The exhibition title Sabes nadar/Can You Swim reveals, in the artist’s words, “the state of being caught in a power struggle.” For Petrič, swimming is not merely moving through water, but a symbol of drifting through life, through the energy of the food chain … a constant without which there is no life, in which everything constantly floats between the state of being the prey and the predator. “We live, therefore we feed on others and are food to others, we swim from jaws to jaws … We swim in the food chain, and it is the food chain that determines who stays and who perishes, who swims away and who doesn’t. Can you swim? How should one swim so as not to end up as prey to the predator? Like a shadow, Ophelia notes. Shadows drift between prey and predator, they are the one and the other, and at the same time, neither. Self-sufficient, they appear in the light, and take away light at the same time. Swimming between shadows does not depend on weather, time, or place; after all, shadows are our collective subconscious, transcending time, space, and language. Ophelia jumps into all waters, lonely, troubled, hungry, sated. She wants to swim — learn to swim — she can swim! Not only in the profane ocean, also in the sacral ocean, as the two flow one into the other and mix in the global ocean of our time. The Ophelia of today does not drown; today, the ocean is but a puddle, the profane in it looks sacral in reflection, and the sacral reflects as profane.”
The exhibition „Urban-rural-artificial-natural-fast–slow“ consists of 16 photographic diptychs; one image shows nature and its different visual manifestations, and the other urban objects made by the human hand. Images have similar compositions and conditions of shooting, which emphasizes the similarities and differences between them. These images, made during 2006, will open a discussion about differences and similarities, fast changes and the way of life. After the opening of the exhibition a discussion will start on the subject of urban vs. natural. During this discussion a group will be formed to work on the same concept. Their assignment will be to photograph Ljubljana, to find the motifs in the city and suburbs that can be compared in a similar way. The group and author will be in constant touch and will lead each other through communication. The work of this group will conclude with their exhibition and a discussion on gained experience.
Metka Vergnion was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She studied photography in ENSLL in Paris. She lives and works in Geneva , Switzerland. Solo exhibitions: 1980 Galerie Espace photographique, Paris; 1982 Centre William Rappard –GATT, Geneva, Switzerland; 1983 Klub kulturnih in znanstvenih delavcev, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Gallery 97 , Hong Kong; 1984 Gallery 97, Hong Kong; 1985 Arttech traveling exhibition: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong; 1986 Arttech exhibition, Beijing, China; 1988 Galerija ARS, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Musee de la photographie, Mougins, France; 1989 Maison de l’Amerique Latine de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Galerie an der Stadtmauer, Villach, Austria; 1990 Foyer der Graphischen, Wien, Austria; 1991 Galerija KC Ivan Napotnik, Velenje, Slovenia; 2004 Mestna galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 2006 Galerie Manoir de Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland; Galerie d ´Alliance Francaise, Dublin, Irland; 2007 Small Gallery-Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Selected group exhibitions: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1984: Ljubljana; 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1988: Doboj, Graz, Pecs, Koper, Beograd, Kranj, Ajdovscina, Novi Sad, Rjeka, Nice, Bourg en Bresse, Geneva; 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007: Spilibergo, Ljubljana, Koper, Paris, Bern.
PIRAN IN METAPHORICAL EARLY AUTUMN
Branko Lenart is a migrant. He was born in Ptuj, but his family moved to Graz when he was six, and in 2001 he also became a citizen of Piran. Journeys are his passion, but perhaps it was the moving around as a child that contributed to him being so attentive to the space in which he moves, so that he doesn’t take it as a given fact but absorbs it intensively and concurrently documents his position in it. Most of his projects and photographs are designated by European, American, Asian, or African toponyms. Most of the major photographic countries carefully cultivate topographic records. A significant part of his opus belongs to a part of the stream interested in the subjective view of the landscape, but at the same time he is the heir of conceptualist practices of the late sixties and early seventies. He has been coming to Piran for almost forty years, but as a photographer he has never tended to tourist idyllicism. He sees the town with modernist eyes, in details, as a scene for a play of forms, bizarre or humorous coincidences and meta-photographic interventions. In this way, Piran retains its Mediterranean charm, but gains an analytic northern tone and a touch of intellectual distance as well. The town thus becomes a point of confrontation for Mediterranean sensitivity and Central European moderation … as in late August, when the first cool continental wind arrives after the blazing summer days, and the pavestones near the coast are still warm from the sun.
