/ Lujza Hevesi-Szabó / Photo story

Tanned Good

For the last year I have been dealing with Hungarian bodybuilders and it turns out a pretty photo series. So in hungary since the system change happend, the things that were fresh then have been amortized in the past 30 years and the most developement almost stopped. Bodybuilding in the late eighties was a fresh escape for many young people and has now grown into a more grotesque, exaggerated and surreal sport. Retirees go to the races because to them it represents youth. The growing number of riders are tanning in post-socialist culture houses and the plastic novelty is mixed with the mentality and visual culture of the Eastern Bloc. Photographed at close range, it is a fascinating, concrete, abstract experience to observe their bodies, which are sculptural for a few moments and then collapse, gain weight, become emaciated, transformed. They are status symbols, every detail of them, and at the same time they sacrifice their bodies for the sake of instant perfection. They become a parody of themselves while they spend all their energy trying to be taken seriously. I went to see it and summa summarum they do not refute the stereotypes. They are kinda trying to be happy? But i asked them and they said they are never be happy about their look.

Lujza-Hevesi Szabó was born in Hungary. She was raised outside the capital, which amplified the disconnect from Western culture. She explore both her love-hate relationship whit isolation, and the nostalgia whit a passé value system. She mainly focuses on classical style documentary photography mixed whit the intimacy of family style snapshots. She also works as a photojournalist, in the capital.