Edited dialog between Gabriella Csizek and Gábor Pfisztner

An edited dialog of email exchanges between Gabriella Csizek and Gábor Pfisztner about Krisztina Erdei’s series Nut alley, a series that has not been the object of much public discussion.

 

G.Cs.: How would you begin to define the intensity and crisp energy of Kriszta Erdei?

G.P.: It is rather difficult. The photos are fairly unequivocal. They don’t want to be anything else than what they are. She does not want to imply or refer to anything or anybody. She is not keeping secrets. Yet, most of the photos entail what Roland Barthes calls photographic shock: the rarity, the invisible to the eye, the photographic take on what’s found or happens unexpectedly.

 

G.Cs.: What makes it so difficult to define the photos? Is it because they are, in fact, unequivocal and don’t hold secrets? Is it, perhaps, difficult to talk or think about something that is identical with itself? That does not hide behind anything else? That makes declarations about what it actually shows and not what it may suggest? This makes Kriszta’s photos very important and likeable for me, since they discuss the world in such a clear way. She condenses her perception of the world into focused expressions of supposed private photos. Concerning their content and technique, the details are in unity in both the applied technique and the final photo. This is what makes her (and her photos) genuine.

G.P.: Yet, none of this seems coerced as the photos themselves protest with their awkward, clumsy, silly appearance of a snapshot. This, at the same time, however, is intimidating as it is the actual “making” of this “unsophisticatedness” that holds the biggest challenge and task to this kind of photography.

Cs.G.: The question is: why? Why does she take photos like this? What does this mean?

G.P.: It means that we can see the exact, deliberate crop, the composition itself; however, all that is within that composition seems to have only appeared in the spur of the moment. As if she was compelled to take these shots by the joy of amazement and not by the intention of making photos.
We know that Kriszta has been taking pictures like this for ten years now.
We could draw parallels with many international photographers; not that anybody would copy anybody else. Yet, they get to the same place. Like Richard Billingham, or Corinne Day when she is not shooting editorials.

Cs.G.: Don’t they rather belong the line of Nan Godin? I think Kriszta has, at least not yet gone so evidently close to the EXISTENCE, to the presentation of reality in such visceral ways. If you know what I mean…

G.P.: Sure, you are right. At the same time, I think that on the level of intentions she has embarked on that route. This life space may not be that ravaged and, therefore, it is not as shocking. This way we can pay more attention to things that affect the soul over the mind…

Cs.G.: We agree on the level of intentions. With this series, I believe, Kriszta gets closer to the soul, since so far she’s mostly shown things from the outside as a spectacle.
Now I see her openly taking a turn towards existential questions, while she consistently continues what she’s been doing before – yet, she’s headed in a different direction.
She belongs to these people. She knows personal spheres, events of yesterday and today, common celebrations, unrealized dreams. Therefore, there are multiple layers behind each other (this was already present in her series Models); while there is also a great amount of delicacy besides a defined articulation of opinions.

G.P.: […photographers like her] discover structure and order in the spectacle and, thus, they explore “beauty.”

Cs.G.: I also believe that what she presents is not beauty in the usual sense of the word. It’s rather thought-provoking, unsettling, and strange. This is her code of reality that disturbs the everyday mechanisms of viewing and pictures and looking for symbols.

G.P.: […] Beauty for me too comes from what’s very human (fallible, defenselessness), as well as from everyday banality. […]
We both agree that what we see makes us think and intimidated at the same time. Can anybody get to the level of awareness when looking into the finder and see all the details of the photo that come into play for the spectators as they attach meanings to them? We can also agree that it is rather confusing or disturbing how we automatically associate meanings to these details of signs. These are things that mean something as we can name them. Yet, suddenly they appear different exactly because Kriszta makes them visible. At the same time, this actually makes them resist being named since they stop only carrying the meaning of the simple things they remind us of. And now I am not talking about the “culturally” coded message from Barthes. To the contrary. It is not about the message but the naming. It’s not important what associations are connected to a child or what the image of a child means to me. […] With Kriszta, things are, to the full sense of the word, unequivocal. While the spectacle is shocking (in the Barthes-ian sense), staggering but I can name everything. I can associate a word to everything. In the case of Kriszta, this is not the case.
This is, of course, good. She does confuse and amaze me. And then we are back at the beginning. Even if it may seem like a contradiction. The photos are unequivocal in things just being there. The tree, the garden, the things. But the way they are there make them seemingly resist the possibility of naming.

G.Cs.: Yes as they entail the “identical and the different in one at the same time” (as discussed by Françios Soulages in his bookon the Aesthetics of Photogarphy.
We, however, can try to identify the things seen. That is exactly how we can get closer to the otherwise inexpressible secret of the photo. If we are consistent in identifying items, we can arrive at the moment of crossing a boundary resulting in the appearance of mysterious correlations among objective descriptions.