The series of photos “On the blade of horizon” is the result of the author’s coincidental experience from roaming, travelling and flaneur strolls and his contact and confrontations with more or less familiar locations and places. A fascination over open spaces, vacuum, strong contrasts, reflecting surfaces and straight lines led the author to certain places. As he developed a permanent relationship with those places that got him to return constantly, and at the same time, perceive the place and its happening once again. The author chased rare and selected moments; weather occurrences or some other strange parts of the day that from different reasons could open up some kind of a crack where familiar surroundings turned to extraordinary and non-recurring. A play of absence and presence of human figures in the photos are a central line of a personal or maybe even intimate confession, thus the author’s role and his desire not to stay only a secret observer but also to participate in the happening. From the placement of human figures in the room (very often only a barely noticeable silhouette can be seen) we can see the author’s relation or momentary disposition towards them. In almost all the photos and all the themes, we can see the elements of intentional and sincere experiment that creates illusion and imaginary figures with a visible subjection to projecting the mood in the room before the lenses as consistently as possible.
»Observe and consider before you open the shutter. The heart and mind are the actual objective of the camera.« (Yousuf Karsh). These words, expressed by the renowned portrait photographer of the 1980’s, sound somewhat indecent if looked upon with our modern »consumer« attitudes. However, the simple truth of Andrej Perko’s photography earns their meaning and sense. Perko belongs to those creators inside the photographic medium, who do not manipulate the »object« in order to subdue it to their own vision. The chosen motif is not ripped out of its natural environment, but rather experienced and revived – the author inquires beyond its outer image and discovers its depths, evoked through memories and feelings that accompany them. In this series, he is instigated by waters – these children of the Ocean whisper to him through the flowing of forms, the appearance of physical and invisible, through scents and ghosts, through the poetry of the flow of life and human existence. He chose four rivers which touched him in some special way with their existences and symbolic contents and meaningful backgrounds. The author attempts to capture their characters and nature and establish some kind of a connection with them, although he approaches them from the »safe distance« – with fearful respect. His choosing of black-and-white techniques, which are a constant in his work, is completely planned and conscious – they are a means to approach the generalization of reality. Arnold Newman says, that we »do not photograph with a camera but rather with our hearts and minds.«
Photonic Moments is a salon review of contemporary photographic creation in Eastern and South-eastern Europe and presents the main project of the Month of Photography festival. This exhibition project in the form of a collective exhibition again hosts several acknowledged experts: curators, gallery owners and critics coming from six countries of the mentioned regions – they prepared the selection of authors and their works, most of which will be presented to the Slovenian public for the first time. The exhibition will be hosted in several European cities during the next year, where it will try to present fresh and rising forces of those parts of Europe that are condemned to worse conditions for production and presentation of contemporary art because of their insufficient status. This year’s edition of Photonic Moments encompasses the geographical dimension of a wider Balkans and includes authors coming from the geographical regions of Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey and Slovenia. The opening of the collective exhibition Photonic Moments IV will be held on October 21st at the Cankarjev Dom Small Gallery, this will also be the official opening of the third, expanded Month of Photography festival.
Maša Bajc, Mania Benissi, Primož Bizjak, Vanja Bučan, Ektor Dimisianos, diStruktura, Marko Ercegović, Angelos Gavrias, Nilbar Güres, Peter Herendi, Gabor Kerekes, Ivan Petrović, Valentino Bilić Prcić, Katarina Radović, Aniko Robitz, Erinç Seymen, Špela Volčič, Ivan Zupanc.
The series Tsuriai was created during a one month journey in Japan. The author wanted to concentrate on two different sides of this country, the classical side and the modern side and represent them as diptychs. The collection deals with the two opposite poles of Japan and the experience of a visitor from the West and his impression of this country. On the one hand we immediately think of the classical and traditional Japan of the Meiji and Edo eras, but on the other we cannot ignore the newest of technologies and wild Japanese teenagers. This is the modern Japan. Rarely is this duality as obviously expressed as in the land of the rising sun. In introducing this series the author not only focused on its content and its visual aspects, but also on its technical side. The author wanted to present the contradictions (differences) in a different way. The photographs depicting classical Japan are all taken with a classical camera and dia film. They represent contradicting stories, which, when looked upon as a whole, create balance- harmony. This harmony of contradictions is narrative and visual but also technical.
