Tamás Féner: Sacral Constructions
Artphoto Gallery
1119 Budapest
Bartók Béla út 30.
29 October 2018
30 November 2018
29 October, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Opening speech by:
László Fábián
Tamás Féner

Sacral Constructions

“So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” (Ecc 3:22)

Alright, seriously. I have understood, because I have been told enough times, that I have never existed, or that I haven’t produced anything substantial since the 1970s. Because I haven’t been part of the national canon for a long time – what is it? –, failed to get up to speed with the modernismof Erdély’s brand—you could say I’m not even alive. Even on paper, says a paper I have. No, I’m not hurt, far from it! Far from it, because I am free. I am free! At last, I’m doing what I like, what I am interested in, and I don’t care at all whether they can follow me. Or want to follow me. I say what I want to, and if it’s heard, that’s all right. If it isn’t—that’s all right. I have become haughty with age.

I am interested in how things that are not signs turn into signs; in what I can do with my religion-less religiousness; and in whether you can be a“cultural Jew,” or you have to sing your prayer in a white robe. What happens if the Text is the image, and the image is the text? If I can see it, but don’t understand it; if I don’t understand it, but can take it in? If the Name, the unspeakable, turns into an image?

So there are plenty of problems, and should there be none, we can always find some.

Is it still relevant what we scraped together for ourselves from the lessons of New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit); did we understand anything from the lesson of the Bauhaus, or even of the Russian avant-garde – or did we merely think we understood?

Does neo-constructivism have a lesson in photography? Can photography – and I mean bona fide photography, not the illegitimate child of photography and fine art—move past the situation that arose under the diverse kinds of pressure: “curator art”; the digital push forward; the generated, so to speak random, image that replaced the organized image? All right then, a joke:

The squad goes out marching. The sergeant calls: “Sing!” One of the soldiers pipes in a thin voice. “What are you doing?” shouts the sergeant.“Singing a third higher, sir!” “And why are you doing that?” “Because that’s the way to make it beautiful, sir!” “Is that so? Then the whole squad shall sing a third higher!”

I can’t sing for toffee. I couldn’t sing a third higher.

“And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecc 4:4)