I’ve found a rather important sentence in the interview with Kriszta that may provide a key to this series (although, in a different context): „[…] how one can write their own fate with photos.”

 

Nut Alley

Exhibition in Verzo Online Gallery

http://maimano.hu/verzo/erdei_krisztina_en.html

Krisztina Erdei’s Nut alley displays the element of surprise and recognition at the same time. She expresses her opinion about the inhabitants and their immediate environment in an explicit but compassionate way by connecting the seemingly unconnected.

She shares the essence of her experience in a sourly ironic, witty manner, full of characteristic emotional and intellectual content.
Although we are familiar with our human and material surroundings, the strangeness and finiteness these pictures exhibit make an intense impression on us.

However familiar these situations, faces, characters and everyday objects may get, we learn more about our surroundings seen through her artistic eye.
And whether we believe it or not, the Nut alley is only a stone’s throw away from us.

Gabriella Csizek

Antiglamour

Exhibition in Godot Gallery, Budapest

Opening: 12. 01. 2012 8pm

“In the past two years I have thought about pictures only as a picture editor. The series “Antiglamúr” tells of this period. Barriers dissolve, what becomes visible is only located between the lines. As these pictures are illustrations to a non-existent text, they do not need to adjust to anything. Somebody is always alert on the photos. Certain characters pull away, to the background, while others are willing and able to step up into the spot light. The difference between these two types of responsibility is a potential drive to interpret this series. The pictures were taken in Ukrainen, Belgium, Lithuania, Kosovo, and Hungary.” – Krisztina Erdei

 

Attracting international acclaim, works by Krisztina Erdei were shortlisted for BMW prize at Paris Photo 2010. Erdei’s spicy humor and inventive cultural analysis sheds new light on one’s everyday surroundings, typical situations of life.
One feels at ease thinking along the same lines as she does–the resctructuring of one’s environment through communication of expressive, subjective content not only requires, but also triggers creativity, braveness, and sophistication. Krisztina Erdei’s photos make one think. Bizarrely organic constellations are pointed out or created, ever readily to surprise the viewer.
It is never irrelevant where they have been taken–these pictures unfold histories in which the spirit of the locus speaks. All that takes place in the so-called peripheries, could not underestimated. Contemporary feel in Erdei’s photos does not equal with worldly sterility of the iconic places, but rather in the grotesque found in hidden contexts, the triumphs of reinterpreting the local and the petty with a vividness of perspective.
These pictures are critical without becoming judgmental. Providing analysis with apparent care and fondness–although they notice what is revealed in rustic misinterpretations appearing as absurd with globalized eye, they do not prompt condescending laughter, but rather true, thorough attention.
 
Brigitta Iványi-Bitter

Open until: 11st February

JCE Biennial next inauguration at Klaipeda, Lithuania

The second exhibition of the 2011/2013 JCE circuit will open at Klaipeda, in the prestigious Klaipeda Culture and Communication Center ‘KCCC’, a brand new place dedicated to the discovery and promotion of young talents in contemporary art.

Opening: FRIDAY 20th, JANUARY 2012 / 6 p.m.

More info: www.jceforum.eu

New Life/New Document in Braga

Photofestival, Braga, Portugal

NEW DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY IN CENTRAL EUROPE
Curators: Tomáš Pospěch and Vladimír Birgus

Czech Republic
Kateřina Držková and / a Barbora Kleinhamplová; Adam Holý; Hana Jakrlová; Jan Vaca.

Poland
Mariusz Forecki; Grzegorz Klatka; Rafał Milach; Agnieszka Rayss; Urszula Tarasiewicz.

Slovakia
Martin Kollár; Jozef Ondzik.

Hungary
Krisztina Erdei; Mátyás Misetics; Péter Szabó Pettendi.

Folyamatos Jelen V

folyamatos jelen v

Folyamatos Jelen V,
2009

„Valóságkódok”

2490.- HUF

Fotók: Dóka Béla, Erdei Krisztina, Fekete Zsolt, Kudász Gábor Arion
Szerkesztette: Csizek Gabriella
Lapok: számozatlan
Nyelv: magyar, angol

ISBN: 978 963 88529 0 8

 

La jeune hongroise Krisztina Erdei à Paris photo

Perles du Danube

Krisztina Erdei photographie comme elle s’engage.  Pour la Fondation Lumen qu’elle a crée avec sept autres amis artistes, photographes et théoriciens à Budapest en 2002. Leur but ? Développer la visibilité de la photographie hongroise aussi bien sur le plan national qu’international. La jeune femme de 34 ans s’investit de même dans son propre travail : « L’appareil photographique fait partie de mon propre corps », dit t-elle. Son oeuvre présente ainsi « une géographie de tous les jours ». 

