Time is the main theme of the 13th edition of Photoespana 2010 (PHE10). The festival features an exhibition on Hungarian-born artist László Moholy-Nagy as a main attraction.
PHotoEspana, the annual international festival of photography and visual arts features an exhibition on the works of Hungarian born László Moholy-Nagy this year. In addition, a number of Hungarian artists and photographers participates on different programs of the fest, which is considered one of the biggest of its kind in the European continent.
PHotoEspana is a joint venture, organized by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Regional Government of Madrid, the Local Council of Madrid and some 60 public and private organizations including foundations, businesses, embassies, cultural centers and museums. Over the 13 years since its first edition, this festival has developed a long term project, longer than an average summer fest, presenting programs throughout the year, offering over 120 activities. The actual festival’s two-month-long programs this year include 69 exhibitions, portfolio presentations, roundtable discussions, master classes, guided tours, educational programs, family workshops and different street parades, starting from June 9, with the participation of 372 artists from 41 countries.
The general curator of PHE10, Sergio Mah, revealed the theme of the festival to be the Time, its perception and its direct relationship with photography. “Each image is connected to a moment: the moment it was taken,” he said at the opening ceremony of the fest. “Our programs have different approaches to time,” he continued. “We present exhibitions which highlight nature and the effects of photographic interruption, mobility and technological cadences.” He also added, “Globalization shows us a world tied up in different stages of time: culturally, psychologically and spiritually. For this reason, PHE10 proposes a thematic program which reflects on the technical and narrative paradoxes of photography, and aims to intensify perception through an attentive and reflective observation. Despite the tendency to value speed and acceleration as distinctive requirements for post modern societies, it is important to point to the existence of new artistic inclinations which tend towards contrary rhythms, favoring a slower and interactive relationship with time, reconciling the work of perception with the rhythms of thought and memory.”
Hungarian photographers Imola Balogh, Dániel Halász, Attila Nyéki and Balázs Szabó are to participate in a collective exhibition called ‘Imaging for a New World,’ on the future of Europe and the rest of the world. Hungary also has a place in PHotoEspana with the photo-exhibition entitled ‘Modernization’, along with photographers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Focusing on architecture, this exhibition showcases a range of shots on the radical changes the urban landscape suffered or welcomed in the second half of the 20th century. The venue for this exhibition is the Open University at the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
The Art ofLight
At the same time, the Picasso Hall at the Circulo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Circle) will host a complex exhibition dealing with the creations of László Moholgy-Nagy, focusing on the vital importance of the Hungarian artist’s world famous theory of the art of light. Over 200 works including paintings, black and white and color photography, films and graphic design elements are on display to show his multi-disciplinary work. A book is also published, entitled ‘The Art of Light’, on Moholy-Nagy, part of the brand new PHE Book series, launched this year. The exhibition later on will travel to the Martine Gropius Bau in Berlin, and the GemeenteMuseum in The Hague.
Photography for all
Educational and public programs are key part of the festival’s structure, making PHotoEspana an event firmly established within the whole society. To make photography more accessible to the general public, a number of free street programs also take place during the fest, filling Madrid with cameras, photos and photographers at this part of the summer.
Hungarian painter, photographer and art teacher László Moholy-Nagy (Hungary 1895–U.S.A, 1946) was born László Weisz to a Jewish-Hungarian family in 1895. He studied law at Budapest University. After serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army and being severely wounded, he started to draw and in 1917 to paint. He than moved to Berlin, and living there he had become one of the founders of constructivism, experimenting with photograms and translucent materials. In his essay ‘Painting, Photography, Film’ (1925), he drew up his theory of light: light as the pattern for art, art as art of light. His conviction was that light could be harnessed as an effective aesthetic medium, “just as color in painting and tone in music. He developed a widely accepted curriculum to develop students' natural visual gifts instead of specialized skills. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1935, he went to London and then to Chicago. Moholy-Nagy's interests in a new relationship between the artist and his art, his investigations into the use of light, and his use of new materials made him a very suitable member of the Bauhaus, where he went to teach in 1923. His greatest contribution to modern art lay in his teaching, which deeply influenced American commercial and industrial design. He died of leukemia at the age 51 in 1946. Moholy-Nagy is still regarded as one of the most important twentieth-century photographers. Budapest's University of Art and Design is named after him, and even the software company Laszlo Systems (developers of the open source programming language OpenLaszlo) carries his name.