Experimental and conceptual components are mixed with personal experiences in the works of Eszter Herczeg. In her diploma project, Fathers, Herczeg combined the realistic elements of a classical still life with a psychological approach toward family bonds. With this series, Herczeg won the Moscow Photo Award in 2015. As an experiment in self-therapy, Herczeg worked together with siblings from her family in order to examine their father image. She conducted interviews with each person about their memories, experiences, and emotions. She concentrated on the individual stories of the participants of the project, not on their collective reminiscences about their father. According to the pieces of information she collected about each father’s habits and personal environment, Herczeg built and captured small installations of their personal objects. The sculptures were reconstructed several times as the relation between the objects was a key aspect of telling the stories behind them. Although the images only show objects, a personal presence is graspable in a natural and sensitive way: Herczeg created a mental landscape about these men’s profession, habits, hobbies, and personal life. This emotionally demanding psychological journey reveals how the same father can be perceived and judged differently by his children, adding new layers to the understanding of various relationships in a family.

1/ 1953, from the series Fathers, 2015

3/ 1969, from the series Fathers, 2015

5/ 1963, from the series Fathers, 2015

5/ 1971, from the series Fathers, 2015