20th century Europe echoes the notion of division. After years of a devastating war, the Iron Curtain divided Europe into two blocs for more than 40 years. After 1989 – 1991, Europeans rediscovered the other halves of Europe, East and West, and new ways of life. A few years later, in 2004, the first wave of the central and eastern European countries joined the European Union. Today, 30 years on, we enjoy free movement. Europeans celebrate diversity and live in a union where borders seem to be a matter of the past. Or are they, really? This is one of the questions Boris Németh raises via subtle idiosyncrasies in his work, disrupting the notions we have about ourselves and the world around us.
In the series of photographs, the artist oscillates subtly between the conceptions of the former 'West' and 'East' of Europe. With a good dose of humour, Nemeth presents images of insightful clichés that were widespread in the mass media of these regions thirty years ago - and even until today. He thus plays between the micro and macro levels; between (often recognizable) everyday scenes and historical events that have marked Europe and its inhabitants. The bird's-eye view of a damaged car in the streets of Oslo, shortly after Breivik’s attack, is also historically charged and is engraved in the memory of many Europeans. From there, Németh leaves us - consciously in a playful way - more or less in the blur. Although the titles of his images still serve as directional indicators, these photos testify of our new vision of the world, new European society(ies) and its/ their future heritage(s).
About the artist:
Slovak photographer Boris Németh was born in 1979 in Šaľa, Slovakia. He studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, where he completed his post-graduate studies in 2011 and currently teaches photojournalism part-time.
He has worked as a photojournalist since 2006, while exhibiting in Slovakia and abroad. In addition to winning several photography awards, such as the 2017 award for Best of Photojournalism and the 2016 Slovak press photo award, his work can also be found in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, the Central European House of Photography Bratislava and the VÚB Foundation.