by Dorottya Balkó
Curious gazes were roaming over the unassuming shoeboxes placed in the middle of the table. The small studio space of Capa Center slowly filled up with excitement as people were waiting for their lids to open and the stories locked inside them to unfold.
by buhera klub
Professor Geoffrey Batchen while defining the term vernacular to rebrand it for the kind of photo discourse he was interested in pursuing “began to investigate the use of the word vernacular, a word already employed in architectural circles to describe ordinary structures, like homemade mud brick dwellings but also, and more controversially, the ugly generic buildings used by Pizza Hut or McDonald’s”. Inspired by his findings we asked the team of 'buhera klub' to shed a light on the origin of the phrase vernacular architecture so we can gain more knowledge about theoretical parallels that lie between the before mentioned architectural practices and everyday forms of photography.
by Róza Tekla Szilágyi
The book is a vivid outline of the role that family archives play in the almost constantly changing zeitgeist – it does all this in such a manner that we can structurally understand the individual ways that inspired, catalysed and influenced the ways of everyday photography practices during the Soviet-era.
by Endre Cserna
The most interesting visual experience for me last year happened on the most surprising platform, and it has continued to captivate my imagination ever since, especially considering that the images themselves may not necessarily be interesting at first glance.
by Szabolcs Barakonyi
Curatorial text from the exhibition
Our exhibition titled Sándor Kereki – Budapest in the seventies from a boy’s perspective was on view from December 7, 2023 to February 4, 2024 in Capa Center, Budapest. Sándor Kereki was born in 1952 and at the age of 16, while still in high school, he started taking pictures with the camera his father gave him for his birthday. He never studied photography in a formal school setting.
by the Vernacular Social Club
The Photo Vault is a newly started podcast series run by the team behind Vernacular Social Club – a journey into Vernacular Photography, archives, collecting and photo books. The host of the podcast is Lukas Birk, founder of Fraglich Publishing, co-founder of the Vernacular Social Club.
by Dorottya Balkó
With the passing decades, the changes in memory politics require us to constantly reflect back on and contextualise certain parts of our national history. The photograph functioning as a kind of lieu de mémoire can help us either recall bygone events or create a subsequent connection to our ancestors’ past. Showcased on bookshelves, organised in numbered albums or kept in shoeboxes, everyday photographs are especially powerful tools to engage with stories that are often missing from history books – the private narratives of ordinary people.
by Róza Tekla Szilágyi
The photography exhibition displaying more than one hundred works in the Hungarian National Gallery celebrating the 150th birthday of Budapest is a huge success – so much so that the institution just extended the exhibition until 7 April. The exhibition organised in conjunction with the Fortepan digital photo archive evokes the Hungarian capital in its heyday, at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We sat down with Miklós Tamási, founder of Fortepan to find out how he came across the negatives of photographs of Budapest, hitherto unknown in Hungary, taken by a German postcard publishing company and preserved in the collection of the Deutsche Fotothek in Dresden.
by Róza Tekla Szilágyi
Focusing on the collectors and safekeepers, Eidolon Journal starts a new series where we showcase a unique archive and collection every month!
In the first part of this new series we’ve talked to Sue Smallwood, whose collection of photo booth pictures captures raw emotions, offering glimpses into people's lives that we can all relate to.
Miklós Tamási interviewed by György Simó
Fortepan is the largest, constantly expanding, Hungarian-language, free online archive of photographs. It was named after the Fortepan photographic film manufactured in the former Forte Factory in the town of Vác.
Interview with Brookly-based Canadian freelance writer, video game designer and podcaster merritt k about her new publication LAN Party
On the Interest Toward Everyday Photography
Nowadays, we live in the age of banal image-making, since taking photos has become comically simple; anyone can snap pictures anytime. Remarkably, besides the interest in photos taken today, past-century vernacular photography is also drawing considerable attention.
Interview with writer, photographer, and blogger Matt Colquhoun
Their new book Narcissus in Bloom: An Alternative History of the Selfie was recently published on Repeater Books and presents an alternative interpretation of the selfie.
Interview with The Family Museum
The mission of The Family Museum is to explore our understanding of ‘family’ as expressed through vernacular photography, and the opportunities the archive offers for research and discussion around the history and practice of amateur photography.
Interview with Sándor Kardos, founder of the Horus Archives
Named the Horus Archives, the collection of Sándor Kardos has been expanding for more than 40 years, becoming, in terms of size, the largest private collection in Hungary. Quoting him: "I learned a lot from amateur photographers, from the hundreds of thousands of people whom I cannot know personally."
Between the Eye and AI
Excerpt from Joanna Zylinska's forthcoming book titled The Perception Machine: Our Photographic Future Between the Eye and AI (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2023).
