HUNGARY 2006-1956: REVENGE - SOLIDARITY - HEROISM
photograph John Sadovy
photograph Stefan Moses
photograph Erich Lessing
Lynching and mutilating of AVH (Allamvedelmi Hatosag, State Defense Bureau) officer at Köztársaság Ter (Republic Square), after the siege/attack on the HWP (Hungarian Workers’ Party, Magyar Dolgozók Pártja) Budapest headquarters on 30 October 1956.
Collection of money for victims of the revolution in open suitcases without anybody needing to guard them, Budapest October/November 1956. Some sources indicate that this collection was organized by the Society of Writers on the initiative of a young artist .
Insurgents of the Corvin-Köz fighting group from Pest at the left bank of the Danube with an armored car with a hand painted Hungarian shield (Kossuth shield), some with captured Russian weapons.
|Three major elements of the installation: (1)
primary emblematic photograph; (2) secondary photographs and moving text
layers; (3) documentary background with digital facsimile and text quotations
(including English translations). This interface (3) may become a three
sided long bar that can be turned to the picture level, the caption level
or the text level. Possibly it can be a triangle module that passes over
a long rail whereby a certain moment in time can be choosen.
|Principle of the kaleidoscope (kalos = beautiful,
eidos = form, skopos = to view) from a scientific instrument invented by
David Brewster (1781-1868) in 1816 to a children's toy. Mostly three long,
narrow mirrors arranged in a circle, with movable, transparent, colored
objects at one end and an eyepiece at the other. Other mirror configurations
with different reflection patterns are used. The principle of the kaleidoscope
will influence the design of the user's interface, both in a physical and
an allegorical way.
|Background picture: a mob attack on the head
quarters of the Dutch Communist Party (CPN), Felix Meritis building, Keizersgracht,
|Caption 1957: "The special edition of the
American Life magazine publishes this horrible picture about the body of
a bestially tortured, executed and outraged (military) officer." in
a publication of the Hungarian Kadar government.
["Counter-revolutionary forces in the October events in Hungary" a series of four pamphlets published by the Hungarian state in 1957]
Caption 1956: (lef picture) "Also spared
by the patriots is a small boy, son of one of the security police in
the besieged building. Seizing him, the crowd passes him from shoulder
to shoulder until he is out of harm's way".
|Caption 1975 (no related text or prictuires
on the left hand page): "Beaten
to death and hung by his feet on a nearby tree is a Red security police
colonel. A woman steps up to spit at him. Photo by John Sadovy — Life"
[Laping, Francis ()/Knight, Hans () "Remember Hungary 1956" (1975) [compiled by Franis Laping edited by Hans Knight; Alpha Publications; De Kalp Pike; p.381; 31 cm]
Caption 2002 (right picture) "Anstellen um
Lebensrnittel in Zeiten der Revolution. Budapest, 1956 aption 2002: (left
picture) "Die Aufständischen haben ihre Wut an einem AVO-Mann ausgelassen.
Also gibt es keine Objektivität?
„Nein", sagt Erich Lessing, „es gibt keine. Es gibt
im bildnerischen Bereich keine und auch sonst nicht. Du bist immer selektiv
und daher bringst du deine eigene Persönlichkeit ein und das, was du
siehst, wird durch deine Abneigung oder Zuneigung gefiltert. Der Journalismus
ist nicht objektiv, das wird im Bildjournalismus noch verstärkt una ernartet
durch die Bildunterschrift. Ein Bild beginnt erst durch die Unterschrift
seinen Sinn und Zweck zu haben, und eine der wesentlichen Überlegungen
fördie Gründung von Magnum war ja, dass Robert Capa versucht hat, seine
eigenen ^ uierscn/t/tc/i gegen die Bildunterschriften aer ^eauKteure
von Life durchzusetzen. Auch das is Objektiv der Kamera ist nicht objektiv,
denn der Kurnci u.im.im sui.ni.Ju ^inin nc-ri Ausschnitt. Man sagt zwar,
dass das geschieht, damit die Komposition stimmt, aber die Komposition
ist eigentlich nur ein Nebenspiel deines Willens, etwas Bestimmtes zu
zeigen, ^o willst du es auch so gut wie möglich komponieren, damit der
Beschauer auch versteht, was du meinst.'
|"Even without privy knowledge I recognise
my father as an amateur in his photographs. Perhaps the biggest clue is
the safe distance of his framing. 2 He had no professional reasons for
risking his life to get a close shot. Generally he frames the entire scene,
often including a wide expanse of road in the foreground.
Photographs taken by professional photojournalists play a large part in creating and maintaining memories of historical events. Underwritten by the authority of the media, such images make a strong claim to truth. In the discourses of war photography, we rarely consider images by the unknown, fumbling amateur—the local citizen—for whom possibly much more than his own physical safety is at stake. But vernacular photographs can tell very different stories. There is something more adhoc, more subtle, in the way amateur photographs depict historical events. My father does not organise his pictures in the manner of the professional photographer, but I see the value of his work precisely in the way that it bypasses such technical and conceptual skills. As a result, his photographs pick up details that would have been deemed either too un-noteworthy or too unpalatable to be put into public circulation. This allows a more complex message about the nature of war to slip through.
And always, on the edges of the picture, is the presence of the crowd. What feelings and thoughts flooded the minds of those who gathered to gaze at the dead, I am not sure, but my father’s photographs tell me that they wanted to look [see figure 4]. A dozen pairs of feet circle the dead body of an AVO, confronting its disfigurement, its smell.
The repetition of this motif of the crowd that has gathered to look, and the intense compulsion for visuality, is of particular interest to me as an artist who works with photography. It is significant that my father chose not to take up a gun, but to wander the streets specifically to see and to record."
[Sue Hajdu "Acceptance: on 1956: desire and the unknowable" in Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies Vol. 2, No. 1 January 2005 ISSN: 1449-2490 http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/portal/issue/view/5 or a PDF version can be downloaded at: http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/portal/article/viewFile/86/54]