In the 1960s, vacation cottages were buildings constructed quickly with simple technology using inexpensive, readily available materials. Their function was to provide an opportunity for the rapidly growing number of city-dwellers to spend quality recreation time outside of industrialized settlements, while still remaining in close proximity to them. Lakesides and riverbanks were the primary development sites; this is how Szentendre Island, which can be seen in one part of my photo series, became a vacation home settlement.   

According to the social arrangements of the time, members of “classes” that were wholly different from each other (intellectuals, laborers, party functionaries, etc.) could all afford a vacation cottage within Hungary. In those days, many chose the intimate environment of a private home instead of the trade union’s summer boarding blocks. The lifestyle of coming and going to the weekend house (as a fulfillment of rightful social demands) became accepted and practiced by massive numbers. 

My photo series would like to grasp and study the characteristics of the social metamorphosis inherent in the (vacationing) people and the changes in their environment that occurred in the past decades. I would like to recall bygone days with the help of objects, clothes, photographs, and “habits” connected to the houses. In addition, I wish to document the feelings preserved here which cast a different kind of light on the times we live in now. 

On the one hand, my photo series is about vacation homes: the uniform architectural style of the ‘60s and ‘70s, as well as the diverse alterations brought about by new demands. On the other hand, it is also about the vacation home people who experienced this social metamorphosis, who inherited this lifestyle atmosphere, and who spend each and every weekend at their cottage, spring to autumn.  

Hermann Ildi