Fotograf Magazine

Fortepan Masters. Collective Photography in the 20th Century

Szabolcs Barakonyi (ed.), Fortepan Masters. Collective Photography in the 20th Century, Bazin Investments Ltd., Budapest 2021.

This monumental volume presents the full scope of an archival collection of vernacular photographs presented in an accessible online form. The seven-hundred-page publication edited by Szabolcs Barakonyi is a collection of the legacy of exceptional “masters” of photography. Instead of the Hungarian equivalents of Vivian Maier, we gain access to an enormous collection of so-called “master shots”. It might be seen as an imperfection that the reader sometimes feels as if the simplified crop of the shots wishes to leave nothing out, so we find no detail, precise point, or decisive moment. The original hardcover, although it is not glued or bound to the printed book, is quite a good idea, as are the inner pages that fold out into a panorama format. The book is thus great for both browsing and reading, similarly to the novels of Péter Nádas or the diaries of Sándor Márai.


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#41 postdigital photography