Viktória Balogh: Finding the End of the Rainbow
22 • 03 • 25Viktória Balogh
The photography grant created for commemorating the photographer, professional writer and photography teacher József Pécsi (1889–1956), was founded by the Ministry of Culture and Education in 1991. Its purpose is to help to start the career, creative work, and development of talented photographers working as independent artists, and to provide them with favorable conditions for the creation of high-quality artworks which are modern both in terms of form and content.
Establishing a home is a major challenge for the vast majority of Hungarian society. Construction raw material prices have risen dramatically in recent years, labor costs are high due to labor shortages, and good tradespeople are hard to find. Property prices have almost doubled, not only in Budapest but also in the countryside. A person with an average income probably cannot get a property without a loan and subsidies. And, in many cases, the various home-creation programs only encourage this desire, but rarely provide genuine support to families in actual need. There is a housing crisis.
The average Hungarian family lives on 78.3 m2. In my video work, I enclose an area of exactly this size: it is the symbolic construction of the foundations of a fictive house.
The carrying of stones is an allegory of the – even physically – difficult, exhausting and lengthy process of establishing a home. The location and the landscape are strange and unfamiliar. Via the horizontal images of the video, we can see the seemingly Sisyphean, never-ending process and the human scale. A top-view photograph shows the created pattern, the foundation. The static nature of the medium reinforces the uncertainty that accompanies the process of creating a home. Will the house ever be built?
The actual answer to this question can be found in the Napló (Diary), the text sections of which tell the story of one year’s events: the progress of home creation, the problems and their possible solutions. The accompanying drawings, watercolors and photographs, on the other hand, are imprints of planning and dreaming. The diary is my personal history.