Early Works

ZOLTÁN JÓKAY
Frame Nr. 5


 

I assume these images were taken around 1968 with my first little Agfa rangefinder camera. I didn´t get to see frame five back then. It was the beginning of the roll, only halfway exposed and out of focus—it simply hadn´t been printed at the drugstore.

During my college years, there was a moment when I realized that photographing people would become my theme. I was extremely shy then, and for months I walked the streets without daring to take photographs of anyone. Once in a while, when the impulse was strong enough, I overcame my inhibitions. Somewhere along the road I realized that my images told as much about me as they did about the reality in front of my camera. I began to look back into my childhood, a childhood that was defined by loneliness and neglect. I tried to remember things I used to want to forget. So, I printed out old childhood negatives. And there it was, this image, emerging out of my faded memories: the puffy face of my mother and the long days she stayed in bed without ever getting up. In the darkness of the nights we heard her crying and stayed silent.

The kids in the next frame are my sister and her friend. What a mixed bag of memories—family secrets, the resemblance of normality, moments of blissful oblivion.

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