About us

eidolon centre, located in Budapest, is an institution dedicated to showcasing, studying, analysing, and appreciating vernacular photography and banal imaging in both analog and digital formats. Vernacular photography (amateur, family, or snapshot photography) is a widespread, but underrepresented genre of the history of photographic imaging, despite the fact that it represents the larger parts of our visual heritage from the last 200 years. 

We firmly believe that this genre represents a valuable cultural artefact, capable of unveiling hidden narratives surrounding the social, cultural, and political aspects of the eras in which the images were captured. Positioned at the intersection of creativity and everyday routines, the mundane and the unrepeatable, as well as art and history, this visual heritage forms the foundation of our exploration and storytelling. Through engaging exhibitions, events, talks, and publications, eidolon centre as well as its online magazine eidolon journal aims to delve into and share these captivating stories.

 

The Greek term "eidolon" itself refers to a phantom, an apparition, or an ideal image. Our mission is to bring to light the obscured histories embedded within everyday photographs.

Our name was inspired by the book titled Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography by Roland Barthes, the French literary theorist and philosopher, published in 1980. The book is an inquiry into the nature and essence of photography while investigating the effects of photography on the spectator. Quoting Barthes: "eidolon is that what is photographed, i.e. the referent, the target of photography".

Who we are

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SIMO-GYORGY-002-min
György Simó

Founder

György is the founder and managing partner  at Day One Capital, an early stage venture capital firm, where  he invests in high-tech startups throughout the Central and East-European region. Having spent more than a decade in the media business as a journalist and editor, he has built a career as an entrepreneur and businessman. He was a member of the founding team of Radio Tilos, a renowned community radio in Budapest, and Origo, Hungary's market-leading internet portal. Later he became CEO of T-Online and T-Com Hungary, where - besides overseeing the whole fixed line business unit - he was responsible  for new media company acquisitions, new business development in media, e-commerce and data management services lines and the establishment of the company’s innovation center, Kitchen Budapest. He holds an MA degree in Sociology from the Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary and continued  his education at New School for Social Research, New York, USA and at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Between 2006 and 2010 he was a board member of the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary. He is the owner of Freedee Printing Solutions, a 3D printing company, and sits at the board of fast growing startups of the CEE region such as FlowX.AI, Turbine.AI, Veridion and Whalebone Inc.  He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Hungary's largest University, ELTE. 

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SZILAGYI-ROZA-004-min
Róza Tekla Szilágyi

Director

Róza Tekla Szilágyi lives and works in Budapest. She graduated in art history and aesthetics from Eotvos Lorand University, and after a brief stay in Istanbul, she continued her studies at the University of Fine Arts Budapest with a Master's degree in Contemporary Art Theory and Curatorial Studies. She has been publishing in national and international art magazines and publications since 2012. She is the founder of the late Omnivore Gallery. Between 2016 and 2023 she worked at the Hungarian printed and online Artmagazin as a writer, senior associate and the last two years as editor-in-chief at Artmagazin Online.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_CSERNA-ENDRE-003-min
Endre Cserna

Programming

Endre Cserna (1997) is a Budapest-based artist, curator and cultural journalist. He completed his diploma in the Photography programme of Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design Budapest in 2020. Currently, he holds the positions of curator at eidolon centre & editor of Artmagazin Online. He was founding member of Utca & Karrier, an international countercultural magazine and co-hosted its left field radio show. Between 2021 and 2023, he worked as assistant curator at the House of Hungarian Photographers, managing major shows and curating small- and medium-scale exhibitions. He also serves as co-chair of the Studio of Young Artists’ Association (FKSE) since 2021, Hungary’s longest operating advocacy organisation for artists and cultural workers. In 2023, he received the Horvath Award For Art Criticism. 

