Tamas Dezso: Notes for an Epilogue
17 April - 13 June 2015
Ciprian, the Bear Dancer (Salatruc, East Romania), 2013 © Tamas Dezso
The Flooded Village of Geamana (Geamana, Central Romania), 2011 © Tamas Dezso
Carpet Sellers (Pojorata, North Romania), 2012 © Tamas Dezso
Night Watchman (Budapest), 2009 © Tamas Dezso
Dump (near Aiud, West Romania), 2012 © Tamas Dezso
Copsa Mica Factory (Copsa Mica, Central Romania), 2013 © Tamas Dezso
4 March 2015
Print Sales’ Gallery presents Notes for an Epilogue and Here, Anywhere the acclaimed series by Hungarian photographer Tamas Dezso. This will be the first UK exhibition of Dezso’s work following his much lauded presentation at Unseen, Amsterdam in 2014.
Notes for an Epilogue and Here, Anywhere are on-going bodies of work depicting a time of transition in rural Romania and across Hungary following the fall of Communism in the late 1980s. The projects comprise images of large-scale, painterly landscapes, derelict factories and life on the periphery of society. With these series Dezso is not offering portraits of a nation but rather a careful examination of the decaying ruins of the Soviet era, their effects on villages, communities and individuals and the slow disappearance of centuries-old traditions.
Born in Budapest in 1978, Dezso began his career as a photojournalist for various magazines and daily newspapers before deciding to focus on his own work examining Eastern Europe at a time of major political transition. Starting in 2009 with Here, Anywhere in his native Hungary, Dezso turned his attention in 2011 to neighboring Romania where totalitarianism and forced industrialisation under the rule of Nicolae Ceauescu took a more aggressive form.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union a series of sweeping political and economic reforms ended decades of physical and intellectual oppression. Yet the promise of change was soon replaced by disappointment and stagnation as modernisation failed to take hold and unemployment continued to soar. Waves of migration turned industrial areas into ghost towns, fanning support for far right political groups in Hungary while also generating feelings of misplaced nostalgia throughout the region.
Avoiding a direct documentary approach Dezso imbues his images with a heavy sense of atmosphere, making use of muted palettes and winter scenery to convey an unsettling stillness. Dilapidated factories symbolise the psychological and physical condition of former workers now yearning for the stability of previous times. Traditional costumes, particularly as seen in his photographs of Romania, allude to the failure of successive governments in spreading new economic and social policies while also acting as sentimental reminders of a world quickly disappearing.
Tamas Dezso said: Having grown up experiencing the influence of Soviet power on everyday life and interpreting its intellectual and social after-effects as an adult, I decided to record the hidden realities of both countries as they hover on the borderline between East and West. Notes for an Epilogue aims to capture the sense of isolation, disillusionment, patience and hope those in the region feel as customs and rituals passed down the generations are rapidly vanishing and many are left to survive on the dwindling resources left behind by the old regime.
The exhibition features thirteen works in total: three pieces from Here, Anywhere and ten from Notes for an Epilogue. Prices range from £1200 to £6500 + VAT with prints produced in varying dimensions. Additional works from these series are available to view and purchase on request.