Incredible Indonesia the star of a new show at Budapest’s Mai Manó House
A new exhibition at the Mai Manó House – on view until May 13th – features nearly a hundred photographs of stunning Indonesia by Hungarian artist Attila Bartis, taken between 2014 and 2017. These black-and-white images were mainly taken around Yogyakarta on Java, but instead of exciting exotica, they rather mirror the artist’s personal sentiments and perspectives concerning a country chosen as his second home.
Stepping inside, you are stunned by the endless black-and-white images hanging boldly on the whitewashed walls, filling two floors. At first, the lack of documentation, description and detail alongside might make you feel lost, but after a few seconds you realize that everything Bartis has to say and show is in the pictures. And you are free to make up the rest. However, if you are the curious kind, you can look for the titles in a hidden corner of the exhibition, but do not be surprised if they deliberately confuse. A photo entitled ‘Two dogs’ might well show three. Your fantasy can fly free.
The pictures are all carefully crafted. People and objects often disappear in the shadows and the sky, clouds and the forces of nature are in focus. It is worth first looking at the photos from a distance, following the silent dialogue between them and then approaching to discover the tiniest detail. Many parallels can be drawn, for instance between the curve of a naked female back and that of a dry and abandoned log on a beach. These captured moments might have taken place anywhere in the world, but here reflect the impressions, ideas and feelings of an artist whose yen for this country has led him to choose it as his second home. More details