The exhibition encompassing the six decades of Imre Benkő’s photographic oeuvre is the first in a series of prominent events to be held in the Műcsarnok in 2024. The displayed works, diverging in space and time, involve twenty countries of three continents, and span the diverse nature of human relations from the 1970s to the present day. They are selected from the artist’s complete oeuvre, from the winning piece of the World Press Photo in 1975 through the iconic series featuring Ózd, Budapest and the world to the photographs of 2019, taken during his travels in China.
Benkő’s photographic interest – whether against the backdrop of metropolises or the countryside – primarily focuses on the relationships between people. His pictures are also documents of an era, evoking or revealing the different lifestyles, cultural habits and attitudes that define a given period, in both the East and the West. His photographs speak in a language of their own: a sensitivity stemming from the tradition of socially-engaged humanist photography is coupled with Benkő’s unique approach to produce images that take hold in our memory. In a certain group of his works the lost illusions of the socialist past and the years of transition are juxtaposed with the random, enigmatic moments of everyday life and celebration. His long-term photo essays, including those depicting the gradual dismantling of metallurgy in Ózd and the unbridled, ritualised moments at Sziget Festival concerts, or his series of twins convey a richly detailed register of processes unfolding in time.
curator: Zsuzsanna Tulipán
© BENKŐ Imre: Twin meeting. Szigethalom, 2012
40 × 50 cm, silver gelatin analogue enlargement