THE JOURNEYS OF A DIFFERENT ARTIST…
Dr. Tiberiu Alexa
Handling the lens system of his „camera obscura” with the scientific rigour of a paleontologist and the delicacy of a medieval jeweller, Miklós Klotz scrutinizes the world absorbed into and eager to cut out those aspects of everyday life whose only authentically spectacular exceptionality is given by the image itself.
Rarely have I encountered in the field of visual arts a happier and more organic blend of the aesthetic, the technological, the scientific and the social.
Artistic photography – like the one Miklós Klotz makes with so much attention to the development of the poetic potential of visual images – becomes thus an instrument for exploring the resources of expression and knowledge, equally distributed throughout the world’s cultural geographies and reflected in ancient community traditions and/or in the contemporary developments. Just like the geographers and ethnographers in the beginning of the modern age who were real explorers, when he sets off on journeys to either closer or more remote areas – such as Australia, Africa, the Far East, but also his home Europe – which turn into research „expeditions” to what is commonly cold „periphery”, where archaic traces and remains are still alive, Miklós Klotz becomes part of his magical camera which is provided with a tripod, box, leather fold and packets of photographic plates. Once back to Budapest, in his laboratory which is the general headquarters of his gallery, the „Miró” Gallery, he selects, stores, processes and transposes rigorous selections from the „image crops” he had immortalized. Afterwards he takes the public by surprises by regularly displaying his cultural products with artistic attributes and qualities, which become part of his thematic exhibitions, photographic albums or multimedia presentations. The resulting artistic production (photographic objects, exhibition constructs and concepts, bibliophilic objects, multimedia ensembles and presentations) can be compared with drawing up the chapters of a visual meta-journal.
In his artistic exploits Miklós Klotz’s has the attitude of an explorer-reporter, who carries out the necessary cultural documentation before setting off for the very field research – which includes such stages as identification, investigation, communication with the subjects of his research, knowing the respective people and places – and then selects his artistic motifs, decides on the compositional framing and cut-outs and makes the necessary „technical-material” arrangements in order to get the locals’ approval (often such arrangements are complicated and involve negotiating „in kind” or cash indemnification in exchange for the „licence” for the right to take pictures – all these depending on the convictions, beliefs and the cultural requirements of that place!). There is one single point in which Miklós Klotz’s attitude coincides with the behaviour of today’smass media reporters – the fact that both immortalize everyday life. Apart from that, there is no other similitude. The artist is interested solely in the various facets of everyday life, whether they are only apparently or genuinely ordinary facts in the social and cultural context of the place under artistic investigation. Any other journalistic approaches, such as the search of the sensational, violence, aggressivity by contrasting the extremes, conflicting attitudes, etc., are completely excluded. The explanation for this sharp border is simple and natural: Miklós Klotz’s exploits are above all deeply personal experiences through which the artist gets to know, understand and take intellectual possession of his subjects. Afterwards the results of these experiences which are displayed for the public fulfil the cultural and artistic objectives which help model and shape their cultural and aesthetic horizons.
Such unambiguous artistic attitudes interconnect in Miklós Klotz’s photographic expression. That is, in the Miklós Klotz’s technical and stylistic means used by the artist as instruments typical of visual arts, i.e. the framing, the compositional principles and rules, the emotional calibration generated by the chromatic charge of the visual space (with distinct solutions which differentiate the „black and white” and the „colour” formulas), the appropriate use of the stylistic devices, etc. Compositionally the artist’s creation points to the dominant features of moderate „classicism”, with clear hints to such aesthetic values as formal unity, harmony, clarity, transparency, balance. Most often his framings generate closed compositional images, which are either stative, with an inside balance that is made slightly more dynamic either through the use of ascendant lines or strictly controlled diagonals. All these are meant to enhance the poetics of a short, condensed narration where the interest is focused on the pure poetic beauty of the archaicism of both people and places.
The human motif holds key functions in articulating and converting the messages into metaphors. In his photographs Miklós Klotz explores and presents living realities, whether they exist in close or remote places. They are realities unknown to most people living in a consumer society, which we ignore or marginalize due to our drive to „seize the day”. Calmly, patiently and with refinement, the artist tells us visual stories with the skill of a short-story writer and the lyric emotion of a symbolist poet, merging lights, sounds, shadows, movement vibrations, colours, scents, the black and white, and stillness into a polyphonic ensemble.
The same world, other territories, the same people, other images
… a different artist…
In the last ten years Miklós Klotz has become a real contemporary temporary colonist of the Baia Mare Artistic Centre. Besides his journeys and photography sessions here, he was one of the participations in the Annual of Arts (2004), the official salon of the local artistic community. Miklós Klotz also exhibited works three times at the group exhibition called the New International Colony of Baia Mare (2003, 2005, 2008) and had three personal exhibitions here: „Masks” – The Venice Carnival (2002), „Faces…….” – Kasserian Inkera (2002) and Journeys (2010-2011) – an exhibition which was first shown at the «Baia Mare Artistic Centre» County Art Museum in February 2011 and then at the Museum of Oaş Land of Negreşti-Oaş. The artist has donated seven of his works to the Baia Mare Art Museum; these have been included in the Museum’s recently inaugurated contemporary art photography collection.
All the above are reasons for which we are honouring the creation and friendship of this new contemporary temporary colonist of the Baia Mare Artistic Centre through the micro-album entitled „Miklós Klotz. The journeys of a different artist…”