My personal encounter with the winner of the literary Nobel Prize Imre Kertész was the beginning of a deeper involvement with his oeuvre, the main subject of which was totalitarism and the endless flexibility of man. After having done the photofilm FIASKO (www.fiasko.info) in cooperation with the media artists Katja Pratschke (born in Frankfurt) and Gusztáv Hámos (born in Budapest) it is our intention to deal with the same subject in the form of a photonovel.
The photonovel FIASKO is based on and named after Kertész’ novel. He describes his absurd attempt of a new beginning – after Auschwitz and Buchenwald – in the Budapest of the Stalin area. Our photonovel transfers Kertész’ literary method into a visual language: the joining of fragmentary elements of the past and of the present, finding a trace that links experience and remembrance. From 2008 to 2010 approximately 800 colored medium-format photos were taken. The sequential photos have been taken on the original locations. The remainders of the past systems are rendered via multiple exposures, pictures shown in their ambivalence, mirroring etc. The literary text and the photographies remain independent from one another, however they enter into a dialog and open up space for associations. The course of movement caused by the juxtaposition of multiple still images is continued when one turns the pages (see chronophotography).
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
Kertész’ novel Fiasko tells the story of how his well-known work Fateless came into being. With the photonovel we make a journey to the places where Kertész has lived and worked: a machine factory in Csepel, the prison Márianoszta, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the thermal baths of Budapest, etc. The recipient is made familiar with Kertész’ poetical method and his philosophical view. Both, the photonovel as well as the photofilm will be presented in the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt/Main once the financing has successfully ended. We plan a tour in the Rhein-Main area and will contact literary institutions, festival organizations, Jewish centers, cinemas, universities, schools, museums, galleries, etc. In order to be able to print the photonovel we would like to ask for a financial contribution from those who love photography, film and literature (especially lovers of Kertész’ oeuvre) and from those who have a particular interest in Budapest and the history of totalitarism.
Why would you support this project?
We had succeeded in financing the printing of the book. Unfortunately the financial support given to us by the VG Bild-Kunst has been lost due to the insolvency of the publisher. However, we strongly believe that the book deserves publishing and in advance would like to thank you for your generous financial contribution!
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
The sum raised will be fully invested in the production of the photonovel (750 copies). The investment comprises next to the expenses concerning the printing (which is the largest part), the text rights of Kertész’ original, the translation rights (Melville House), the fees for the introduction and the epilog as well as their respective translation. Revolver Publishing will publish the photonovel (17 x 24 cm, 144 pages, English). In case we should raise more money than needed, we will extend our planned tour (presentation of the book and screening) beyond the Rhein-Main area, hopefully to Hungary.
Who are the people behind the project?
The Concrete Narrative Society e.V. was founded in January 2006 and has been registered as a non-profit Association for the Promotion of Arts and Culture. One of the concerns of this Association are the techniques of contemporary cinematography that reaches beyond the cinema screen, and their complexity. For this purpose the Association initiates publications, organizes exhibitions, symposia and seminars and curates film sessions. Presentations of photofilm series, consisting of six film programs, took place at the following locations: Tate Modern London, National Gallery of Art Washington, SFMOMA and Triennale der Photographie Hamburg.The photofilm FIASKO was presented together with 30 other selected examples.