Dezső Szabó has been engaged for some time with the potentials for the artistic application of photography, and with the reinterpretation of the borders drawn between these two realms. In the past few years, he has produced the following series with a simulation technique similar to the present one: Field Practice (1998), black box (1999), Location (2000), Tornado (2001), Expedition (2001), Images in Flames (2002), Relief (2003) Plein Air (2003), Fault Line (2004). This group of his works concentrates on the subject-content and sociology of photography, the creation and recreation of reality, the passage between levels of reality and the mechanism of reconstruction according to those experiences.
The exposures are made on Leica format film. As a result of the powerful blow-up, the picture becomes low-resolution and grainy, engendering with its blurriness a kind of (pseudo-)painterly effect. Contributing to this painterly effect is the composition within the frame. In spite of all this, the scene seems to be highly realistic, as if we had enlarged pictures taken at a real location with an amateur camera to an unusually large dimension.
The series entitled Time Bomb was produced from the staging of models, or more precisely, modelled scenes. It is a ten-part sequence of colour enlargements, each 120 x 180 cm, depicting the locations of crime scenes. Similarly to his previous series, on the basis of selected images, he has constructed models and made photographs of them. These dramatic images relate to his earlier black box, Tornado and Fault Line series. They are likewise catastrophic scenes selected from media images. This constitutes a kind of game of "I construct - I destroy", which exposes the vital characteristics of the model as medium. Thus, within the image, the model as tool can also take on an emphatic role alongside the disclosure of the effect-mechanism of photographic depiction.
Time Bomb attempts to cast a light on the new interpretational domain of these pictures, calling attention to the moral and psychological content interconnected and hidden in them. The moral question is raised by asking how, or if, one can relate to devastation and suffering through the images transmitted continuously by the media. It is a fact, nevertheless, that day in day out, we "consume" these images, which penetrate into our private spheres, and culture, in its wider meaning, becomes a part of our collective consciousness. The pictures I have created with simulation technique, however, resolve this dilemma in part. Tamed into art, these scenes become mental images, metamorphosing into mappings of states of mind and processes.
OPENINGS: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 6 p.m. at Dorottya Gallery, introductory words: Zsolt Petrányi, followed from 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Vintage Gallery.
BOOK LAUNCH at Dorottya Gallery: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 6 p.m. (with the participation of Attila Horányi, József Készman and Lívia Páldi)
The exhibition and the accompanying book are supported by: NKA, FHB, Budapest Spring Festival, OKM