In both his artistic and curatorial approaches, he reclaims cultural phenomena ranging from the ancient and mythical to the contemporary and digital, often conflating rather than distinguishing virtualities – while advocating for the application of anarchist approaches and unexpected, subversive possibilities as opposed to established positions.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_BARAKONYI-SZABOLCS-006
Szabolcs Barakonyi, DLA

Curator

Szabolcs Barakonyi (1976) lives and works in Budapest. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Young Photo Artists’ Studio in Hungary. Between 2003 and 2006 he was the recipient of a Pécsi József scholarship. In 2006 he won the Lucien Hervé and Rodolf Hervé Grant, and in 2007 at the Rencontres d'Arles festival he was presented with the Photo Folio Gallery & Review Laureate, in 2011 he was awarded the National Cultural Fund of Hungary's André Kertész Grant, in 2015 he was finalist at Warsaw Photo Days, in 2018 he was finalist at Cortona On The Move New Visions. He has exhibited his photos in several cities around the world, at photo festivals and art fairs, and in museums. These included the Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, France and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai. He has also participated several times in the ParisPhoto through Galerie du Jour, agnés b. He has been featured at the Month of Photography in Lodz, Krakow and Paris, he has also participated in the 7th Photobiennale in Poznan, Poland, 10th Kaunas Photo Festival in Lithuania and PHotoEspaña (2014). His works are included in the photographic collection of the Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, France, of the Miskolc Gallery and City Museum, Hungary, of the The Kiscell Museum in Budapest and of the MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, Debrecen. He has been studying at The Hungarian Fine Arts University Doctoral School since 2018.

Linda-bio
Linda Lendvai

Office Manager

After graduating at Eotvos Lorand University in Aesthetics, Linda moved to London where she studied Art & Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and started her career working at contemporary art galleries and an art-focused PR agency. In 2014, she moved back to Budapest and founded Supermarket Gallery where she specialised in photography and successfully exhibited at international art fairs such as Unseen Amsterdam. She worked with some of most popular up and coming Hungarian photographers. She also did advisory on photography estates. She collects found photographs, she is passionate about contributing to preserving the heritage of everyday photography.

Who we are

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SIMO-GYORGY-002-min
György Simó

Founder

After having spent more than a decade in the media business as a journalist and editor, he has built a career as an entrepreneur and businessman. He is a founder of Radio Tilos, a renowned community radio in Budapest, and origo, Hungary's market-leading portal. Later he became CEO of T-online Hungary, where he was responsible  for new media company acquisitions, new business development in media, e-commerce and data management services lines  and the establishment of the company’s innovation center, Kitchen Budapest. György is the founder and managing partner  at Day One Capital, an early stage venture capital firm, where  he invests in high-tech startups throughout the Central and East-European region. He holds an MA degree in Sociology from the Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary and continued  his education at New School for Social Research, New York, USA and at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Between 2006 and  2010 he was a board member of the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary. He is the president of Freedee Printing Solutions, and sits at the board of Starschema Ltd. and Codecool Inc. He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Hungary's largest University, ELTE. 

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SZILAGYI-ROZA-004-min
Róza Tekla Szilágyi

Director

Róza Tekla Szilágyi lives and works in Budapest. She graduated in art history and aesthetics from Eotvos Lorand University, and after a brief stay in Istanbul, she continued her studies at the University of Fine Arts Budapest with a Master's degree in Contemporary Art Theory and Curatorial Studies. She has been publishing in national and international art magazines and publications since 2012. She is the founder of the late Omnivore Gallery. Between 2016 and 2023 she worked at the Hungarian printed and online Artmagazin as a writer, senior associate and the last two years as editor-in-chief at Artmagazin Online.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_CSERNA-ENDRE-003-min
Endre Cserna

Programming

Endre Cserna (1997) is a Budapest-based artist, curator and cultural journalist. He completed his diploma in the Photography programme of Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design Budapest in 2020. Currently, he holds the positions of curator at eidolon centre & editor of Artmagazin Online. He was founding member of Utca & Karrier, an international countercultural magazine and co-hosted its left field radio show. Between 2021 and 2023, he worked as assistant curator at the House of Hungarian Photographers, managing major shows and curating small- and medium-scale exhibitions. He also serves as co-chair of the Studio of Young Artists’ Association (FKSE) since 2021, Hungary’s longest operating advocacy organisation for artists and cultural workers. In 2023, he received the Horvath Award For Art Criticism. 

