A message for the future
On one of our kabbalath shabbaths there was a tall man with mostly white hair and round glasses – who appeared, a friend of one friend – her family name is Mózes – Moishe! Zsófi talked to this tall men, and they had the idea to organize an exhibition in our living room. He is a very nice, very open person – and looks like the “artist” you imagine by the book. He has taken photos of beautiful women in the last 4 years, as part of a method called “photo therapy”. The idea is to bring out your true personality through a portrait. After having taken the photo he also paints it with chemicals until it gets to its final form.
While preparing to the exhibition he invited us, the Moishe girls to his studio that is located in a squat, close to us. The building used to be a school, there is still the place of the big bell that signalized the beginning and the end of the break. Before the war it actually used to be a Jewish school. In the middle of the house there is a café / bar, and it has several other rooms where there are parties, concerts, movie screenings, exhibitions and more. Already getting into András Szirtes apartment was an experience. His apartment can be reached from the corridor, is on the 5th floor. His doorbell is mechanic, meaning, you need to pull a string at the entrance, and ca. 5 meters behind, at the door of the apartment a small bell, that is tied to the string, starts to move and make sounds. The next image of this visit was that the three of us sitting next to each other, and need to stay still until he takes the photo. We agreed before that he will take a photo of the three Moishe girls, but none of us knew how this will really go. While preparing to the photo he gave funny instructions, like: And now look, as if you are sending a message to the future by your expression. Or: and now look, as if you knew that this image of you is on a huge painting at the entrance of your castle, that your grandchildren look at whenever they enter. His camera is really old, it stands on huge legs, and he hides behind it when he takes the photo – or he makes circles with a candle in front of our faces to light it up. He made a shorter exposition time with us – just 4 seconds, maybe a bit longer. After the experiment he has developed and checked the photos. Some days later we have received the work – framed. It did not become part of the exhibition, but more just a joke, a memory. This time he has started to put up the exhibition and come to the Moishe house regularly. András, quickly became member of the Moishe house family – a brother, a father, an uncle, sometimes a child. Finally the time of the exhibition opening came. András has sent an invitation to all of his models, and many of them came. It was really funny to recognize people who were on the photos. Eszter has invited Dani, our friend a great jazz musician to play some music. András has written a very funny text about the exhibition he made, and he also has read aloud an other text which was the lines of him chatting online with his daughter. We provided some wine and some leftover sandwiches from the previous day. They were gone in a minute. After András has read his exhibition opening he was suddenly holding three roses in his hand that he said were presents for the Moishe girls. Moreover, since this day was Anna’s birthday, he also got a cake (flódni – typical Hungarian Jewish cake) for her. Anna was really touched by his “performance”, and it was a very special moment for us, the Moishe house girls. We had a lot of work and things in the last months, but the exhibition and Anna’s birthday has united us again, in a very special way. Couple hours after there were still people coming, even though we have almost consumed everything. Dani was playing “juke box” – you could ask for any song, and he played it! We were in Anna’s room, with open window, as the weather was nice already – and we felt like 18 a bit… The exhibition is still there, there is a nice guest book, and András comes regularly to take care of the images, sometimes he changes one person to someone else, sometimes he just comes to hang out. He even put a painting on our balcony, so that you can see it from the street – something we have planed for long to do! In the meantime, talking to András it has turned out that he used to go to the camp in Bánk – a place where we are organizing a summer festival. It is so interesting how our lifes are connected, intertwined!
We are now planning to do a finissage this month for those who could not see the exhibition yet. Next week one of the models will come – we are curious to meet her. And maybe, Anna Mózes, our friend whose friend is András, will be the next one to make an exhibition in the Budapest Moishe house. I am sure it will be as adventurous, meaningful and funny as this one!