Exposure: András Ladocsi

In András Ladocsi’s photographs, water acts as a connecting force to his past as well as an enduring theme in his present work, where he explores ideas of friendship, community, and freedom

Water is a persistent presence in András Ladocsi’s photographs. It covers, drenches, and envelopes his sitters like a wild, unwieldy connective tissue that binds people and places.

This relationship with water began early for the Hungarian photographer and cinematographer, whose early life was consumed by competitive swimming for 14 years. His schedule was demanding: up at 4am to train before school and then straight to the pool afterwards for another three-hour session.

He trained 15 times a week at his peak, travelling nationally and internationally, spending more time in the water than on dry land. While he loved to compete, Ladocsi was always concerned about his relationship with his loved ones being compromised.

“I thrived on that feeling of adrenaline before a competition,” he tells me from his home in Paris. “It’s always a great feeling when I step into the pool. I love the environment of swimming: the smell, the atmosphere, the drama, and the memories. But I’m also a very nervous person. Growing up on a different schedule to everyone around me made connecting with my friends a little challenging. I was always thinking about how I could keep up with them. Are we close enough? Am I participating enough? Everything felt uncertain, and it was heavy to carry at the time.”

All images from the series There is a Big River, in Which There is a Big Island, in Which There is a Lake, in Which There is an Island, in Which There is a Small House, Where a Life is Growing in a Womb