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József Hajdú – Transfer

Opening: February 7, 6:00 PM CEST
Opening speech: Károly Kincses
On view: February 8, 2024 – March 31, 2024
Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center - 8F Gallery
8 Nagymező Street, 1065 Budapest, Hungary
Monday–Sunday: 9am–7pm

Museum collections are worlds full of secrets. We can see and get to know one of them at József Hajdús Transzfer (Transfer) exhibition.

The material exhibited here belongs to an essential part of Hajs professional activity, the chapter entitled Múzeumi történetek (Museum Stories), which is also closely related to his previous work, the series entitled Erdélyi Mór egy napja a Temesvári Postaigazgatóságon (A Day in the Life of Mór Erdélyi at the Timisoara Postal Directorate). In the latters case, the times on the clock faces in five original photographs from a 1914 album provided the starting point for his investigation. As a curious and good researcher, he carefully observed the details, drew conclusions about Mór Erdélyis working method, and finally placed the series in the present, in the contemporary art context, which was already a gesture of the creator, the artist.

The story of the current exhibition began when the Postal Museum moved to a new location in 2013, which inevitably meant handling every piece in the collection and preparing it for transport.This is how it came to light that among the multiple-copy albums known up to that point, there were some that perhaps no one had seen since they were made until the moment József Hajdúpicked them up and opened them.

The photographer saw that the thin protective paper between the pages of the photographic album, in direct contact with the deeptoned photograph of the time, carried a softertoned copy of the image on its surface in the same way as a positive image. The phenomenon piqued his curiosity, and as a result of his researchers attitude, he began investigating it. He asked questions about the conditions of storage that could have caused or facilitated the process of secondary image formation, put forward hypotheses, prepared a research plan, and consulted an expert lint Flesch.

He thought about the possibilities: did the two surfaces interact, and did an equalization process occur between them? Perhaps it was a one-off impact on the album, or is it the result of a long-lasting impact resulting in a copied image? They were stored in a place with high humidity, and the weight of the stacked albums caused it, or was it the technical deficiency of the original image processing that allowed the image formation, the slow birth of the copy?

After reviewing the literature, the fundamental question remained, so it became necessary to chemically analyze the image and determine its chemical composition. At the Painting Examination Laboratory, several tests revealed the presence of platinum, which provided a technical-chemical answer: platinum-colored, refined collodion copies are present in the album and can, therefore, be copied over a long period onto the membranous paper surface in direct contact with them.However, these secondary images on translucent backing paper are not only thought-provoking in their formation but also become exciting artworks, both as a pair of images and on their own.Thanks to the changes in tone, in the same composition, the centers of gravity change, and reality becomes visionary, as if the underlying became visible, and the magical realism of banal situations, of everyday situations, appeared after a hundred years of immobility.

Hajdú uses the gesture of highlighting a museum artwork, thus creating the opportunity for himself to create something new, as he did in the case of the images of war records scratched on X-ray discs, turning the secret he found into another secret.

Gabriella Csizek
the curator of the exhibition

Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)
Hajdú József: Transzfer (sorozat) | József Hajdú: Transfer (series)