Sur la jeunesse, le monde rural, la complexité de la civilisation est-européenne. Même si elle avoue que son  «histoire n’est pas seulement hongroise mais celle d’une femme ordinaire du monde développé ». Et l’artiste, entre désir et insolence, de compulser le maximum de documents. Puis de trouver le juste milieu entre « la photographie la plus classique et le style vidéoclip ».

2010-07-23-morske-ukraina1
La jeune funambule fragile, à travers l’innocence des combinaisons d’images, jongle entre la faille et l’humour. Grâce à sa palette vive et colorée. Comme un bonbon qui pétille. Grâce à sa quête du détail. « En Hongrie, nous disons que le diable est caché dans les détails. Ce doit être vrai ! J’aime jouer avec eux comme avec les stéréotypes du langage photographique ». Elle livre donc une galaxie douce-amère témoin de la grandeur de l’existence par son absurdité et ses imperfections. Du coup, cette merveilleuse manipulatrice du réel croque deux petites filles avec un nez de clown. Zoome sur un bateau en caoutchouc qui se dégonfle. Craque sur une petite fille qui s’endort au milieu de poupées… Soit des instantanés qui amusent et  font sourire. Car « l’humour est un instrument pour parler des choses sérieuses ». La photographe raconte ainsi d’insensées petites histoires qui interrogent et qu’elle dévoile à Paris Photo avec une sélection de pièces uniques. Krisztina Erdei ? Une perle du Danube prête à l’envol. Anne KernerKrisztina Erdei, Lumen Gallery, Mikszath Kalman ter 2, 1088, Budapest, www.photolumen.hu (Image : “Morske, Ukraine”, courtesy Lumen Gallery, Budapest.). Anne Kerne

Formaságok

Antal Jokesz, Photographe et commissaire d’exposition indépendant, 2005.

« S’il existe une sorte de « boom numérique » dans les communications visuelles, qui se manifeste par la prolifération d’images, le travail de Krisztina Erdei peut y être placé. On discerne à l’arrière-plan de son travail, une vision sur l’état actuel de la civilisation est-européenne, qui n’est pas basée sur l’expérience du développement mais plus sur le sentiment de stagnation et d’éventualités. L’autre dimension quand à l’interprétation de sa photographie concerne la personnalité des sujets par une approche sensorielle et un intérêt pour leur environnement. 

Ils ont en commun ce concept de liberté propre à Krisztina Erdei, sensibilité si caractéristique chez cette photographe qui s’évertue à photographier à partir de son identité féminine, saveur particulière qui nous démontre une nouvelle fois qu’à ce jour nous ne pouvons débattre de la génération actuelle de l’est sans auparavant inclure l’image de la femme dans le monde. »

Krisztina Erdei, 2007.

« Une partie de mon travail présente une géographie de tous les jours sur notre génération actuelle. Une autre partie décrit la pensée de la vie rurale, de l’humeur tangible aux hobbies du jardin. Enfin, je reviens sur « la culture du plastique » qui offre un paysage coloré par ces objets d’après pays socialistes venant de l’Occident mais fabriqué à l’Est. Ce travail réalisé entre 2003 et 2007 présente des personnages complexes, certains se veulent réactionnaires à une imperceptible tradition, celle-ci régissant la vie d’autres, comme celle de leurs aînés. Ce qui différencie les deux générations est le symbole controversé de cet environnement publicitaire qui est passé d’une simple illustration à une attraction visuelle sensationnelle.

Pour offrir le résultat d’un amateur en photographie, j’ai souhaité obtenir un travail tiré par un laboratoire de production de masse, ce qui redouble l’effet d’immédiateté dans le tirage.
 

Dans la plupart des cas, les images sont créées par le fonctionnement conjoint entre éventualité et habitude, voir usure. Je recherche moins à montrer une image burlesque qu’à présenter le dessous de l’emballage où l’on pressent une certaine gravité.

Mon travail s’éloigne du documentaire dans un aspect structurel, et se rapproche du subjectif car il représente une vision et non une étude de cas. Par ma formation en philosophie et politologie, je ne peux axer mon documentaire subjectif en recueillant des informations sur un champ prédéfini comme pour une étude de cas. Je me résous facilement à transgresser les limites de la science sur l’humanité en utilisant le concept d’improvisation systématique. Je recherche à créer un résultat sur la capture d’un instant en axant sur les détails du récit réel, car je ne suis pas intéressée par un compréhensible rationnel. Je donne chance à l’accident en recherchant des mouvements, des actes, une narration.»