Every Past Is My Past #twentiethcentury #photography #Fortepan

16 April 2019 - 25 August 2019

Every Past Is My Past #twentiethcentury #photography #Fortepan

Place Hungarian National Gallery Building A, 1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2., HUNGARY
Organizer Hungarian National Museum
More info https://en.mng.hu/exhibitions/every-past-is-my-past/

Every Past Is My Past displays a selection of more than three hundred pictures from the popular Fortepan digital photo-archives, which is now ten years old. The photographs are closely intertwined with Hungary’s 20th-century history. The images capture the period in many ways and layers but with a focus on the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences conveyed by private photographs, which form the backbone of the collection.

Some 200 photographs taken before 1990 follow the stations of human life like in a big, shared family album. The protagonists of the pictures are first shown as children and young people and then as adults and finally in their old age. Another more than 150 photographs will bring sixteen distinct stories to the public, including that of the WWII fronts as seen by a war correspondent, the idyllic life of the countryside through the eyes of a photographer and painter, the barely photographed story of the Holocaust, life in Transylvania during the dictatorship of the 1980s, and the daily life of a WWI POW in Siberia. A separate story is told by the images of the ruined, wartime Budapest, and those showing the youth sports associated with home defence during the Cold War era. A larger section is formed by the stereo-photos taken in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, pictures about the dismantling of the Stalin statue in 1956, those documenting the rebellious youth of the 1970s and 1980s and the banned photographs taken in 1964 of commuting workers. Each of the sixteen stories, along with the images and objects that belong to them, is displayed in a separate installation.

Taking visitors on a journey through a century of our shared past, the exhibition jogs our memories and brings alive stories directly or indirectly connected to us, exactly like Zsuzsa Rakovszky describes it in her volume of poetry titled Fortepan: “every past is my past”.

Curator of the exhibition: István Virágvölgyi
Co-curator: Miklós Tamási
Curator’s assistant: Mária Madár
The show is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue in Hungarian and English.