Hellish Eden
21 August 2022 -  27 August 2022

“What was the country my parents grew up in like? Cruel compared to the West, humane compared to its neighbours, surreal from today’s perspective, still somehow charming when seen in old pictures.”

In her series Franciska Legát attempts to remember a time she hasn’t lived in, yet, what plays an important role in forming her identity.

The title Hellish Eden refers to the duality and absurdity of Hungarian communist regime in the 70s and 80s. Based on her parents’ stories she captures fictional situations that could have been possible in the past, still had never happened. Using an unusual documentary approach, she’s blurring the line between fiction and reality and showing how subjective the past is and how many different narratives exist.

Generations coming after each other are shaping our image of history. Nowadays, especially in post socialist countries, talking about past in older generations is often a taboo, a lot of people still haven’t been able to process their traumas. In her work collaborating with her family and using her imagination Franciska recreates the era her parents were young in. With this gesture she emphasises the importance of talking about past to understand our present and create a better future.

Franciska Legát (b. 1997, Budapest, Hungary) lives and works in Budapest.

She graduated at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design from Bachelor of photography in 2021. In 2020 she spent a semester in Utrecht at HKU photography with Erasmus Scholarship. Currently she’s doing her master’s degree at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.


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