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33rd Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition

I have long been concerned about the metamorphosis of photojournalism. Of course, you shouldn’t think of a very deep, artistic-philosophical affair. It is only about the path that the photographs go through from the judging of the annual contest to the vernissage of the exhibition.
For the contest, most photographers submit the products of their everyday work, their news photos about daily events from the previous year. Pictures whose function is mostly providing as much information as possible about the events to the readers of newspapers by adding the visual effect. Therefore, photojournalism is not art in this sense, because the pictures are mostly thrown – together with the daily newspaper – to the trash quite soon. It was already worded by the Rolling Stones decades ago:

Who wants yesterday’s papers
Who wants yesterday’s girl
Who wants yesterday’s papers
Nobody in the world

That is, nobody is interested in yesterday’s news.

Therefore, a good press photograph seems to have no more function than simply reporting and providing information in its proper place, published on a page, in a column of a newspaper, reporting on something according to the original meaning of the word: report.
Of course, there are countless examples of press photos becoming impressive works of art from actual daily news pictures. However, I think that this process takes years and decades, also influenced by – among others – changing circumstances, the progress of time and the increasing documentary value of the photographs.
I think it is natural that the pictures go along this way and I feel that it causes some identity crisis for them if they are to become works of art within a very short time – in one or two months from the judging to the vernissage of the exhibition in our case.

After the wide-spread proliferation of commercial television channels and the internet, many people envisaged the end of the Gutenberg Galaxy, but then it turned out that printed books will certainly not disappear from our life. The very successful enterprises of the last one or two decades – e. g. Amazon, just to mention an international example – prove that the internet is not our enemy, but instead it can help the distribution of books. I am afraid, however, that other rules apply to daily newspapers, i.e. one of the main media of press photographs.

Photojournalism has been a distinct genre for almost one hundred years within photography – I deliberately avoid to say art – the genre of everydays. It is at least as much distinct, so that when it is displayed on the walls of museums and exhibition halls, it doesn’t have to use the attributes of other genres. That’s why we did not apply the usual picture frames at this year’s exhibition.

The volume of printing is falling day by day, therefore photographs are printed less and less in their original format and we can hardly see paged photo-stories highlighting the emphasis that help us to understand the events. All these, even if they are not compensated for, but hopefully will be evoked by the different arrangement of this year’s press photo exhibition compared to previous years. We have tried to show the atmosphere and the design of newspapers and magazines on the walls of the Capa Center. Of course, not one of them specifically, but a kind of idealized or general, but in any case – unfortunately – less and less existing one. We have made an attempt to show the photographs in an environment similar to their original and natural medium as much as possible.
The long paper scrolls spread on the walls evoke to traditional newspaper printing with a rotary technology. They are hardly wider than one meter, which made the display on the walls a bit difficult and we often felt that we were confined to a limited surface. What happened to us was just like in editorial offices, when it turns out that a newspaper page is not made of rubber, it cannot be stretched at will and so the number and size of the pictures are limited. At the design and the preparation of the 33rd Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition, our main objective was that this show should present the press photographs and their makers, the photojournalists as much as possible.

Tamás Szigeti

Photo: Simon Móricz-Sabján: Hungarian American Football league final

The exhibition was organized by:
Tamás Szigeti

The exhibition is open to the public:
20/03/2015 – 23/05

Orsolya Ajpek, Attila Balázs, Balázs Béli, Zoltán Bese, István Bielik, Lajos Bíró, János Bődey, Krisztián Bódis, Tamás Botos, Thomas Campean, Gyula Csernok, Sándor Csudai, Zsolt Czeglédi, Gyula Czimbal, István Derenycsényi, Miklós Déri, Dániel Dömölky, József Borsi Dr., Csaba Mészáros Dr., Zsolt Eöri Szabó, Gábor Erdélyi, Csaba Faragó, István Fazekas, Bertalan Fehér, Balázs Gémesi, József Gergely, Miklós Gódor, András D.Hajdú, Norbert Hartyányi, Róbert Hegedűs, Bálint Hirling, István Huszti, Tibor Illyés, Tamás Janzsó, Márton Kállai, Péter Kálló, Bea Kallos, Norbert Kaszás, Péter Komka, Szilárd Koszticsák, Tamás Kovács, Zita Kovács, Csaba Krizsán, Árpád Kurucz, Benedek Lakatos, János M. Schmidt, Bence Máté, Balázs Mohai, Simon Móricz-Sabján, László Mudra, Péter András Németh, Máté Gergely Oláh, Zsófia Pályi, Márta Pintér, László Roland Pozsonyi, Tünde Rácz, Zsuzsanna Sándor Tóth, Csaba István Sánta, Dániel Selmeczi, Ákos Stiller, Áron Süveg, Balázs Szabó, Gábor Szabó, Péter Szalmás, Bence Szemerey, Zsolt Szigetváry, László Szirtesi, Miklós Teknős, Csaba Tökölyi, Márton Tordai, László Tóth, Zoltán Tuba, Ádám Urbán, Tamás Varga, László Végh, Viktor Veres, Bálint Vincze