Joachim Schmid (born in 1955) is an artist and photographic critic based in Berlin who is primarily known for his work focusing on vernacular photography. One of his most renowned works is the series titled Other People's Photographs (2008-2011), in which he self-published ninety-six books featuring photographs sourced from online platforms such as Flickr.
Interview with Michal Simunek
Michal Simunek is a Czech academic specialising in media studies and sociology. His scholarly interests span various fields, including the theory and history of photography, media studies, visual culture, consumer culture, and ethnographic research methodologies.
Hungarian Interview Series (with English subtitles)
András Bán (1951), visual anthropologist, teacher, art critic, has been publishing reviews and essays specifically on fine-art photography and contemporary art since 1973. From 1993, he taught visual anthropology at the Department of Cultural and Visual Anthropology, University of Miskolc, and was co-founder of the Private Photo and Film Archives’s research group.
Our exhibition, unveiling previously unseen parts of Sándor Kardos' remarkable photography project, ‘The Horus Archives,’ was on display from September 21, 2023 to October 14, 2023. This compact project was hosted at the Szikra Képzőművészeti Bemutatóterem in Budapest, and it delved into a unique and intriguing aspect of press culture in Post-War Hungary – the practice of ‘photo critiques.’
Although amateur or family photographs weren’t created with the intention of being institutionally collected, researched, and displayed, these visual materials have still become an important topic in contemporary visual culture. The collecting of everyday photographs has a rich history in Hungary; hence they can be found in archives of vastly different profiles. Eidolon Centre of Everyday Photography now takes up the quest to initiate discussion concerning the different institutional approaches to vernacular photography and to uncover the legal issues their usage and showcasing might bring forward.
Interview with Austrian visual artist & publisher Lukas Birk, who recently visited Budapest as a guest lecturer for our event, 'Talks on Everyday Imaging.' Simultaneously, he launched a new platform, Vernacular Social Club, an association dedicated to promoting and disseminating vernacular documents. The club's founding members also include Jean-Marie Donat, Thomas Sauvin and Christophe Thiebaut.
Watch Geoffrey Batchen's keynote speech at our event 'Talks on everyday imaging – the analogue and digital realm of the vernacular'.
Her works are preserved in public museum collections and have also been exhibited, she was subject to ethnographic studies and a TV show on social photography, yet, Mariska Travnik’s name may not ring a bell. While her life’s work has literally been taken off from the attic, it is still gathering dust, even though Mariska’s artistic career is one of the unique and unexpected wonders in the history of Hungarian photography.
Watch all three presentations of the first segment of our event 'Talks on everyday imaging – the analogue and digital realm of the vernacular'.
When someone takes up the challenge of showcasing photographs on a website or as part of a print publication, more often than not faces the limitations of copyright. Therefore, the second panel discussion of Eidolon Centre for Everyday Photography hosted by Capa Center focused on the detailed explanation of the current copyright system using Fortepan as a case study. The guests were Dr. Flóra Gubicz copyright lawyer and Miklós Tamási, the founder of Fortepan.
Tune in to our video with Sándor Kereki as he shares insights into his photographic legacy and the nearly lost body of work currently exhibited at the Capa Center in Budapest. Our exhibition Sándor Kereki – Budapest in the seventies from a boy’s perspective is open until February 4, 2024.
We present two recordings from our 'Talks on everyday imaging – the analogue and digital realm of the vernacular’ event's Hungarian segment: an insightful lecture by photo critic Judit Gellér on the history of Hungarian vernacular photography and a video featuring Miklós Tamási, co-founder of the region's most significant photographic archive, Fortepan.
Not only copyright, but also personality rights could pose a serious challenge for institutions showcasing everyday photographs. Since these photos were taken of and by private individuals, their publishing can understandably cause personal inconveniences. Through the discussion of lawyer Bea Bodrogi and the director of Eidolon Centre Róza Tekla Szilágyi, the third event organized by Eidolon Centre and Capa Centre dived into the complexities of personality rights.
Watch the presentations of the second segment of our event 'Talks on everyday imaging – the analogue and digital realm of the vernacular' featuring Annebella Pollen, Joanna Zylinska & Joachim Schmid.
by András Zsuppán
To celebrate on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Budapest, the Hungarian National Gallery is hosting a special exhibition of over a hundred photos evoking the capital city during its first golden age, the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The pictures of the city, previously unknown in Hungary, were made by a German postcard manufacturer, and they were discovered by the editors of Fortepan in the collection of Deutsche Fotothek in Dresden. These views are supplemented with extraordinary 3D stereograms of the young metropolis taken by Frigyes Schoch.