بوداپست – Budapest

It was the first time that I was going to go to India in order to search for Syriac manuscripts in the jungle of Kerala, and thus I was waiting with understandable excitement for my turn at the visa department of the Indian embassy, a beautiful little villa up in the hills of Buda. In the meantime I was gazing at the poster of a new Bollywood film on the wall. Behind the young lovers in traditional Indian vest there emerged an exotic building, gleaming with a thousand lights and promising a thousand wonders of the fabulous India. It took some time until I realized that this building was the Chain Bridge of Budapest. Later in India I got to know that Bollywood directors liked to shot their musicals in Budapest precisely because it appears so exotic to the Indian public.

Der Betrachter ist im Bild, the viewer is in the picture, was the title of the introduction into reception aesthetics by Wolfgang Kemp in the 80s. And not only in the interpretation of the picture, as Kemp meant it, but also in the pictures made by the viewer. As for example in the pictures of Liu Maoshan every European city is being converted into Song-period Chinese landscapes.

Liu Maoshan
Liu Maoshan
Liu Maoshan
Liu Maoshan
The Persian blog شبزنده ها Shabzendehâ, “Vigils” – in elegant Humanist Latin we could translate it Lucubrationes published on Farvardin 8, 1388, that is on March 28, 2009 this beautiful series of three hundred photos on Budapest (first click on the green “Shabzendeha Pictures” inscription, and then on the “Budapest 09” button in the upper left part). شهر خیلی قشنگی هست, امیدوارم از عکس ها خوشتون بیاد “The city is beautiful, I hope that this is also conveyed by the pictures”, writes Omid H. Hassam, and we have to agree with him. Although he took photos almost exclusively in the city center, nevertheless these pictures are not the well known postcards, not the usual cuttings living in our head, and not even the clearly structured Western tourist photos focusing on the perpetuation of one single object. In these photos the structures become loose, and they are dominated by lights, cross-cuttings and movement. In these pictures Budapest is an Eastern city which has seen better days and is chaotic, but also vivid and hiding a thousand secrets, a little Tehran.

Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Omid H. Hassam: Budapest (Shabzendeha)
Shajarian, Saz-e khamush, Néma lant, lemezborító