in the Dorottya Gallery
as part of the Budapest Spring Festival
In the works of recent years, Lajos Csontó has been exploring the relationship of the individual and the community, as in the past (the past of a family, the history of personal relationships), in one’s immediate environment (family), within a larger community (friends, the profession), under the influence of the global society (advertisements, star idolatry), or amidst the complete indifference of society.
At this exhibition, he presents pictures that rely on a method he already used in earlier photos, and with which he illustrates the opposites of human relationships and value systems. In contrast to the earlier works, the text is sometimes replaced by powerful symbols, which – similarly to the formal solution of the texts – appear as white line drawings, “struck,” as it were, from the photos. He is looking at the power of various emblematic symbols from cultural history, whether complete with meanings accumulated over time, or divested from all meanings, and compares them with the customary, time-worn or clichéd signs of contemporary life.
What at first glance seem reportage photos are in fact staged scenes, commonplace images from the media that are spiked with elements that do not immediately strike the eye. By placing the emphasis on these hiding motifs – a figure or a sign in the background, or some other trifle – he invests the scene with a transcendental aura. Beside the large photos, the exhibition also includes a video installation, which also deals with personal relations.
After his retrospective exhibition in the Lajos Street Gallery of Budapest Galéria, Lajos Csontó now presents works in Dorottya Gallery that were made specifically for the display.