Jeršič’s aestheticised simulacrums take full advantage of the allegorical potential of the photographic medium, which is characterised by an implicit awareness of the ephemerality of all things and the strive to preserve these under the guise of archetypically conveying eternity. The gazes of the figures in these images do not search for contact with eyes of the spectator; they are introspectively turned towards their own world. No dialogue exists between them; they are turned into themselves. For this reason, the naked bodies are not erotic, but instead evoke a general, depersonalized and deindividualised existence complemented by other objects as a test of sensitive shyness (objects filled with the nostalgia of the past, textiles, flowers, mirrors). Impalpable veils and draperies spread out like cobwebs which both conceal and reveal, thus introducing the feeling of sublime unreality to the image. These stylized compositions photographed with great imagination, using unusual and difficult-to-determine recourses, cause discomfort in which the connotation is always both active and invisible, clear and implicit. The allegorical perception of Jeršič’s mental screens allows the transformation of the photographic naturalism into a surrealist ornamental Baroque. The transcendental weaving of space and time gives the photographs an aura (according to Benjamin) which has been almost entirely eradicted from art by avant-garde postmodernism and multimedia creative procedures.
In the series of female images Kusterle is inspired by the contemporary meaning of beauty and external perfection, burdened by the un-acceptance of what is natural and inevitable. In lack of inner harmony and the respect for the dignity of ageing, contemporary aesthetics vainly approaches interventions to the body, while the author starts the process from the opposite direction. He covers a young body with signs of age and thus contrastingly confronts youthful freshness with wrinkles and withered skin.
Other images representing human monologue or the interlacing of several figures, which seem to be loosing their individual boundaries and natural shapes, are molded into a new conglomerate, united into a fantasy creature or changed into an association of something else – only careful observation with quite some imagination can uncover the reconstruction of actual staging of these models. The author exploits the mirror image of the human body, built of two similar halves on the outside with unique proportions between its parts, which all cause the viewer to misidentify human extremities in front of him/her. His mirror is a self-reflection of relationships, social and existential questions which are symbolically captured in each specific composition. Kusterle’s work cannot be labeled purely as photographic. His photographs are the result of an accurate and intended optical effect; the author first uses the roles of a painter, a sculptor and a scenographer and thus creates the conditions for his motif by physically handling the body and positioning it. The camera comes in at the very end and in its most classic role – to document the staging in front of it.
The term noosphere refers to the “spere of human thought”. An “intelligent cover” around the globe which embraces all intellectual processes. Gyula Fodor doesn’t follow the theological reference of the term neither the one to Virtual Reality. He rather tries to create a new artistic reference for noosphere. This is the life-enhancing euphoria that coincides with “the liberty of the migrant” and which more than makes up for the remaining pain over the loss incurred. A partial exchange of populations takes place, without any seizure of the land. Today’s diaspora of people living in exile differs from the classical type in that it is subject to multiple, transnational and “rhizomatic” processes of networking — in short, to globalisation. In this way, a new category of “the world’s people” is created, traducing national boundaries. Sur-rounding the surface of the globe, we see a vibrating layer of the spirit of the times, as in a beehive, just before the bees start to swarm. This social climate change calls for new ways of seeing, new angles and perspectives on what we construe to be “our world”. What is needed is the multiple perspective of the “migrant’s gaze.” The experience of exile is the space capsule from which I can begin to shoot my photographs.What I am attempting to make
visible from this perspective, with the use of my camera, is a new universe – literally an “invented” universe, newly found and composed from photographic objects trouvés.
Non Public Spaces deals with spaces which are not ordinarily open to ordinary citizens. These chosen places have special political, economic or social significance. At first, this places seem irrelevant to our lives, but on closer inspection we become more conscious of their connection to our everyday life. They are an integral part of people’s lives and the state’s power to regulate them. The mapping of these places ranges from mortuaries of forensic medicine, archives that constitute state identity, central computer rooms where population related data are registered and processed, police arsenals, securing the execution of state power, art depots signifying cultural representation… Non Public Spaces is about the confrontation of the individual with the apparatus of power and its institutions, the individual’s continual effort to penetrate these spaces. Through diverse strategies and elaborate bureaucratic authorisation procedures an attempt is made to reach these places, to visually ratain them and document the process of entering, using different media. These are spaces which constitutes interfaces to public while being physically exclusive due to their concentration of power. An exhibition situation is created in the way which shows active working process on the one hand as well as photos of non public spaces in New York, Vienna, London, Paris and other cities.
