The Edge of Fiction

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The exhibition examines photography on the edge of fiction and reality through the works of three young, Eastern European photographers: Weronika Gesicka (PL), Bara Prasilova (CZ)  and  Maria Svarbova (SK). The playful and humorous visual language of the contemporary photographers' new generation is very personal and associative, yet is linked to the theme of past and remembrance, mingling the medium's objective nature with a nostalgic tone.

Weronika Gesicka’s Traces series deals with the mechanism of remembering using archive American photographs from the 1950’s-60’s. She creates a new reality in her freshly rethought images that present us with a humorous, often surreal world, confronting apparent objectivity with illusions. The family scenes, holiday memories and suburban realities can be seen as the embodiment of “The American Dream”, however, without knowing the realities of the images it is hard to decide whether these are spontaneous or staged scenes, real people or actors who merely assist in creating the visualization of happy genre pictures. Gesicka searches for a grip on these idealized images and flips them with an ironic gesture against their automatic nature, manipulating the past and the memories. She is interested in the family and its’ inner dynamics, gender roles, stereotypes and the personalities losing their contours or blending into the decorative interior along these.

The works of Bara Prasilova are also characterized by the playful imaging of fictional moments that are balancing between reality and fiction, while placing emphasis on the unraveling of the relation between the actors. The recurring, long plaits of hair are sometimes the elongation of the personalities themselves, other times they represent a physical bondage between the people on the images. The absurd, funny compositions of figures and objects placed in mainly sterile environments can be interpreted as the projection of inner worlds. Human feelings, relations and connections are in the limelight in Prasilova’s works, portrayed in narrative compositions with stark contrasts.

In the “Swimming Pool” series of Maria Svarbova, the quiet symmetry of public swimming pools are complemented with staged, movielike scenes. Frozen moments and dreamy worlds lay bare in front of us, while the geometric closeness of functional buildings erected during socialism dominate the images. The author placed the figures in this cold and soft atmosphere, covering them in quiet stillness or in movements related to the location. Svarbova returns to the socialist architecture and the question of public spaces in her work frequently. In her series, she takes us to the swimming pools of 13 Slovakian cities, where the universal visual language, the symmetry of compositions and the minimalistic forms of buildings lend the images an aspect of timelessness. The cold, reflecting surfaces, the lack of ornaments place our attention to the relation between space and people, all the while creating a narrative for the pictures with surreal or futuristic tones.

Curators: Szilvia MUCSY, Rita SOMOSI

Opening: 3 March 2020 18:00

Opening speech by: Nóra WINKLER

On view: 3 March 2020 - 4 April 2020

Partners: Budapest Photo Festival, Czech Centre Budapest, Polish Institute in Budapest, Slovak Institute in Budapest.

The exhibition is in the offical program of Budapest Photo Festival.

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