MemoryLab – Photography Challenges History

Budapest Galery

1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158.

14 November 2014 – 12 January 2015

Curator of the Budapest exhibition:

Gabriella Uhl

Artists participating in the Budapest exhibition:

Tanja Boukal | Broomberg & Chanarin | Marcell Esterházy | Gábor Gerhes | Pál Gerber | Cohen | Marko Lipus | Andreas Mühe | Erwin Olaf | Jonathan Olley | Gábor Ősz | Borut Peterlin

In 2014, the European Month of Photography (EMoP) celebrates its tenth anniversary. 2014 is also the year in which Europe commemorates the outbreak of World War I. For this reason, partner cities have collaborated on a joint exhibition on the history of the 20th century.

Burdened with a fraught historic legacy, which includes the two World Wars, the Yugoslav Wars, and the challenges of integration within Europe, artists participating in these exhibitions, organized in various European capitals, explore the histories of their native countries and reflect on subjective experiences in order to help us gain a deeper understanding of the official accounts of the past and its repercussions.

Gábor Gerhes

Confabulatio, 2013 | Írokéz Collection

What role does the photographic image play in our understanding of our past and in the process of historical reconstruction? How can the distance between then and now, between present and past realities be bridged, and what kind of “objective reality” do such constructions engender? The exhibition seeks to address these questions. The critical examination and interpretation of archival photographs and historical documents and the analysis of collective memory form the subject matter of the works on display. The artists participating in the exhibition formed their opinions and arrived at the results of their artistic research in the process of considering these challenges.

The pictures not only recall history, but invite us actively to remember and continuously to compare our past and our present. The works (photographs, videos, installations) selected for the exhibition, many of which are highly personal, show that history is always made up of multiple components: it involves the past event as such, its (re)construction, and ultimately also us, the individuals who seek to understand what happened in the light of today’s world.

Andreas Mühe

Adonis, 2011 | C-Print-© | A.Mühe-VG-Kunst-Bonn | Dittrich Schlechtrie