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The Ruses of Oblivion – Polaroids by André Kertész

The Hungarian National Museum and the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center cordially invite you to the opening of The Ruses of Oblivion - Polaroids by André Kertész exhibition.

Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2024, 6 pm
Venue: Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 8.
Curator: Éva FISLI historian
Greetings by: Orsolya KŐRÖSI managing director, Capa Center
Opening speech: László HARIS, photographer
The exhibition is part of the André Kertész 130 exhibition series organized by the Hungarian National Museum Public Collection Centre.
On view: 3 July – 1 September, 2024
Tuesday-Friday: 13 am – 6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10 am – 6pm

The Ruses of Oblivion – Polaroids by André Kertész exhibition

The closing exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum’s André Kertész 130 exhibition series The Ruses of Oblivion – Polaroids by André Kertész opens on his birthday at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center.

The exhibition will feature 40 Polaroid photographs taken in the 1970s and 80s, purchased in 2021 from New York.
In his late polaroids, André Kertész turns his own apartment into a studio in which books, photographs, objects, and the perspectives offered by his window provide the raw material for his work. He makes frequent use of the contrast between light and shade, often placing some of his earlier photos in the context of new compositions and thus reinterpreting certain parts of his past. His greatest strength, however, is the puppet show of objects which seem almost to have been brought to life.

With the polaroid images from his album from my window, dedicated to his deceased wife, are the result of years of mourning.
The mourning process, however, is only one of the many layers of the small colourcompositions. One also finds, in these late polaroids, motifs from Kertész’s earlierphotographs that have been reinterpreted. Some of his shots clearly feature the reconstructionof good former ideas, as if the aging artist wanted to recall a previous image with every newone.

“I began shooting slowly, slowly, slowly. But soon, going crazy. I worked mornings and late afternoons. With the morning light the sky is nice, and in the late afternoon, full of variation. I would come out in the morning and shooting, shooting, shooting, no time to eat. I discover the time has gone, and no breakfast. The same in the afternoon… I forget my medicine. Suddenly, I’m losing myself, losing pain, losing hunger, and yes, losing the sadness.” (André Kertész, 1981)

Any such reconjuring of the past in the present also involves a reconstruction and thus the inevitable alteration of memory. In other words, remembering always means forgetting too. The creative modes of this reconjuring and the healing act of creation are thus also probably part of the ruses of oblivion.