Mother Michael Goes to Heaven
Project info

I met Michael, Monica and Alexander while I started photographing prostitutes in the Józsefváros neighborhood of Budapest. They were the only ones in this isolated community with whom I became friends; over time very close ones. I photographed them for approximately 3 years; from the time when they moved to the flat where the whole series was taken.

They lived and worked together in a flat and this was the place where Michael committed suicide on 24 February, 2010. His death was not because of or linked to the life they lived. Not at all. He loved Alexander. He loved him and wished to live happily with him.

Unfortunately Alexander – a boy, who lived the majority of his life in an orphanage and as a gay prostitute – has never been capable to love. Never knew about intimacy. He used Michael but never loved him. Michael was the chaser and Alexander always wanted to escape.

Michael depended on his love, all his life depended on it; Alexander couldn’t stop playing his cruel games.

Michael’s act seems very logical to me now. He carefully planned his act. Nobody or nothing could bring him back from his decision -it became the answer and the relief from everything – and perhaps for him it was.

Vronsky broke spine of his beloved horse as he broke the spine of Anna. Pietro Crespi committed suicide when Amaranta refused to marry him. Amaranta, whose name, ironically, contains the Spanish verb amar, herself is incapable of love, wanting only those men she cannot have while rejecting those whom she can.

The life of Michael and his family is not usual. But the problem that finally led to Michael’s death is.

The question I asked after the death of Michael was: “could it happen to anybody?” And I realized that similar situations were and have been in my private and in my friends’ lives.

What I can do now is go on, and there is no other choice than learning from Michael and his meaningless death.