Tamas Dezso: Romania - New Work October 20, 2012 - November 24, 2012

.Várfok Project Room’s next exhibition, part of the official program series of the Hungarian Month of Photography 2012, brings once again in the foreground the genre of photography through the person of Tamas Dezso, a Hungarian photographer well-known on the international photography scene.

The works of Tamas Dezso can rarely be seen in Hungary and if they are exhibited, it is mainly within the frame of group exhibitions. This is probably the reason why outside the professional world the Hungarian public is little aware of how an outstanding artist he is, collecting one-by-one awards, nominations and professional acknowledgements at the most important photo events and international competitions. This year for instance, he was winner of the Photo Essay category at the famous New York photo magazine’s, the PDN’s Curator competition; then, he has been nominated for one of the leading international award, the Prix Pictet (its honorary president is Kofi Annan) and we can find his name amongst the finalists of the Leica Oscar Barnack Award too. In 2011 he won the First Place at the 16th annual CENTER Project Competition in Santa Fe and Grand Prize at the JCE - Jeune Création Européenne Biennale in Paris-Montrouge. His works have been exhibited worldwide at many important photo exhibitions and art fairs (Paris Photo, Expo Chicago, AIPAD New York, New York Photo Festival) due to his gallery, the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco (USA). Furthermore his photographs have been published in the world’s leading magazines (TIME, The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, Le Monde Magazine, The Sunday Times, PDN, Ojo de Pez, HotShoe, The British Journal of Photography, etc.).

The work of Tamas Dezso unfolds in photo-essays. Since 2004 he ranges the solitary locations of Hungary and the surrounding post-communist regions and documentates them. He immortalizes people, landscapes and the ruins of a past political system, showing us the awkwardness and the unorganic and contradictory elements of the enforced industrialisation in the life of the provincial. All this serves his aim to renew society. This can be felt on his recent series made in Romania, exhibited now in Várfok Project Room.

`Spiritual tradition and physical heritage are simultaneously disintegrating in Romania. Time is beginning to undermine centuries-old traditions preserved in tiny villages, in communities of only a few houses, as well as the bastions of the communist era’s enforced industrialisation, which became part and parcel of Romania’s recent history. Those living in the reservations of forgetting blend with nature, exhibiting a humility inherited through generations. Urged on by modernisation, they are living out their last days in evident equality of closeness to nature and, helping time, they are diligently pulling down the absurd edifices of their environment. In the manner of termites, they carry away small pieces of immense concrete constructions on the rickety carts of poverty, pick through reinforced concrete frames of former factory monsters, power stations and furnaces, dismantling monuments of formerly enforced modernisation which have corroded into a stage set. One year ago, I began photographing the scenes of a world irreversibly decaying, the transformation of a Balkan country surviving the region’s hardest dictatorship. When capturing the still recordable milieu I am examining the parallel of a general tendency and personal stories: as resilient humanity condensing into symbolic destinies takes shape in the face of mortality.` Tamas Dezso

Should the scenes show burrials, poor people living in distress or destroyed villages, it is not the sense of tragedy that will seize one looking at Dezso’s photos. The compositions’ pure picturesqueness, their noble aesthetics of an extreme preciseness will rather influence the viewer, releasing in him such feelings and impressions which can only be interpreted on a metaphysical plane.

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