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KRISZTIAN EDER & BROOKE RAY

Brooke Ray is a dancer and choreographer, Krisztian Eder is a photographer and musician. On their first date in a small Bushwick studio, something unexpected had happened as Brooke asked Krisztian to play her a song, which was followed by a mini dance lesson from Brooke. “At that very moment I felt, she is the one with whom I can be my most authentic self,” remembers the former musician Eder who established a new chapter of his life as a photographer in New York. From 10 Magazine to The Sunday Times Eder’s work is informed by the nuances of human life composed with a soft documentarian feel. For AERONOGRAPHY the Brooklyn-based creative duo continued the exploration of the unique feeling they shared on their first date, in that small Bushwick studio.

AERON: How would you introduce your duo?

KRISZTIAN: We are life partners. We've found that our dynamic is less "yin and yang" and more "chronically challenging". Being artists, this is a fortunate discovery for our relationship: as opposed to balancing each other in complete harmony, we tug the other in and out of what we think we already know. The push and pull of our relationship is a great deal of what keeps our artistry in motion with constant growth.

How would you define the modern, contemporary woman?

I think "the modern, contemporary women" is so idiosyncratic which is, in my opinion, what makes today’s society beautiful. She can not be defined

How have you maintained a structure and balance throughout the pandemic?

I wasn't trying to and I’m not sure if I could have maintained any type of balance since the randomness was overwhelming during the past year. I tried to stop overplanning my life and gave myself a chance to slow down and focus on my mental health. It was challenging because of the physical distance from my family. I usually visit them 4-5 times a year, but it wasn't until after 10 months that we could finally escape New York to be with them. However, we were lucky enough to stay healthy and the quarantine pushed our relationship beyond new boundaries for which I’m grateful.

What fuels your creativity?

My documentary work is driven by my personal history, memories, and current emotions. I try to translate these ideas into my commercial work as well and most times it happens subconsciously.

What activities do you enjoy the most in your free time?

I never considered my job as an "actual job", neither when I was focusing on music or visual arts. Sometimes I find it easier to express myself through these mediums than through spoken language and in doing so it helps me to understand myself better. Thus it’s an inevitable part of my everyday life. If I’m not holding my camera or composing on the piano, I usually read, fish, or play chess.

What things are you looking for in the new year?

I have this little card on my desk for a while that says “Let go of your attachment to the outcome”. That’s what I’m planning to continue doing. To spend more time in the present and worry less about tomorrows.

How did a city like New York change the perception of yourself?

Drastically. Being in this city grounded me and gave me a complete reset in life. I spent 7 years in Hungary as a mainstream musician. This was a pleasant part of my life, however it gave me a distorted view of myself. The first 3 years that I spent in New York were undoubtedly an emotional roller-coaster, but it gave confidence and a healthy perspective of myself which makes it all worthwhile.

AERON: What inspires your movement?

BROOKE: My ability to stay present helps me witness how the physical form responds to the surroundings. While studying this idea of reactivity, I have found my most brilliant teacher is my body. The more I surrender to her wisdom, the more I learn. And like any good teacher, she never fails to remind me just how little I know. She is boundless, limitless, endless, and so she remains the most profound form of inspiration in my research.

What is the definition of love for you?

I always found it difficult to define such a sensation, but despite that, I do believe there is a reason for so many cliches on the topic of love. I don’t think that love is something to be taught, as no one can teach you the depths of ecstasy or loss. For me, It’s an ever-changing emotion. Besides the constant lingering of what we’ve labeled as unconditional love, in some moments I feel overwhelmed with the sensation. It comes in like a wave, swallows me whole, and drowns out anything that I thought was significant before. It is indescribable, but I do know it is what brings me to tears from looking at a photograph of the one I love.

How did you collaborate on this project?

At the time that I started dating Brooke, I had a studio in Bushwick where I kept all my photography equipment, instruments, and a small music studio. We used to hang out there a lot. I often played her the piano and she would instinctively dance. In fact, on our first date, she asked me to play her something, and then she gave me a dance lesson. At that very moment I felt, she is the one with whom I can be my most authentic self. Naturally, this collaboration continued and became our most cathartic, connective, and explorative moments. At one point I set the camera on a tripod, hit record and we started to collect these improvisatory moments. When AERON reached out for a possible collaboration I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to continue this exploration and work deeper into the idea of capturing improvisations on both audio and visual. I pre-recorded small pieces, played them to Brooke on set, and recorded how her body reacted to them.

Directed by: KRISZTIÁN ÉDER

Movement by: BROOKE RAY

NANA YAA ASARE-BOADU

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