In order to serve as a public archive, the materiality of the cluster of images stored by Făclia and Igazság newspapers in the form of darkened photographic negatives had to be transferred into another medium by means of technology. This defined a certain opening of the body of images, which acted also as a connection between the past and the present, between the various authors of the photographs. Today, a few years after the beginning of this transfer process, the issue of the author, which in the beginning could be felt like an obstacle in the appropriation of images and which could hinder the development of the archive at any time, no longer seems as conspicuous as it was at that time. Perhaps this is also due to an ideological sublimation.
The return to the archive may, however, represent an alternative to the manner of transcribing past experiences, evidences as it can shed light on a series of questions pertinent for the present. The opinion according to which the archive can be burnt or destroyed, beyond the logic of archive legitimation, was overcame; the archive is not stripped of its functionality as soon as the post-Communist discourse becomes publicly obsolete. The Minerva image archive is awaits, most probably, as a document a possible analysis, a statistical clarification which could reveal a different quality related to the individual and to society. Most photographs from the archive have remained unpublished and were not included in the pages of the Socialist press, remaining an apparently incoherent accumulation of images, like a large number of snapshots fated to fade into oblivion.
In order to layout this visual script, I included unpublished images. The two components of the selection envisage and associate, on one hand, the snapshots and the journalistic directions of the images produced by the press photographers of Făclia and Igazság newspapers and, on the other hand, images from my personal stock of images taken in my years as a student and in the years immediately after that time.
During the school practice, the theme of the poster with political commitment recurrently appeared next to the independent graphical image. This was the political, ideological expectation; yet, I somehow remember that these topics have never been introduced or explained. They were not placed in real or historical contexts. Nonetheless, formally impeccable works were produced at the level of the school.
In this context, I made the poster Voilà un homme, which I do not remember specifically whether it represented the topic of peace or the topic of disarmament. The wording of the poster was taken from The Egyptian Book of the Dead. One of the summer practice locations was Poligrafia from Sibiu. There, after the originals, I printed an A0 offset format poster with the help of some master typographers. Because the liberation poster was part of my degree diploma, it’s defending caused controversies.
Dénes Miklósi, born in Odorheiu Secuiesc in 1960, lives and works in Cluj where he teaches at the University of Art and Design. He is one of the founding members of the digital archive project The Minerva Press Photography Collection from Cluj and member of the Tranzit House, Cluj. Miklósi is interested in investigating, with the help of photography, the unintegrated activities, closely connected to the individual, the community and the institutional system. His recent projects investigate the relationship between memory and history and explore the finality of the photographic process as an apparatus of power.