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The wonders of Budapest, the spaces of Corvinus through the eyes of an American photographer

2024-05-28 14:00:00

Can the Corvinus staircase or corridor compete with the Parliament by night or the hall of the Szabó Ervin Library? - The answer is on display at the newly opened exhibition of American photographer Franklin Ames at the main building of Corvinus.
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

The familiar sights of Budapest are shown differently, in a way that you might never, or even rarely, see. There is a nighttime photo of the Liberation Monument at the top of Gellért Hill, through the Liberty Bridge’s grille leading to the Turul bird statue. Heroes Square is shown in a special twilight light that is rarely seen. We catch a glimpse of the Parliament, photographed through the arcades of the Fisherman’s Bastion. Apparently Franklin Amesgreat favourite is the Parliament, but he may also like the Music Academy, the Dohány Street Synagogue and Vajdahunyad Castle not least Corvinus.  

For me, one of the most beautiful pictures is of an interior corridor of Corvinus: you may wonder why you have to photograph a section of corridor, but the atmospherically lit, completely deserted corridor has a very special atmosphere. The exhibition also includes two other pictures of Corvinus. The photographer also likes to use the glass sphere (a tool for creative use of the phenomenon of refraction), and his pictures do not include any people. To do this, he says, he has to choose the right time very well: when is HeroesSquare or the Chain Bridge completely empty? At dawn or late at night, perhaps during Covid. As the photographer himself writes, for him, Covid 2021 was both a blessing and a curse – a blessing because he didn’t have to wait too long to photograph deserted locations, but he had trouble even getting takeaway food. 

Waiting for the moment 

The exhibition in the corridor is supported by American Corner Budapest and the American Embassy in Budapest. It’s hard to believe that Franklin Ames is not a professional photographer, his original profession – which he practices – is a quality assurance engineer who first came to Szolnok, Hungary, on a commission. He also loves and knows how to take landscapes – all but one of these landscape photographs are also completely people-less – and is a fan of old buildings and parts of buildings, and loves to photograph doors and stairs. He says that when he first arrived in Budapest, he couldn’t get enough of the view, and so he plans every weekend in advance, “waiting for the moment” to take a special picture. It is not just the beautiful buildings that attract him, he says that in no other country in the world has he been welcomed as positively as he has here. The Texas-based photographer has been to Mexico, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Germany, Switzerland and, of course, here, in Hungary. In Korea, he met Tamás Virág, a photographer of Hungarian origin, who lives in Canada. He bought his first camera from him. Later, he met Péter Rajkai, a building photographer, on a social networking site and got a lot of useful advice from him. 

It’s worth taking half an hour to visit the exhibition on the ground floor corridor of Building E, where you can see the Buda Castle Tunnel or the Corvinus staircase as never before. You can marvel at the beautiful surroundings we have in a way you wouldn’t in your daily rush. 


Katalin Török 

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GEN.:2024.06.21. - 14:02:53