Q&A: Gábor Arion Kudász


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? I never had the endurance to commit myself long enough to any of them. Maybe the only idea that stays with me is that I better not adopt any predigested philosophy, I’ll only have one when I’ll be able to develop my own. I will let you know when I succeed. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? I think this is the key question to describe why generations do not understand each other. If we were able to predict what they will find unexplainable or awkward, then we’d be able to react within our time. So the closest answer right now is: they will be baffled by our inability to foresee how pointless most of our acts were. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Conspiracy is the standard functioning of our systems, not just political, but rules of nature and so on. I’m aware of some of my own conspiracies that help me to blend in. What is it that interests you about photography? Photography is the most exciting way to communicate with myself. Some ideas are born through the making of an image or through an attempt to visualize a bodiless thought. The discovery that I can’t totally control the possible readings emerging from a set of photographs is a valuable reward always. What is the worst thing about city life? I can remember in my bachelor years the worst feeling was that I was always missing out on something. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Any. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Could you explain to me what you mean by supernatural? For my dog the thunderstorm is the most frightful manifestation of the supernatural. He doesn’t have the resources to comprehend it. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Never thought of that before. Maybe Churchill, because he seems to me like a relaxed and self confident person.

Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Futurology What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? No answer to this one. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Wood workshop cleaning. Not as complicated as joinery but you still get to be in that smell. How often do you take other people’s advice? I do it very often.I spend hours trying to evaluate the pros and cons of an advice. Actually, it makes me feel bad for days when an advice sucks so much that I can’t take it, seriously. Describe a personal hell. The feeling of guilt for something I know I shouldn’t feel guilty of. Which living person do you most admire? My wife. On what occasion do you lie? When lying doesn’t make any difference, so I can enjoy the art of deceiving without the moral dilemma. What was the last crime you witnessed? My son slammed the door on the little finger of his brother, a day before Christmas. Oh no, yesterday someone took my parking spot. What is the best way to educate yourself? Teaching. I learn a lot from my students. What is the next book you want to read? Currently I’m reading the book I gave to my wife for Christmas. It’s a lovely read, but you have to pay close attention to the innovative use and misuse of language. A Little Hungarian Pornography of Peter Esterhazy. After that comes Ingmar Berman’s Best Intentions. Ultimate camera? My eye, obviously. Most used camera? Depends on the actual project. For years I used a MamiyaRB67, which was kind of like a marriage. Now I prefer a very light and small 4×5 wooden Shen Hao, Hong Kong made. What object do you want? A universal shredder that could help me get rid of all the unnecessary objects accumulating around me. What object do you need? Nothing really, as long as my body functions according to its design. See above!

How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Imagine all the nerve cells in the brain as individual people writing, reading, sending and receiving letters to one another. Now picture our planet as this brain, then you have it. Internet is this brain stuck in constant daydreaming. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Definitely. I like the idea that the limitations of my capabilities draw a circle of existence around me. What I can’t do, doesn’t need to be done. Describe a cheap thrill. Licking a 9 volt battery. Right now as I think of it I can feel the tickle and the shadow of its metallic taste on my tongue. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1941-1942 or American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of 911. It’s not enough to have the camera, one has to use it, know what to look at and the pictures have to survive. Too many variables. Are impulses more important than consequences? Consequences can’t be avoided and they keep our consciousness alive. It is more exciting to deliberately do or say something that has incalculable consequences just to see how the world will react, than letting our impulses loose and fly blind. Impulses are boring, consequences are fun. Which talent would you most like to have? Time management. Being able to only focus on what is important. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? My friend invited me to go ice sailing tomorrow morning, but I already promised another artist friend to photograph a piece in his exhibition for his catalogue. My plan is to do both.

Arion was born in Budapest, 1978. He is a photographer, teacher of photography, and a father of three children. He usually works on long-term projects incorporating staged elements into documentary photography, dedicated to the exploration of human presence, be it in urban architecture, environmental issues or private histories. He graduated in Photography at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, where he is now a lecturer of the Photography MA program. Arion’s work has been acknowledged with Balogh Rudolf award of the Hungarian Republic in 2013. His most recent work, HUMAN was the winner of the Robert Capa Grand Prize, finalist of Leopold Bloom Art Award and Le Bal Award in 2015. See more of Arion’s work at: www.arionkudasz.com