresponds with the ambivalence in the meaning of each particular image. Character of the imagery inspired to compose the book as a developing line, suggesting an abstract story. Moreover, ordering of the recurrent motives and their interconnecting throughout the book should also suggest never-ending cycling in ‘reading’ of the book. The book was conceptually prepared with the Slovak independent curator Zuzana Lapitková.” (Máté Bartha, 2013)
Máté Bartha received the Pécsi József Photography Grant in 2013. Have a look at the other photos of the series on the site of the Pécsi József Photography Grant!
“The purpose of the Pécsi József Photography Grant founded in 1991 was to ‘help to start the career, creative work, and development of talented photographers working as independent artists, and to provide them with beneficial conditions for creating high standard artworks, which are modern both in terms of form and content.’ […] An important element of the scholarship is that the artists selected by the jury present their series in a physical form. The most important aim of the archive to be compiled for the 25th anniversary of the Pécsi József Photography Grant is to make up for a deficiency of these two and a half decades: to present the works of art created in this period in a digital form, to make them accessible, visible and researchable. For the sake of completeness and accuracy, the archive is edited and updated continuously, and the descriptions of the series are published in English language as well.” (Judit Gellér, curator, the operator of the archive)
On the 25th anniversary of the grant, in 2016, the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center organized the exhibition Pécsi 25, showcasing the works of previous grant recipients. Related to the exhibition, studies written by Judit Gellér, Attila Horányi, József Mélyi, Monika Perenyei, and Miklós Zsámboki were published. The book is available at Capa Center.