biography

Boris Németh was born in 1979 in Šaľa, Slovakia. He studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He completed his post-graduate studies in 2011 and currently works there a as part-time teacher of photojournalism.

He has worked at .týždeň magazine as a photojournalist since 2006, while exhibiting in Slovakia and abroad. In addition to winning several photography awards, he is represented in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, Central European House of Photography Bratislava and the VÚB Foundation.

He has worked with documentary and photojournalism in several authorial cycles and series.

nemethboris@gmail.com

AWARDS AND GRANTS:

2019 World Press Photo, The 6×6 Global Talent Program

2017 – The Best of Photojournalism – Honorable mention Magazine Story Opener, Honorable mention Magazine Recurring Feature or Series, The Best of Photojournalism

2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 – Slovak press photo, Bratislava, Slovakia

2015 - Open society foundation, Open society foundation, Bratislava, Slovakia

2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 – Journalism Award, Open society foundation, Bratislava, Slovakia

2013 – Best of Photojournalism – Honorable mention, Magazine Recurring Feature or Series, Best of Photojournalism

2009, 2011, 2018 – Czech press photo, Czech press photo, Prague, Czech Republic.

2011 – Photographer of the year, Central European House of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia

2009 – Nomination World Press Photo – Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo

RESIDENCIES:

2009 - DCR Guest Studios, DCR Guest Studios, Den Hague, Netherlands

PUBLICATIONS:

2012 – Premeny Slovenska

2013 – Premeny Slovenska – 1150. výročie príchodu sv. Cyrila a Metoda na územie Veľkej Moravy

2013 – Na ceste

2016 – Identity – Premeny Slovenska

2016 – Homeland

2018 – Europe

2018 – Krajina – Premeny Slovenska

2018 – Hey Slovaks!

2018 – Jar, ktorá zmenila Slovensko

2020 – Bratislava – Košice a späť

EXHIBITIONS:

Premeny Slovenska, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2012, Divadla Štúdio tanca, Banská Bystrica

Premeny Slovenska, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2013, Nástupište 1-12, Topoľčany

1150. výročie sv. Cyrila a Metoda na území Veľkej Moravy, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2013, Galéria Focesa, Šaľa

Romant1zmus dneška, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2013, Galéria Focesa, Šaľa

Na ceste, B. Németh, 2013, Mestké kultúrne stredisko, Galanta

Premeny Slovenska: Od Tatier k Dunaju, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2014, Galéria Focesa,Šaľa

Na ceste, B. Németh, 2014, PHOTOPORT, Bratislava

1150. výročie sv. Cyrila a Metoda na území Veľkej Moravy, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2014, ŠVK v B. Bystrici

Premeny Slovenska / Dokumentárna správa, 2014/2015, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, Stredoslovenská galéria v Banskej Bystrici

Premeny Slovenska, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2015, Šumenie na Šumiaci, Šumiac

Premeny Slovenska, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2015, Výstavné priestory Vihorlatského múzea, Humenné

Zo života krajiny, B. Németh, Slovenský inštitút v Budapešti, (Mesiac fotografie v Bratislave), 2015, Budapešť

Galéria Slovak press photo – Bratislava – Košice (a späť) 2020

Portrét SK, Mestská galéria, Rimavská Sobota, 2019.

Krajina, Premeny Slovenska, GMAB Trenčín, 2018

GROUP EXHIBITIONS AND PRESENTATIONS:

Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo, Baden, Rakúsko 2020

LETNÝ FOTO FEST, Martin 2020

Portrét SK, Mestská galéria, Rimavská Sobota, 2019.

Krajina, Premeny Slovenska, GMAB Trenčín, 2018

RE/MIGRÁCIA OBRAZU, B. Németh, Stredoeurópsky dom fotografie, 2015/2016, Bratislava

Zo zbierok fotografie, B. Németh, Roman Fečík Gallery, (Mesiac fotografie v Bratislave), 2015, Bratislava

Zimný fotografický workshop, 2015, Dokumentárny projekt Premeny Slovenska, Počúvadlo (Organizátor: Regionálne osvetové stredisko v Leviciach)

SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO 2015, B. Németh, 2014, Mirbachov palác, Bratislava

Prednášky o súčasnom výtvarnom umení, 2015, B. Németh, Dokumentárna versus reportážna fotografia, Nitrianska galéria, Nitra

SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO 2014, B. Németh, 2014, Mirbachov palác, Bratislava

