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prefaces (2002) 

photoinstallation (book) / lambda print (50x70 cm) / text (30X40 cm)
text excerpt
Once their own children grew up, a family adopted four kids. As these four grew neither faster, nor slower than the ones before them, it happened that by the time one of the boys entered school, the 'big sister' was already a teacher. Then fate and class schedule arranged that the sister taught the boy's class. During the entire session there was a weird tension in the air that the others sensed as well. After class, one of the girls asked the boy: 'Who is that woman to you?' For a while, the boy thought about the complicated question, then answered: 'Actually, nobody'. At home he then told everyone the question and the answer. For years it became a favorite subject to recall and laugh about in the family; actually, as their relationship was so natural they didn't even have a word for it. And they never will.

Who knows why, she always believed that somewhere she had one, even two or three siblings. She would have liked to get to the bottom of this suspicion, but had no idea where to start. And yet, the feeling was so powerful that, beyond the desire to find conclusive evidence, any further search appeared simply as a means to sate her curiosity. In time, she completely forgot about the idea.
When it returned many years later, it took a slightly different form – now, she was somebody's sister and this someone longed to find her.

If a girl is good at ball games, she will earn the confidence, even the respect of boys which, in turn, will make her radiate a strong sense of self-assurance, so strong that it may actually get in her way. She simply cannot decide which sport to pursue to make it to the top; she goes into endless hesitation. Moreover, she knows that in sports you must quit when still on the top. That's just it – where and what is the top? She could never find sufficient argument to make a final choice. One time, slightly under the weather, she let go of the ball that flew far afield. The spectators also watched in shocked silence. Then, as her eyes followed the ball receding through this eerie quiet, she got it: instead of playing in a team, she'll be a coach.

The boy played in the school's top basketball team for the first time, and then only as a replacement. During warm-up before the game, just for fun he lobbed the ball toward the basket from centercourt. It fell into the basket with a silent swish. Seeing this, the coach of the other team thought: 'If they have a replacement like that, what's the rest of the team like?' He was in a bind, he didn't want to lose the game. He couldn't resist – there were a few minutes left to the starting whistle, so he went up to the boy and asked. 'How did you do that?' The boy became rattled by the question of the other team's coach. He looked at his own coach, who just gave a wink. 'Whenever I let go of a long shot', the boy answered, 'I think of Saturn'.

The top athlete, who actually had not yet decided to which discipline to devote all his time and energy, moved into a small house in the mountains to test his two-week special training program and, at nights or during rest periods, look for the answer to the question which sport best suits his abilities. One night after showering he caught himself examining his face in the mirror, later his gaze shifted to his hands, belly and finally his eyes, scrutinizing all to its last detail. More than half an hour passed, the humid air of the bathroom had cooled, when he finally accepted his inability to see himself as a whole.

Szilárd Podmaniczky

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