Reka Reisinger (’16): Hungarian Memories

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Photographer Reka Reisinger and her family escaped from communist Hungary and immigrated to New York City when she was a child. But she returned every year to visit family after the fall of communism. For the last five years she has been developing a body of work that seeks to recapture the country of her childhood — a time before Hungary opened up to the West, before telephones and highway systems and shopping malls.

As a photographer, this new series, which includes many photographs of rural open-air markets, marks a dramatic shift for Reka. As an art student with an MFA, Reka was a conceptual photographer. But she stopped taking pictures after graduate school, a hiatus that would last two years.
Coming back to photography with a completely new practice has been both energizing and surprising. “It just happened on its own,” she says. “I didn’t even think anyone would ever see this work. I probably have 300 images. But it took a while to make good work. I didn’t know, in the beginning, how to take pictures of the world around me.”

Reka brought a large format printer with her to Saltonstall and has been making prints of these images for the first time. “It’s nice to come back (to photography) with this freedom, with no expectations,” she says. “Now I’m more interested in photography as a practice in itself. I’m more interested in this challenge.”

(Image on the top/right by Reka Reisinger)