by Hajdu Tamás
As a child I was fascinated by the world of laboratories, this mysterious place, impossible to comprehend by the outsiders, a place where you can always discover something extraordinary. I always saw this hidden place as a fertile ground, a perfect environment to grow the grain of creation that I felt in my soul since childhood. Animated by a creative effusion, since infancy I used to change the childhood games into activities based on what I saw in the laboratories. Under my father’s careful supervision I used to do physiological experiments on frogs and I even got to create (a pair of) unicellular twins of crested newts. My passion regarding all the instruments needed in a lab resulted in several collections of test tubes and bottles in all shapes and sizes, up to rusted surgical instruments. At some point I had an impressive collection but it all disappeared in time. Those were times when I was strongly influenced by authors like Jean-Henri Fabre or Gerald Durrell, fascinated by the worlds of the living things they described in their works.
As a young man I had the opportunity to embrace this call of the unknown by working in a veterinary lab and by specializing myself in diagnosing the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. This lab, however, no longer has the mystery and magic I felt in my childhoods lab. This one is cold, digitalized, impersonal and monotonous. Anyway, I managed to keep the intimacy of my relationship with this fascinating world and at the same time I tried to heartily render all of its undertones.
In the meantime I discovered the institutes garret, the place where the old equipments go, a true delight for my eyes, a very powerful flashback, a treasure, a wellspring of self-knowledge that eased my thirst for creation.
The series called ‘Laboratories’ is like a childhood game, slightly childish but readapted to maturity; it’s a game of introspection and prospective. Each photograph expresses an episode of knowledge, the only bond between them being the wide space in an imaginary lab where the main character is the researcher himself, a bit chaotic, a bit wistful and a bit mad. This contemporary ‘Alchemist’, a keen perfection seeker of creativity, a master of alchemy and magic formulas, gave life to some fascinating expressions. A balanced combination of perpetual knowledge with cognitive and unreal manipulative instruments along with the bitter taste of human inherent limitations from which we are all trying to escape in every moment of our transient existence. This mix is scattered with glimpses of our lost youth, of never lasting beauty that, like rose petals, was mystified in times flames while trying to escape, to become immortal.