An Interview with: Domonkos Varga

 

The final summer before studying away from home can certainly be filled with excitements and anxieties in preparation for a three-year venture of self-discovery. For Hungarian photographer Domonkos Varga, it was an opportunity to document a personal and environmental change. Photographs of himself, the streets and its’ structures form the eclectic environmental portrait of his project Gradient, that was published shortly before his first term at Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design (MOME).

 How is your first term at the Moholy-Nagy University? What first drew you to it as a creative institution?

I really enjoy studying at Moholy-Nagy University. For me the best part is the community and structure of education here. This course gives me useful knowledge and a lot of inspiration as a young artist.

Now all of our photography students are working on the same big subject called To Infinity and Beyond because our university is collaborating with BredaPhoto Festival (05/09-21/10 2018). I found this task very interesting and I believe that I could use my conceptual perception relating to this topic as well.

I applied to this university as it provides one of the best art programs in my country especially if you want to deal with fine art photography.

Through making Gradient, what did you that will help you in the coming year?

Mostly I learned how to express my current emotions in a meaningful way. This project was not just about self-expression and portraying the process of path finding, it was also a therapy. I think that's why I could consider this as one of my most personal photo series right now.

In addition, I started to appreciate analogue photography more than ever and only used cheap equipment. I wanted to show that it really doesn't matter what kind of equipment you use.

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What are your goals as a practitioner?

My goal so far is to make conceptual artworks and earn a living out of it. And of course I’d like to use photography as a resource to share my opinion and vision of our world.

What artists inspire you and why?  

It's hard to name one because I've got a mixed taste.

I really like Rinko Kawauchi and her emotional narrative, Gregory Crewdson's precision at staged photography and Harry Gruyaert's unique vision.

As part of the acceptance process for MOME you made two works: You, Me, Him and Homogeneity. Can you tell us a little more about these works, and what standards this set for your current practice?

 You, Me, Him was the general topic for everybody in the acceptance process. My conception was to create a staged photography series to show the subject of the connection. I chose two models with Serbian origins from my close environment.

It ought to be an example of deep friendship and connection between two sexes, but the strong narrative allows the viewer to decide whether they are a couple, two strangers or friends.

Homogeneity is more of an experimental project about the relation of people and unknown spaces. I tried to create a strange atmosphere and that’s why I asked them to pose as naturally as possible under extraordinary circumstances.

My aim was to observe the concept of the comfort zone. Both projects impacted on my train of thought by way of creating more deliberate and coherent artworks.

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