Zoltan Vadaszi is a Hungarian photographer who lives in Budapest. He began making photographs 13 years ago, starting with digital photography and switching to analog photography three years ago. He is particularly passionate about instant photography and loves to be able to manipulate the film to produce wild and unexpected outcomes. Vadaszi received a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering in 2012 and works part-time as a biomedical engineer. He is also enrolled in a Master of Arts in Photography program at Kaposvár University in Hungary, a way to compliment his already long history with photography and push the limits of his technique and artistry. He finds his university experience to be very important to him, stating that he is fascinated by his professors and inspired by the university environment. Vadaszi's work has been shown extensively, in solo and group expositions, in print, online, and he has pieces in the Hungarian Museum of Photography.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Zoltan Vadaszi about his series "Adverse Events". This series draws the viewer into a rich, visual landscape, animated by an otherworldly ambiance. In this universe created by Vadaszi's photos, it seems that the sun is perpetually just about to set, as an eerie glow illuminates each scene, highlighting the play of light and shadow. We feel a sense of something about to happen. It's not necessarily something apocalyptic or catastrophic, but there is a sense of impending drama nonetheless, a certain tension among the elements depicted in the images. The series is a dialogue between man and nature, exploring how the human footprint has changed the natural world, how Mother Nature has responded to this presence, how she has continued to evolve, despite any adversity she may have experienced, and how sometimes there is a certain harmony in the relationship that exists between the two seemingly opposing forces. This is the beauty of photography: ordinary moments are rendered into something transcendent. Vasadzi's photos pull us in, inviting us to pose questions about the scene unfolding before us, about how it makes us feel, about what associations we have with what we are seeing as we try to create a storyline that connects to our schema.
In this body of work, Vadaszi intentionally creates "adverse effects," in which he reproduces and controls to the extent possible what would otherwise be considered technical errors, such as overexposing and or underexposing the photos, manipulating the possibilities and the potential the instant film he loves working with. He is drawn by the aesthetics and the unpredictability of the medium. Despite making controlled "errors" there rests an element of uncertainty as to exactly how the final image will turn out. This is what captivates Vadaszi and compels him to keep coming back to instant film.
When he first used expired Impossible Project film, he realized that the photos were overexposed, but they had a strange, fascinating texture. He started experimenting with this kind of imaging and later, while shooting with film that hadn’t yet expired, he purposefully overexposed the photographs in an attempt to achieve the same effect. By going deeper, as artists tend to do, his next question was how he could intensify these—or other kinds of—errors?
After making the overexposed photos, he next attempted to underexpose them as much as possible during the scanning process. This created a rainbow-colored Newton effect on the images, since the protective layer of the Impossible Project film was in direct contact with the glass scanner plate. That was one of the results he loved the most. The unpredictability of the Newton rings represents the entire project, and there is always a little surprise at the end of the scanning process. By placing the photos on the glass plate of the scanner, these events can be reproducible to some extent, but an element of randomness is still retained.
During this project, Vadaszi's goal was to compare the perfection of nature with human intervention and to find the harmony between them—if indeed there is any. Buildings and abandoned structures sometimes co-exist very comfortably with nature, and it is exciting to see natural forces retake their territory over the years.
On the other hand, he says, it is always calming to examine nature in its undisturbed state.
Vadaszi sites many sources of inspiration. He really loves the entire instant artist community, and says it's hard to highlight names but Britt Grimm Valentine, Ina Echternach, Lisa Toboz, and Lela Gruen are really inspiring for me. He is a member of the InstART Group, Hungary and also all the members are really inspiring. He also loves the photography of Vera A Fehér, János Vachter, the entire Errorism Group and László Gálos. And of course he has to mention Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as well, if we are talking about masters of photography.
Vadaszi's work has been widely exhibited and featured worldwide online and in print. Of the numerous showings of his work, some of his recent solo exhibitions include: "Adverse Events" at Mecsek Photo Club in Pécs, Hungary in June 2017 and "Adverse Events" at Massolit Books and Cafe in Budapest in July 2016. He has shown in group exhibitions that include: "Mono", A juried international photography exhibition at PH21 Gallery in Budapest in June 2017 and "Project 8", an Impossible Project Group Exhibition held in Berlin in October 2016. Vadaszi's work is also held in public collections that include the Hungarian Museum of Photography in Kecskemét, Hungary. He has been featured in print and online via the 2018 Photodarium Polaroid Calendar, The Impossible Project Magazine, and the Film Shooters Collective. In addition, Vadaszi is also a member of the Association of Hungarian Photographers, the InstART Group in Hungary, and the MobilArt Group in Hungary.