NOVINÁRSKA CENA 2014, B. Németh, OPEN Gallery, Bratislava

ZA KRÍŽOM, B. Németh, 2014, Slovenské národné múzeum – Spišské múzeum v Levoči, Levoča

No Comment, B. Németh, 2014, Open Gallery, Bratislava

ZA KRÍŽOM, B. Németh, 2014, Galéria Domu fotografie, Liptovský Mikuláš

PechaKucha Night Bratislava Volume 27, B. Németh, 2014, Bratislava

DVE KRAJINY – Obraz Slovenska: 19. storočie x súčasnosť, B. Németh a J. Viazanička,2014, Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava

SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO 2013, B. Németh, 2013, Mirbachov palác, Bratislava

NOVINÁRSKA CENA 2013, B. Németh, OPEN Gallery, Bratislava

Pecha Kucha (Global) Night, Volume 24, B. Németh a J. Viazanička, 2013, Nová synagóga, Žilina

COLLECTIONS:

Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

Central European House of Photography Bratislava, Slovakia

VÚB Foundation, Bratislava, Slovakia

If you were to ask Boris Németh how many kilometres he had to travel to produce the twenty photographs for his exhibition Slovakia I’m loving it, he would answer: more than 100 000 for sure. This is above all because the project’s first photographs date from the early 21st century, when Slovakia was in the process of dealing with a historic turning point – declaring the separation from the Czech Republic in 1993 – followed by the equally fundamental decision to join the European Union eleven years later. Its identity is up in the air. Who are we? Where do we belong? What is important to us?

Slovakia – I’m loving it is an ironic/sarcastic commentary on the euphoria caused by overwhelming capitalist consumerism after decades of state-imposed restraint or even poverty. Németh chooses the paradox as the key to understanding his theme. Aurel Hrabusicky describes Boris Németh’s method as a path, at the same time “clearly and emphatically” touching on uncertainty, the invisible, and the mysterious. By doing so he disregards geographic limitations.

It makes no difference whether the images are from Bratislava or an almost anonymous remote village in Eastern Slovakia. It doesn’t matter either whether his photos were taken in an election year with one or the other political party winning. Neither does it matter whether this or that nuclear power plant was completed. In his images, the identity of Slovakia is formed by a mosaic of contradictions, but they all have one thing in common: vitality. It feels as if everything that Boris Németh discovers in Slovakia conceals the conviction that the end shall never come. This exploration of the depth of the Slovakian soul provides a kind of visual magic, a sort of wizardry drawing its power from ambiguity.

Németh does not have a clear answer to the question what Slovakia is like but nonetheless takes pleasure in holding up the magical photographic mirror to it. Németh’s magic stems from what Le Clézio, French winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, once called the “gift to hear the murmur of one’s blood in a quiet night”. It is both sensual and universal, overcoming personal, political as well as national boundaries. Németh’s compositions are not only careful observations, but above all he is a photographic trouble-maker. This is why his work is so fascinating, disturbing, disconcerting and beautiful all at the same time.

Curator Václav Macek

 

We could call Boris Németh (1979) a pictorial chronicler of Slovakia. He is a graduate of the Department of Photography and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Since 2007 he has travelled through towns and the countryside, attended folklore and music festivals, political protests, religious celebrations, pilgrimages and air shows. However, he does not photograph them in a purely documentary way. His chronicle is not supposed to be factual, history does not flow linearly. Its layers are fragments of stories and encounters that are bizarre, ironic, sometimes unobtrusively moralizing and sometimes tragicomic.

The events and secluded places which he visits, offer him rich visual material and the confrontation between various symbols. All these features meet in the frame of the photograph: the global and the regional, the religious and the secular, history and the present and the traditional and consumerism. Németh artfully combines seemingly unrelated or contradictory elements, but without staging or fabrication. A refined sense for a natural visual counterpoint is typical of his photographic style. Years ago, Martin Kollár began to push for visual counterpoint in Slovakia and Németh successfully continues to develop this ability to find images worth recording in the ordinariness of everyday life. In his chronicle, he layers micro-stories that bear witness to the paradoxes of Slovakia, its transformations, as well as its unchanging heritage.

Despite a geographical linkage to Slovakia, the metaphors and symbolism which he uses attract attention even without understanding the context of the Slovak environment. After all, it is a chronicle which is written in the language of photography and this is the most popular and clearest language of today.

Michaela Pašteková