The photographs were taken by a persona called Holgo Vejam. This is his “true” story.
Holgo was a Hungarian-Brazilian, who found himself jobless in Brazil. He decided to move to Budapest to stay with his uncle and look for a job. Later, when his uncle died, Holgo was declared as the only one next of kin. He inherited money and a bag with some cameras and unexposed negative films.
With the money he went traveling looking for a job. He rented cheap rooms in the city outskirts and the only valuables he had was his bag with cameras and some clothes.
Holgo has travelled along major cities in Europe, North and South America trying to fix himself employed. During these trips he took pictures. He is now gone to an unknown place and had left these pictures behind.
I met Holgo when he was resuming his travels. The money drained out and the film rolls finished. He stayed couple of months in a room I rented to him. He told me he went through various locations looking for a job, but he couldn't find any. He has been in Berlin, Brussels, La Coruña, London, New York and Rio.
Towards the end of the second month living in my apartment, he had no more money to pay the rent. He kept his hope and promises, as he was sure, everything would end up well. But a month extended to two, all promises were broken, and it was soon very clear that neither job, neither the rent would happen.
Holgo decided to go back to Brazil as someone could send him money for the ticket. But he still couldn't pay back the rent. He decided to leave me the cameras and the undeveloped negatives as a deposit, promising to come back and pay off the debts. I knew the situation was hopeless. I wanted him to take his belongings, but he insisted it should stay. Probably, he couldn't carry it and had no place to store it. Not only I wouldn't receive any rent, I had to store his material as well.
An agreement was made. If he wouldn't be back within a year, I could sell the cameras and pay off the debts. If no news would arrive after 2 years, I could do whatever I wanted with the negatives. Two years have passed, I checked the folder with the negatives. I was curious, I had never seen any of his photographs.
At the begining, I imagined that I would find pictures of touristic locations of all major cities Holgo told me he visited. I was wrong. The pictures didn´t show any standard or call-out locations. They had no 'glamourification' and were showing only outskirts of cities, where he had stayed. None of the typical locations of Paris, London were to be found; instead there were Islamic burkas, shop mannequins, old couches, bankrupted businesses, graveyards...
The pictures were revealing Holgo's experience as an immigrant. In all of them, it seemed, he was trying to capture the texture of a city. That´s why I decided to name them as 'URBAN TEXTURE'. I sent all the negatives for scanning as I got interested on seeing the rest. There were around 30 rolls of negatives.
Some pictures were double exposures, mixing a picture of a shop name with a person in a park.
All others were cityscapes, where always a human element was a reference. The people on the photographs were not approached directly, but rather snapped as they were passing by. As if Holgo stood as an observer.
It matches the Holgo's way of being. He was shy, distant. A guy of few words and eyes of an observer.
This exhibition shows the prints of Holgo's photographs that I have chosen to be the most interesting among his body of work.