In both his artistic and curatorial approaches, he reclaims cultural phenomena ranging from the ancient and mythical to the contemporary and digital, often conflating rather than distinguishing virtualities – while advocating for the application of anarchist approaches and unexpected, subversive possibilities as opposed to established positions.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_BARAKONYI-SZABOLCS-006
Szabolcs Barakonyi, DLA

Curator

Szabolcs Barakonyi (1976) lives and works in Budapest. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Young Photo Artists’ Studio in Hungary. Between 2003 and 2006 he was the recipient of a Pécsi József scholarship. In 2006 he won the Lucien Hervé and Rodolf Hervé Grant, and in 2007 at the Rencontres d'Arles festival he was presented with the Photo Folio Gallery & Review Laureate, in 2011 he was awarded the National Cultural Fund of Hungary's André Kertész Grant, in 2015 he was finalist at Warsaw Photo Days, in 2018 he was finalist at Cortona On The Move New Visions. He has exhibited his photos in several cities around the world, at photo festivals and art fairs, and in museums. These included the Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, France and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai. He has also participated several times in the ParisPhoto through Galerie du Jour, agnés b. He has been featured at the Month of Photography in Lodz, Krakow and Paris, he has also participated in the 7th Photobiennale in Poznan, Poland, 10th Kaunas Photo Festival in Lithuania and PHotoEspaña (2014). His works are included in the photographic collection of the Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, France, of the Miskolc Gallery and City Museum, Hungary, of the The Kiscell Museum in Budapest and of the MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, Debrecen. He has been studying at The Hungarian Fine Arts University Doctoral School since 2018.

Linda-bio
Linda Lendvai

Office Manager

After graduating at Eotvos Lorand University in Aesthetics, Linda moved to London where she studied Art & Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and started her career working at contemporary art galleries and an art-focused PR agency. In 2014, she moved back to Budapest and founded Supermarket Gallery where she specialised in photography and successfully exhibited at international art fairs such as Unseen Amsterdam. She worked with some of most popular up and coming Hungarian photographers. She also did advisory on photography estates. She collects found photographs, she is passionate about contributing to preserving the heritage of everyday photography.

Team photographs: Balázs Fromm
Location: the building of the Hungarian Stamp Collectors Association

Eidolon
Advisory Board

Eidolon Centre for Everyday Photography is proud to announce the establishment of its advisory board, a distinguished committee comprising esteemed local and international professionals dedicated to enriching the ongoing success of our institution. The Eidolon Advisory Board will play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive guidance, valuable insights, and constructive feedback essential to shaping our growth strategy, refining programs, and enhancing outcomes.


geoff_batchen-1
Geoffrey Batchen

Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford

Teacher, writer, curator, and a specialist in the history of photography. His writing has been published in 23 languages to date and he curated exhibitions shown in Brazil, Australia, United States, Netherlands, UK, Iceland, Japan, Germany and New Zealand. His seminal essay titled Vernacular Photographies published in 2000 played a huge role in the current wave of interest in vernacular photography.  

2_Andrew-portrait-2
Andrew Dewdney

Professor of Educational Development and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University

A PhD supervisor whose research interests lie at the intersections of art, media and technology, focusing upon the changing status of representation in culture and society, with a special interest in the photographic image. Currently he is investigating the changing status and value of the visual image in networked culture.

csm_sarkisova_c8672eeaec
Oksana Sarkisova

Research Fellow at the Vera and Donald Blinken OSA Archivum and co-founder and Head of Visual Studies Platform at CEU

Her fields of research are cultural history, memory and representation, film history, amateur photography, and visual studies. In 2023 she co-authored In Visible Presence: Soviet Afterlives in Family Photos (with Olga Shevchenko).

Eidolon
Advisory Board

Eidolon Centre for Everyday Photography is proud to announce the establishment of its advisory board, a distinguished committee comprising esteemed local and international professionals dedicated to enriching the ongoing success of our institution. The Eidolon Advisory Board will play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive guidance, valuable insights, and constructive feedback essential to shaping our growth strategy, refining programs, and enhancing outcomes.

Screenshot-2024-03-22-at-14.23.39
Geoffrey Batchen

Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford

After having spent more than a decade in the media business as a journalist and editor, he has built a career as an entrepreneur and businessman. He is a founder of Radio Tilos, a renowned community radio in Budapest, and origo, Hungary's market-leading portal. Later he became CEO of T-online Hungary, where he was responsible  for new media company acquisitions, new business development in media, e-commerce and data management services lines  and the establishment of the company’s innovation center, Kitchen Budapest. György is the founder and managing partner  at Day One Capital, an early stage venture capital firm, where  he invests in high-tech startups throughout the Central and East-European region. He holds an MA degree in Sociology from the Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary and continued  his education at New School for Social Research, New York, USA and at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Between 2006 and  2010 he was a board member of the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary. He is the president of Freedee Printing Solutions, and sits at the board of Starschema Ltd. and Codecool Inc. He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Hungary's largest University, ELTE. 

