'Exploring interesting dynamics of a City'

'Exploring interesting dynamics of a City'

It’s been four days since Berlin-based artist Gusztáv Hámos is in the City. But he seems to be least impressed by the national Capital.

“On Saturday I decided to walk from Saket to Khirkee Extension. I was bit annoyed with cars and motorcycles, so I decided to walk on the pavement. Before I could realise it was devoid of streetlight, I had fallen into an open manhole,” says Gusztáv who was injured and is in a state of shock after the incident.

Still, he is not badmouthing about Delhi, where he has exhibited his collection of photographs and videos - -‘Sample Cities/Imaginary Spaces’ a cinematographic installation at Khoj International Artists’ Association, Khirkee Extension.

It is his third visit to India.  Last year in February he visited Bangalore for an exhibition and then later Mumbai for the exhibition which is presently on view.

 “The work is basically my research work on photography and film,” says Gusztáv, who started photography way back in 1970s.

“I was very much interested in photography. People say it is a proof of reality. But the moment you click a picture reality is fictionalised. I did a series of photographs to understand the reality and fiction,” says the artist who gradually shifted to video art after he moved to Berlin in 1979. 

He succeeded in that field and worked for German film and television industry.

For years Gusztáv worked on interactive videos and installations. While working, what intrigued him the most was “Why should pictures move in a film?”

“Till 1998 I produced essay films for German television. While I was working, the concept of moving images attracted me and I therefore decided to produce films without moving images. I believe through a series of photographs a story can be narrated,” says he.

Another thing that draws his attention is the ‘City’. “City life, indeed, is a very interesting thing.

It tells you about the people who are living in it and about the circumstances they are surviving in. It has very interesting dynamics too, expresses a lot about the relationship of the people at social, political and economic levels,” says Gusztáv.

His latest exhibition has photo-sequence works of  cities like Berlin, Budapest and New York which have a traumatised past due to Cold War, dictatorships and terrorist-engineered catastrophe.  These images were produced by the artist between 1973
and 2012. 

“I was born when the Cold War was going on. I grew up in a socialist country like Hungary and experienced the soft dictatorship. Since I belong to a Jewish family, my family was moved in the Holocaust. My great grandparents and relatives were killed in World War. I know the suffering of the people when they experience such tragedies. This feeling makes every picture special to me as it is a part of me,” says  Gusztáv.