Photographs that are an accident waiting to happen

Csilla Klenyánszki builds precarious sculptures that balance just long enough for her to shoot them
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The Glass, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
The Glass, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

Hungarian photographer Csilla Klenyánszki likes to take chances with her work. She creates still-life photographs by building teetering constructions that hang together just long enough for her to photograph them.

In Klenyánszki's series Good Luck, it looks as if she has just stepped away from placing the last piece - a stem of flowers, an egg or a drinking glass - onto a soon-to-tumble construction, in order to press the shutter of her camera, before everything cascades down into a pile of Jenga bricks, sponges, tape rolls, scissors, books and other ordinary objects.

 

Bouquet from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
Bouquet from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

"Good Luck is a personal research for balance and the interpretation of it," Klenyánszki explains. "The series tries to show the moment of this balance, where almost everything is perfect and still. As this moment is quite fragile, concentration but also a little bit of luck is necessary to achieve it."

Cup, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
Cup, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

At first glance, Klenyánszki's images looks as if they're inspired by Dadaism, or Surrealism, yet Klenyánszki says her use of everyday objects is much simpler than that. "I try to approach everything as a child, without any prejudice with fully opened eyes," Klenyánszki explains. "It is all about looking for hidden possibilities related to form and function and my own fantasy. My inspiration is my house and my environment, which becomes a playground."

 

Egg on Pins from from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
Egg on Pins from from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

Klenyánszki, who is based in Rotterdam and has exhibited her photographs across Europe, prefers to work with familiar objects. Indeed, the charm of her still-lifes lie in this uncanny arrangement of quotidian household good. Yet her images are also an attempt to find some point of calm within her world -- a moment where everything can pause before time speeds on again.

 

On Hold, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
On Hold, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

"The whole process can be seen as daily meditation, which becomes a routine," she says, "to create installations and images where the different kind of elements have to interact, work together as they are physically holding each other, keeping the pictures from falling apart."

 

The Scale, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series
The Scale, from Csilla Klenyánszki's Good Luck series

Find out more here. And a thorough grounding in how to understand contemporary photography, try our Stephen Shore book, The Nature of Photographs. Buy this, and a wide range of other photography books from the people who made them, here.


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