A photo exhibition entitled “The 80s in Debrecen”, to celebrate the architect Emőke Pataky, was opened at the Central Library of the Méliusz Juhász Péter in Debrecen on the 15th of December 2023. The event was opened by István Puskás, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, and architect Attila Harangi.

Deputy Mayor István Puskás stressed that this photo exhibition is a tribute to the life of an architect who has become an icon of the city’s built heritage and the protection of the built heritage in Debrecen. This exhibition will show building photographs in a wide variety of formats from a wide variety of eras and locations. But these images are not only of a professional career but also of a very private story. The fact that a photographer, when he looks at a point in the world with his camera and captures it in a frame, is not only about the world but also about the photographer himself. It’s about why he shows exactly that detail and why he shows it from exactly that place. The images are not just about the subject matter, not just about the subject, but about the person, the approach of the person on the other side of the camera. When you look at this exhibition, you also become part of a very personal story: the story of Emeka Pataky, not only as an architect but also as a person and a personality. He stressed that those who view this exhibition should not only see the buildings but also look for the personality of Emőke Pataky in these photographs.

The chief architect of Debrecen István Gábor said that he considers Emőke Pataky to be his master, who is not only an architect but also a true creator in the sense of fine arts. From this perspective, it is worth looking at her photographs and other works. “She is an artist with a 20th-century intellectual history, who has shown that it is possible to look at our historicity, history, and past as a beautiful and beautiful mystery, a kind of orderly and cultivated system of thought, like a fairy tale. The example of Emőke Pataky shows that it is not always only the creative architect who has a right to exist in architectural and social thinking, but also the public architect. It is a more extensive career than a multitude of completed projects. Emőke Pataky has discovered and documented many architectural treasures, including many folk and Debrecen architectural treasures, which we would not know today or in any case in the future without her work,” he pointed out.

Attila Harangi mentioned Emőke Pataky as a fellow architect and urbanist, for whom this exhibition is also a celebration of her fifty-year professional career. It is also a celebration for Debrecen, as it shows what renowned and respected professionals are working for the city, still very enthusiastically and actively. Emőke Pataky fears, protects, and loves Debrecen and has documented with her photographs the most irreplaceable architectural treasures of Hajdú-Bihar, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Békés counties. According to Attila Harangi, Emőke Pataky has a collection of historical and architectural documents of national importance. She only recently rediscovered a collection of 600 photographs taken in the early 1980s, and 102 of these are included in the exhibition. Attila Harangi expressed the hope that the collection of historical and architectural documents will be processed – with the active collaboration of Emőke Pataky – and will be published as a book at some point in the future.

The president of the Debrecen City Protection and Beautification Association (Debreceni Városvédő és -szépítő Egyesület), Imréné Kovács said that Emőke Pataky is the professional vice-president of the association, and her work is a great help to their activities. Imréné Kovács expressed the hope that although Emőke Pataky could not attend the opening of the exhibition in person, she would have the opportunity to meet her in person in January and to hear about her experiences and memories in connection with the exhibition.

Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U