Sándor Petőfi is Hungary’s national poet, who has a street named after him in almost every village. The members of the documentary photography collective Pictorial Collective have traveled thousands of kilometers over a year and a half to capture life on the Petőfi Streets.
The cult of Sándor Petőfi was already strong in the 19th century, during which he lived. No one could remain indifferent to the poet, who quickly rose to the status of national vates, and every regime named a number of cultural centers, libraries, barracks, and streets after him. In addition, Petőfi has been spared from the many waves of street renaming campaigns, thanks to which he might be the eponym of the highest number of streets in Hungary.
If we put all 2800 of them together, we could go all the way to the Atlantic. Over the past year and a half, members of the Pictorial Collective have photographed 266,000 inhabitants of Petőfi Streets in Hungary and beyond, exploring the backstreets of villages and towns. The Petőfi Street displayed at the exhibition, formed from nearly 200 photographs and 2 video pieces, provides a subjective insight into contemporary Hungarian society.
Pictorial Collective: The People of Petőfi Street—A Subjective Photographic View of Hungarian Society
22 June 2023—1 October 2023 Capa Center (1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 8.)
Exhibiting photographers : László Róbert Bácsi, János Bődey, Bálint Hirling, Balázs Mohai, Simon Móricz-Sabján †, Zsófia Pályi, Ákos Stiller, Ádám Urbán and László Végh, members of the Pictorial Collective
Curator: István Virágvölgyi
Cover photo: Kocsér © Pictorial Collective / Bálint Hirling