Between this Thursday, 28 February, and 20 April, the Budapest Photo Festival honours Hungary’s pictorial heritage while bringing together acknowledged representatives of the art and their audience. In addition to various exhibitions – most notably a display of the works of cult American filmmaker David Lynch – workshops, photo shoots, portfolio reviews and other exciting attractions await shutterbugs all around Budapest. Whether a die-hard film fan or a digital devotee, this is a festival to find people you click with.
Having nurtured artists as remarkable as Robert Capa, André Kertész, Sylvia Plachy and the brilliant Brassaï, Hungary is justifiably proud of its world-renowned photographic heritage. With the arrival of spring, the city honours this legacy by hosting the Budapest Photo Festival, a showcase of this diverse art from classic to contemporary. Lovers of photography can explore both the international and Hungarian contemporary scene at several exhibitions citywide, as well as attend workshops, photo shoots, portfolio reviews and various other attractions.
David Lynch/Small Stories. Kunsthalle
The opening exhibition will be Small Stories by David Lynch. Surrealism, esoteria, dreams and reality – once again, Lynch is letting his fantasy fly. His photo series Small Stories was created in 2014 for the Paris Photo Week at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie and has only been on display three times altogether. Similarly to his films, these images are dominated by dreams, seeking a connection between the subconscious and reality. Photo montages provide the basis for Lynch’s surreal visions, while portraits and reimagined reproductions are also in focus. Creating dimensions of time and space, together the pictures make up a universe already familiar from the films of Lynch.
Kunsthalle, District XIV. Dózsa György út 37
Open: 1 Mar-2 June. Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm, Thur noon-8pm
Perspectives – Contemporary Hungarian Landscape
For each of the three years that the Budapest Photo Festival has been staged, the organisers have set contemporary photographers the task of creating a 21st-century interpretation of a classic genre in art. For 2019, the subject is landscapes and the historic Kiscelli Museum will be the atmospheric setting for works by nearly 50 artists showcased over five weeks in April and May. The landscapes themselves may be physical, external ones, or inner, spiritual ones, thus exploring the relationship between nature and humanity in the 21st century. The iconic shot, Man above the Ocean by award-winning, Transylvania-born Attila Bartis, echoes Caspar David Friedrich’s famous painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog that captured the essence of German Romanticism 200 years ago.
Kiscelli Museum, District III. Kiscelli utca 108
Open: 5 Apr-15 May. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
Changing Landscape – Contemporary Portuguese Photography
In similar vein to Perspectives, for which nearly 50 Hungarian photographers were commissioned to provide their contemporary take on the painterly concept of landscapes, the BPF team asked four modern-day Portuguese masters of the camera to create images with an everyday hook. Tiago Casanova’s Pearl illustrates how tourism is affecting the idiosyncratic island of Madeira, known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. Stadia by Paulo Catrica shows his journey around obscure football pitches, backdropped by various landscapes, urban or industrial. Leave time to admire The House of Seven Women by Tito Mouraz, who has recently been exhibited in Paris, Madrid and Lisbon. These mysterious photos were taken in the little-known and undeveloped area of Beira Alta of north Portugal.
Budapest Projekt Gallery, District V. Kossuth Lajos utca 14
Open: 29 Mar-20 Apr. Tue-Sat 2pm-8pm
37th Hungarian Press Photo exhibition
In the prestigious and prominent setting of the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center, modern-day Magyar exponents of a genre practically created by the gallery’s famed Hungarian namesake in the 1930s and 1940s. Every year, thousands of entries are submitted for the Hungarian Press Photo exhibition in 14 categories, including culture, politics and everyday life. What you see here, on view from early April until mid May, is the cream of the crop, painstakingly selected, itself a labour of love – and an insight into all aspects of modern-day society.
Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center, District VI. Nagymező utca 8
Open: 5 Apr-19 May. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm
FOOD – design – photography in a revolutionary way
Honey & bunny, aka Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter, are an Austrian husband-and-wife team of performance artists who create art around the culture of food – how it’s produced, how’s it’s presented and how it’s consumed. Their so-called ‘food design’ projects have been exhibited in London, Milan, Amsterdam and Zürich. Here photographers Ulrike Köb and Akos Neuberger have captured the essence of their work, questioning our relationship with what and how we eat.
Austrian Cultural Forum, District VI. Benczúr utca 16
Open: 31 Mar-30 Apr. Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
The City Regained. Documentary Photography of Warsaw 1918-1939
Poignant can only describe many of the photographs selected by Anna Brzezinska and Katarzyna Madon-Mitzner, for the Warsaw captured here would soon disappear. The Warsaw we see today is mainly a post-war rebuild, the city razed to the ground in 1944. And yet, with Polish independence in 1918, the people in these images seem so carefree. The title ‘The City Regained’ is apt, as it captures the fact that this Warsaw has not been lost, its streets and hidden corners still exist somewhere in the human domain. On view for five weeks until 3 May.
Polish Institute, District VI. Nagymező utca 15
Open: 29 Mar-3 May. Mon-Wed 9am-8pm, Thur-Fri 9am-5pm
Anikó Robitz/Holographic Memories. TOBE Gallery
On show at the TOBE Gallery set up by Tomas Opitz and Bea Puskás in Budapest’s edgy District VIII, Holographic Memories is the latest exhibition by photographer Anikó Robitz. Over the course of ten years, Robitz has exhibited at art fairs in Basel, Tel Aviv, Brussels and Istanbul, as well as in galleries from Nizhny Novgorod to Los Angeles. Here she upcycles family photos from the early 1980s to create photo-based artworks and question the role of the present in the past, and vice versa.
TOBE Gallery, District VIII. Bródy Sándor utca 36
Open: 13 Mar-13 Apr. Wed-Fri 2pm-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm
For more details and the full schedule, check out the official website.