Six photographic series made during the summer of 2003 in Seattle represent architectural motifs in smaller series of 3–4 photographs. Night scenes always exclude people, although it is people who created them. Reduced light conditions require long-term exposure and special circumstances. While external sources of light and moving objects represent unexpected disturbing elements, this technique allows for simultaneous imaging of light/colour effects, which remain hidden to the human eye and give and impression of digital after-treatment. In contrast to individual photographs, the motif is represented in a series of photographs which correspond to the succession of slow movement around or closing in on the motif while illustrating the long duration of the process of physical attainment of this motif – the search for the object, angle of view selection and observation of the environment. The focus on the motif and its surroundings which can be subjected to a certain location also presents a risk; this is a time-intensive, contemplative process. It follows the goal of depicting a uniqueness of the motif in a most authentic way. One could call it a »genre photograph«, subjectively perceived in this place, expressing »silence« as a key element. In this way the subjective selection of the motif, connected with technical abilities enables the depiction of objects, which at first glance seem imperceptible and fall outside the ordinary, aesthetical norms.
In September 2008, Triestèfotografia festival witnessed its fourth edition. This annual event organised by the colleagues from Trieste working within the Juliet Institute (they also publish the art magazine with the same name) is mainly aimed at presentation of photography made in Italy and the neighbouring countries. As a result of last year’s cooperation agreement between Photon Gallery, Month of Photography festival and Juliet Institute, Photon Gallery presented within Triestèfotografia festival three exhibition projects. And in November, Ljubljana festival introduces fourteen Italian artists selected among a number of national and international participants of the exhibitions presented at the fourth edition of the Triestèfotografia festival 2008. It is stories in random order, expressed with the use of various performing techniques and signed by a group of photographers characterised by different experiences.
Artists: Alessandro Paderni, Marco Citron, Lorena Matic, Francesco Bruni, Antonio Serrapica, Massimo Premuda, Francesca Martinelli, Fabio Rinaldi, Tommaso Lizzul, Plinio Martelli, Alice Meden, Gianni Pasinato, Raul Gilioli, Sebastiano Bettio
Since mid-1970s, Hup first participated with the street theatre company Predrazpadom, Hidrogizma sound and space project, as well as the Ana Monroe Theatre. Further to this, he participated with a number of groups and individuals who between 1975-1985 worked within Škuc and Forum associations, and in 1982/83 became one of the founding members of the then TDS Equrna. Hup was engaged in the fields of fine arts, photography, space and acoustic projects, theatre, and after 1991 he almost exclusively dedicated himself to photography, photo-editing and transposing of photography into the graphic medium. In the field of photography, Hup was a researcher who added a new dimension to the medium. He almost exclusively used a non-corrected monocle lens of his own construction. This approach resulted in a number of xeroprints and photographs which were in 1998 presented at Cities overview exhibition in Jakopič Gallery, Ljubljana. In 1997, he got more seriously engaged in experiments with digital photography. In many journeys, his sharp eye subtly recorded events of everyday life and scenes characteristic of individual cities. By being visually strong and timeless, Hup’s photographs go way beyond the basic function of documenting the physical world.
The initiative for the biennial exhibition titled “Miniatures” came from the Janez Puhar Photography Club in Kranj and they presented it at the first exhibition of miniature photographs in 2002. The exhibition received positive reviews and subsequently an international exhibition of photographic miniatures was presented in 2004. The 2008 exhibition “Miniatures” is also international, with special attention that will be given to still lives. The “photographic miniature” is a common photographic term, which denotes a type of photography, prevalent among photographers before WWII, due to the limitations of photography at the time. In the past, photographs were as big as the photographic plate, while in recent times, we are used to seeing primarily photographic magnifications. In a way, this exhibition of photographic miniatures is returning to the mentioned beginnings of the photography. According to application requirements, photographs may not exceed 7 x 10 or 10 x 10 cm. Unlike magnified photographs, a small format demands innovative ways of approaching issues of composition, color and lighting. So the audience too must also change their perspective when approaching and evaluating the photographs. The co-organizers of the exhibition are the Cabinet for Slovenian Photography at the Gorenjska Museum and the Janez Puhar Photography Club from Kranj. Photographers are cordially invited to submit photographs for the competition.
The theme of this year’s meeting was the revealing of nooks and cranies of Ajdovščina, which in their self-absorbed daily routine have become invisible to the natives. Since Castrumphoto is a photographic record of the life and pulse of this town, the photographers were invited to disclose the unseen and the hidden, from which the visibility was taken. These little miracles, which hide in the shadow of the bigger ones could emerge as renewed protagonists of the photographer’s and also the viewer’s story.
