For the 21st century, mental health problems have become a global issue. Research shows that within 20 years depression will be responsible for the most severe mental health crisis in the world. Just as this very forecast of a dystopian future and crisis is one source of anxiety, so are the predictions that preach the "end of the world."
The problem is not new; many works of art and numerous scientific studies have already addressed the various types of melancholy causing physical, intellectual, and mental symptoms. That is why it seemed timely to explore the ways out of this crisis and the possible cures.
Which are the small steps that can help individuals to maintain their mental health, and what are the possible solutions for smaller or larger communities and society as a whole to recover from the problems caused by crisis, anxiety, and burn-out? Ultimately, the question is: how can we be well? And what role can photography play in all this?
In December 2019, I invited eight artists to look for answers and to explore and present the ways and possibilities that can serve as a cure for us today through new works, mainly created via the medium of photography. A few weeks after my call, a world-wide pandemic made our questions and the possible solutions even more relevant.
The artists reflected on the issues raised from their personal experience, and this delineated the course our exhibition took. The first two rooms are dominated by the inner world through works exploring the beginning of a new life or life phase (Viola Fátyol), the practice of prayer (Lajos Csontó), transcendent experiences (Enikő Hodosy), and the bond between members of smaller communities (Gergely Szatmári).
The next room examines how outer appearance can bring joy, looking at the relationship between fashion items of specific subcultures and time (Éva Szombat) and the search for everyday happiness (Lilla Szász). Artists of the fourth room raise questions related to our globally interpretable and understandable relationship with our immediate environment (Máté Bartha), or invite responses to the possible consequences of personal decisions (Tibor Gyenis).
The existence of good presupposes the presence of evil. Happiness implies sadness. Fullness suggests emptiness. Suffering implies cure. People are full of contradictions stemming from their desires and decisions. The exhibition titled Cure reveals that the dilemma of "being well" is answered by various photographic concepts resulting from the different creative positions: the personal stories offer identification and, perceived from our diverse life situations, they can lead us to revelations that act like a soothing balm, while they also give way to raise further questions.