High Voltage photography of Dezső Szabó

I caught photographer Dezső Szabó’s show “High Voltage” just before it closed at Trafó, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it despite being underwhelmed with the images I saw on the internet. In person however, the large-format, square photographs are fantastically evocative and clear compositions.  The staged vacuum around the lightning and the hyper-pigmentation makes you question the source of the image, and the black borders make you doubly aware that it is a photograph being presented as a photograph. Szabó creates his images in a large, enclosed box with many tools and apparatuses that mock the effect of natural phenomena. More images of the photographs and video on Trafó’s website here.

From the exhibition text:

“The artist is obsessively searching for possibilities of creating and re-creating reality with his photos, which are shots made about modelled views, which are constructed with simulational techniques. Dezső Szabó’s images are focusing on the documentary nature of photography, and the photos themselves speak about the modus operandi of the medium.

In order to create this imagery, the artist has been modelling various physical phenomena with the use of smoke machines, water circulators, and pyrotechnics. The latest images were also taken in laboratory conditions with the help of a custom-made Tesla-transformator, which creates electric discharges, which are smaller but similar phenomena as the thunderbolts of summer storms.”

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