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Interview with Laszlo Maczky

by Gisela Prokop on the occassion of "Artistic conversations at Linklaters", Munich 2009.

GP: Do you still find the graphic aspect important in your new pictures?
László: Yes, it is in the foreground just like before.

GP: How do you choose the cuttings?
László: By instinct, reduced surroundings and canon of proportion.

GP:   How important is reality or does it serve only as a sample for your photoideas?
László: It serves only as a sample.

GP: How important is your personality as the creator of the picture? Is subjectivity the essence which filters or changes the outside world and tries to project it on a certain own ideal?
László: The filtering of the outside world is definitely based on subjectivity and also has to suggest optimism.

GP: Do you have such original "absolute" ideas which you want to get close to with your motives? Like for example on the photo of the facades of the city of Telć?
László: In most cases I do have such ideas. They ripen in me months earlier and just wait for the opportunity to get materialized by me.

GP: Your pictures always have some sort of an unrealistic atmosphere, they are free of people. Is it an intentional aspiration?
László: People are usually quite incalculable. What I do has nothing to do with commercial photography.

GP: Do you intentionally leave out people in order to make your motives more emphatic?
László: Yes, I do, because people don't wear suitable colours and their clothes would put a time limit to the picture through actual fashiontrends.

GP: While the landscape, the town stays there forever as they are timeless. Would you consider those landscapes "ideal" which you create like this? Like for example on The Toscan Countryside?
László: Nature has already created these landscapes way before me, so I just select a concentrated cutting. Towns are planned by architects without advertisements or other time limiting factors, which would only disturb the architecture itself or push it into the background.

GP: So these seemingly "accidental" motives are in fact strictly composed, absolute picture compositions, which will have eternal validity. Am I right?
László: Accidental motives are pretty rare, as they are influenced by the weather, by people, by movements and by quick changes.

GP: Your pictures are quiet, there is nothing noisy or disturbing in them. They have an unrealistic impact just like a silent film. Or a still picture? Is it intentional that these shots in which people normally move serve only as a décor or sometimes as a witness of an earlier presence of people? Hereby I think of your pictures entitled "Sevilla" and of "Pitigliano" and also of your landscapes.
László: A décor is not reality and most of all has a very short life. Whereas my shots are fairly long lasting, but the people in this "film" are like may-flies.

GP: Is a photography capable of showing a certain kind of "ideal" reality?
László: Yes, but only among certain circumstances. But then again, there is the question what ideal actually is, because ideal is probably a bit different for everyone. When someone shares my view of the ideal, that is a lucky coincidence.

GP: Thank you very much for this conversation!