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Nadja Massün: Intimate Universe

Visiting is free of charge
September 19, 2019 – October 27, 2019
Every day 8 am – 7 pm
Closed on public holidays.
Capa Center – 8F Gallery
Curator: Gabriella Csizek

Vernissage: September 18, 2019, 6pm
Opening remarks by Iván András Bojár, art historian, author

Nadja Massün’s work is a good example of a sensitivity that subsumes and forgets about the technique in an intuitive search to reveal the spiritual world of human from which the experience of the beauty emerges. We see in the photos of Nadja a word in the air, a sound of laughter, a wink among friends and the sadness behind a look. The photographic moment becomes a moment of revelation.

The photographer’s action thus becomes a dialogue with her surroundings, which is almost invariably constituted by people in everyday or festive situations, dramatic or peaceful, but always communicative. These are images not only eloquent, but full of openness: the only sense they convey is the poetic content of reality, which manifests itself when there is a sensitive look to hear it and penetrate its ephemeral essence.

Nadja Massün’s years in community settings, allows her to perceive and understand, above cultural, geographical, linguistic differences, intimacy, unsaved yearnings, contained sadness and people’s joy. Nadja Massün is indeed a great traveler – born in the Congo and raised in Colombia, Peru, Geneva and Costa Rica – but above all a traveler of close encounters, for whom it is vital to merge into the environment, participate, listen, soak up of that alternate reality to which the trip exposes it. She takes advantage of her sensitive cosmopolitanism to explore the roots of human feelings in places as dissimilar as Transylvania, Oaxaca or New York. The photographs in which a child watches with amazement the transformation of his father into a “Minga” (one of the characters in the famous Dance of the Devils, in Oaxaca) are very revealing, as an “exotic” and unusual action which in spite of the strangeness places us in a familiar and quotidien environment.

Massün’s portraits are a sample of how to take everyday life to a higher level. The casual pose, an embroidery casually placed on the face, a languid backlight that makes us think of an unoccupied afternoon are many other elements of everyday life that, taken advantage of by a sharp eye, become true classic paintings, making us feel the calm and imperishable atmosphere  of a portrait of Van Eyck or Bonnard. (After the essay of Rafael Segovia writer, translator. The writing was made for the exhibition Timeless Stories [Relatos sin Tiempo], which was on view at the Centro Fotográfico Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Oaxaca, Mexico) in February, 2019.)

© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün
© Nadja Massün

French-Hungarian freelance photographer. Grew up and spent most of her life in South America (Perú and Colombia) and Mexico. BA in Economics and a Master´s degree in Political Science. Starts working with the United Nations in Mexico City and then moves to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she works with indigenous communities in the Sierra Juarez and Mixe region. Although always deeply interested in and art cinema, and at that time living in Oaxaca – a city of inspiration for painters and some of the greatest photographers –, she initiates her formation in the Manuel Álvarez Bravo Photographic Center (1999-2006). Since 2006, after a workshop organized in Oaxaca by The International Film and Video Workshops of Rockport, Maine, she gets also involved in documentary videos. She is currently working on a photographic project about the Táncház (Dance house) movement, declared since 2011, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Unesco, for being a model of teaching folk dance and music, and whose purpose is the rescue and transmission of traditional music and dance to younger generations, in Budapest and Hungarian communities in Transylvania.