Fotograf Magazine

Viktor Szemzö

Slovak housing estates

Viktor Szemzö (born 1983) lives in Bratislava, although not in a housing project but in the old town. Bratislava’s most notorious as well as largest housing estate, built in place of gardens and peripheral rural houses, and moreover in the Danube flood plain – that is to say, in an area interwoven with numerous waterways – held such a powerful fascination for Szemzö that he photographed it several times. However, it was not until his undergraduate degree thesis at the Institute of Creative Photography of the FPF SU in Opava in 2005 that he succeeded to deliver it most aptly. It was the atmosphere of the place that had captivated Viktor Szemzö: the discrepancy between the number of people living there, and the empty spaces between the uniform houses that the inhabitants are forced to traverse each time they walk from their house to the bus stop or the local shop. They do not go for walks, do not stop to have a conversation, but rather attempt to cross these unappealing expanses in as short and fast a trajectory as possible. A space of this cast, difficult to inhabit and devoid of any traditional urban character, transforms the individual into a marginal figure in dehumanized space, unfitted to their proportions or needs.

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Sídliště, Bratislava-Petržalka, 2005
Sídliště, Bratislava-Petržalka, 2005

#9 Architecture

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