Screenshot-2024-03-22-at-14.26.05
Andrew Dewdney

Professor of Educational Development and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University

A PhD supervisor whose research interests lie at the intersections of art, media and technology, focusing upon the changing status of representation in culture and society, with a special interest in the photographic image. Currently he is investigating the changing status and value of the visual image in networked culture.

csm_sarkisova_c8672eeaec
Oksana Sarkisova

Research Fellow at the Vera and Donald Blinken OSA Archivum and co-founder and Head of Visual Studies Platform at CEU

Her fields of research are cultural history, memory and representation, film history, amateur photography, and visual studies. In 2023 she co-authored In Visible Presence: Soviet Afterlives in Family Photos (with Olga Shevchenko).

eidolon foundation

eidolon is established and maintained by eidolon foundation – for preserving the photographic heritage of everyday life

Purpose of the Foundation

The Foundation supports and organises events, exhibitions, and educational programs to promote and analyse everyday photography for both lay and professional audiences. It also creates textual and visual content, publishes volumes and periodicals, and develops international cooperation and platforms that align with the Foundation's objectives. The Foundation's activities focus on the development, preservation, research, presentation, and promotion of vernacular photographic collections in collaboration with national and international actors.

Activities of the Foundation

The goal of eidolon foundation is to research and preserve the Hungarian and international heritage of photography, with a particular emphasis on everyday photographic imagery. The foundation aims to raise awareness of the role of photography in visual culture as well as establish and maintain a dedicated museum and photographic collection. In the 20th century, everyday photography became the most common form of visual communication. Today, thanks to the rise of digital photography, it plays a significant role in shaping culture, social communication, and knowledge. Everyday photographs are well-suited to act as messages of knowledge across languages and ages. Many paper-based images from the past are disappearing, and we are in the last moments when photographs, collections, family albums, and other photographs that are an essential part of everyday culture can be saved and preserved. In addition to research and heritage preservation, eidolon foundation's mission is to create opportunities for encounter with photographic heritage images of different cultures and bring the Hungarian everyday photographic heritage into international dialogue.

Founder - György Simó

Board of Trustees - Norbert Streitmann, Tamás Szalai, György Simó

 

 

IMG_3781
Norbert Streitmann

Norbert Streitmann is the founder of Concorde Securities Ltd. and a current member of its Board of Directors. Until 2009, he held the position of head of the retail division within the company. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors and currently holds a position on the Supervisory Board of the Investment Services Association. Additionally, Mr. Streitmann is an active member of the Supervisory Board of Hold Asset Management. Beyond his professional engagements, he passionately supports the initiatives of various non-profit organizations. Among his personal interests are investments, art collecting, and photography.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SZALAI-TAMAS-001-min
Tamás Szalai

Investment professional operating across Central Europe. Current commercial focus on social investing including healthcare opportunities in Central European markets as founding partner of Chronos Equity. More than two decades of experience as investor (Concorde Securities, Bancroft Private Equity, CEE Equity), and member of boards of several mid-market companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Film and photo enthusiast, avid runner, sailer and skier. Active supporter of human rights.

202307_KOLLEKTIV_SZALAI-TAMAS-001-min
Tamás Szalai

Investment professional operating across Central Europe. Current commercial focus on social investing including healthcare opportunities in Central European markets as founding partner of Chronos Equity. More than two decades of experience as investor (Concorde Securities, Bancroft Private Equity, CEE Equity), and member of boards of several mid-market companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Film and photo enthusiast, avid runner, sailer and skier. Active supporter of human rights.

IMG_3781
Norbert Streitmann

Norbert Streitmann is the founder of Concorde Securities Ltd. and a current member of its Board of Directors. Until 2009, he held the position of head of the retail division within the company. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors and currently holds a position on the Supervisory Board of the Investment Services Association. Additionally, Mr. Streitmann is an active member of the Supervisory Board of Hold Asset Management. Beyond his professional engagements, he passionately supports the initiatives of various non-profit organizations. Among his personal interests are investments, art collecting, and photography.

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