I See What You Hear – Interview with photographer Gábor Kardos

Pettik Ági: When did you first start taking photos? 
Kardos Gábor: I got a Rolleiflex machine with a couple of rolls of black and white at MTI’s resort in Balatonföldvár. I really enjoyed it when I started taking pictures of the people in the resort. I was around 12 maybe. I seriously started when I was 18. After my graduation, I went to MTI Illustration and Advertising Editorial Board as an illuminator. My master was Tamás Németh, from whom I learnt everything I could about photography. 

Pettik Ági: Looking at your photos, you seem to be interested in theater, music, and politics. What are the respective beginnings to each of these interests?
Kardos Gábor: About 1984 I bought a Metz CT-60 in Vienna and then travelled around the city. I was walking along the Vidám Stage, when Zsuzsa Csala arrived with a Fiat 500. I quickly asked if I could take a picture. She said yes and invited me to the Stage buffet, where László Csákányi, Gábor Agárdi and others were playing cards. The first time I officially started shooting theater pictures was commissioned by Pesti Műsor. I made my first concert photos of the Harmadik Figyelmeztetés Band. After sending the pictures, I got into Gödör for a concert by Péter Müller Sziámi And Friends. Then came Besh o droM ….I was already interested in politics when I was a high school student. I took my favorite pictures on this subject at the fun-loving demonstration of the Two-Tailed Dog Party.     

Pettik Ági: I first saw you with Évi Szabó at a Besh o droM concert. She is one of the earliest fans, she even used to drift in Tütü tangó, and she is constantly sharing her passion for the band with others. Did you know what you were in for? Have you heard of the band before? 
Kardos Gábor: She invited me to my first Besh o droM concert and to tell the truth I never heard of them before that. But that was only due to my musical unculturedness.  

Pettik Ági: If one is following the band members’ facebook pages, you can easily tell when you’ve been to a gig. The next day, almost everyone changes their profile pictures, wallpapers to your newest angles. What is it that you can grasp so well in them visually? 
Kardos Gábor: At every concert, I see that the band members play music with tremendous joy, and love for each other, so it’s easy to take pictures full of these emotions. 

Pettik Ági: You’ve had two photo exhibitions in the last two years. There was a lot of excitement and even greater success with the audience. Is a direct encounter with the host uncomfortable, necessary bad, or a holiday that you can afford to enjoy in relaxation? 
Kardos Gábor: It is a great pleasure to have had two exhibitions at the age of 55 (not having had one before) and seeing so many familiar and unfamiliar people interested in my work. And of course, it was also great that the opening ceremony was also attended by Peter Müller Siam, Anna Nagy, Timi Turi, members of Besh o droM and Peter Gerendas.
Pettik Ági: Besh o droM’s anniversary album is not a classic cover and booklet, but a photo album. What does it feel like to be awaiting the release? 
Kardos Gábor: I’m looking forward to the new CD and of course the album of my pictures. Unfortunately I can’t play any instrument. But I can imagine the joy a musician can experience from seeing from a stage, the impact of his music on the audience. If I can show these emotions with my photos, then I might have produced a good photo.