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The Grand Crossing

Visiting is free of charge
July 17, 2018 – August 19, 2018
Every day between 11 am – 7 pm
Closed on public holidays.
Capa Center – Project Room
Curator: Judit Gellér

Artists: Szabolcs Barakonyi, Tibor Gyenis, Bálint Hirling, Endre Koronczi, Balázs Mohai, Zsófia Pályi, Ábel Szalontai & Fortepan / MHSZ
Drone Video: Attila Farkas / LégiProjekt

Photo: Balázs Mohai: Crossing

It is a rare phenomenon, a marvelous sight. It is cold, the great body of water freezes and the fog sets in. The horizon is delicately delineated in the distance, we put our skates on, and gather the courage to slowly step on the ice…

Because of the unusually cold winter of 2016–2017, there was an event called the Grand Crossing, with people skating across the frozen Lake Balaton. During this event, several photographers were present on the ice, taking photos at various locations and in different moments of time, and shared them on social media too. Besides the exhibition being permeated by a sense of ease, it also provides an opportunity to raise critical questions related to contemporary photography and curatorial practices, since these photos slid into the exhibition area from the virtual space.

The contemporary art scene expects a high level of consciousness, strong concepts and critical reflections from the creators. However, the unreproducible nature of certain situations and circumstances brings about a visceral urge in photographers to capture what they see. The photos of the frozen lake were taken by photographers not only of different backgrounds, but also using different techniques and having different intentions. Some of the photographers took these photos as parts of a long-term project, of a series, as a study for a planned work; others were there on assignment as representatives of the press, or took photos as part of their recreational activity, for fun. Although the photos were created totally independently of each other, they create a common horizon via their methods of composition.

The photographs uploaded into a public virtual space by sharing them on the internet, encountered each other in the exhibition space through the curatorial selection process. The method of the installation with, the lightboxes evoke our current picture viewing habits since we see most of the images on computer screens. The selected series of photos raise issues of the inherited and acquired rules (and breaching them), of the array of mental representations, of familiarity, or even of recurrence. To what extent has the digital shift, the photographic tools integrated into our cellphones, the dematerialization, or the possibility of instant sharing changed our customs of taking and looking at photographs? Are the creators inspired or burdened by the visual peculiarities of the images accessible from any corner of the world? What kind of new composition methods are created by the possibilities determined by the image sharing portals? And can these photos taken out of their original context be considered as individual works of art?

While the exhibition could be suitable for raising rather complex questions of image theory, the experience it provides is still more important: recalling the falling snow, the sounds of the cracking, crushing snowy ice under our feet, or the ecstatic sight of the cold lake – all on a hot summer day. (Judit Gellér)

 

Exhibiting artists:

Szabolcs Barakonyi (Budapest, 1976) photographer, chief photography editor at the online news portal index.hu
Tibor Gyenis (Pécs, 1970) visual artist awarded with the Munkácsy Mihály award, senior lecturer at the Rippl-Rónai Art Department of the University of Kaposvár
Bálint Hirling (Budapest, 1986) freelance photographer, member of Pictorial Collective
Endre Koronczi (Budapest, 1968) visual artist, project owner of the Ploubuter Park
Balázs Mohai (Budapest, 1984) freelance photojournalist at MTI, member of Pictorial Collective
Zsófia Pályi (Budapest, 1982) freelancer photographer, multimedia editor, member of Pictorial Collective
Ábel Szalontai DLA (Budapest, 1972) photographer, director of the Media Institution of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Fortepan © the largest Hungarian online photography archive. At present, there are more than a hundred thousand digitalized photographs available in the collection.