Primož Brecelj, Fabio Giacuzzo, Polona Ipavec, Jasna Klančišar, Roberto Kunsterle, Andrej Perko, Martin Prosen, Boštjan Pucelj, Karin Pudgar, Nika Zupančič.
The selection of photographs from the oeuvre of Vilijem Cigoj, self titled as Narrations, comprises works from three artistic series: Traveling through the Time and Space, Burja and Bread. These photographic cycles represent independent and complete entireties not related whatsoever in terms of content. What they share is the artist’s recognizable expression testifying that motifs of his works are closely connected with coastal landscape and its tradition. The presented motifs, however, are not a reflection of reality but staged narratives, meaning that he produces them systematically, following a clearly elaborated plan which requires prior transitional and mental visualization of the scenes. Further to this, the artist also precisely determines the sequences of individual scenes with deliberated consideration of individual snap-shot so that the series fulfils his expectations. The cycle of six photographs titled Traveling through the Time and Space is a narrative expressed in symbolic language which brings his intimate view and understanding of the natural cycle of life determined with the beginning and the end. On individual photographs, the faint image of a man in a limited space transforms into a shapeless shade, due to the fact that long exposition almost completely blurred its shape. The inexorable passing of time is additionally emphasized by four sequence shots which denote the sequence of periods in human life and their temporal correlation. The narration is rounded off by the image of a child in an abandoned and vacated interior who symbolizes new life and brings hope to man’s uncertain everyday life.
The Slovene photographer Tomaž Lunder (b. 1955) is an author whose opera shows a great variety in genre. He’s dedicated to portraiture, sometimes quite experimental, especially when portraying friends and acquaintances, while photos of strangers in their natural surroundings reveal something between the grotesque and compassionate. At times it seems as if anthropological passion intervenes with his work and sometimes he treats himself with excursions to the cultural landscape or cookery still-lives. For his latest series, Lunder has chosen a photographically unexploited format, a distinctly narrowed vertical field. He focused on the landscape – the human figure temporarily completely disappeared from his cadre. The photos thus gained more suggestive potential since vertical visual field is recognised in Eastern art as a specific characteristic of landscape painting. Lunder’s photographs are executed without digital manipulations, however – because of the diversity of interplays and reflections on the surfaces of puddles – they visually leave an impression of layered artistic (un-real!) space, while the vertical cut-out adds to an impression of layer fusion. The layers could also be, in the archaeological sense of memory, time layers. With his series The surface of Memory Lunder introduces dimensions well known in painting – detection of relationship between the form and the background as well as time relations.
It was not until the third meeting that somebody, to the approval of all three, proposed the title of our project. At that time it was not yet clear if the technological solution to our mutual problem of tripartite visualization is within the scope of our technical knowledge. I insisted on scaling the project down to meet the practical limitations imposed on by both time and space. The conclusion was reached in reciprocal fashion, each proposing, commenting, agreeing and disagreeing. The meeting was complete success. As I remember that was not the case with the first meeting when I was met with inquisitorial looks and suspicious glances amidst the serene and tranquil atmosphere of one of the Ljubljana’s old meeting places. Back then the agreement seemed at least a long way away if not unattainable.
Nadav Sagir, Peter Rauch, Jan Babnik
Soon two decades will have passed since the Berlin Wall fell, the line of demarcation between East and West, symbolically concentrated in the former front-line city. Since the reunification, Berlin has changed radically. Almost the whole social structure was called into question; the result is a politically, intellectually and architectonically transformed city. Artists and gallerists from all over the world have settled in the innumerable factory buildings, especially in the formerly Eastern part of the city, and they transform Berlin into a huge site of production and exchange of contemporary art, which is unparalleled. Numerous photographers have accompanied those processes of change – and had a share in shaping it visually. In this compilation, the photographic view is focussed on the people and their spaces.
The exhibition »Passages to Modern Concerns« of the author, who signs his work with his initials DK, has a retrospective character, but at the same time gives insight into the author’s newer photographic production. »His photography – while it is completely irrelevant which chosen work or motif content we are talking about – definitely expresses a special auratic dimension; a dimension, which is characteristic only of (that) author of a photography, which is created by a special, elaborate creation attitude towards the chosen motif.« Regardless of the fact that DK creates »… with an abundance of approaches, which express the potential of photographic image as a form and social content…« (Marina Gržinić), his creations »always enable the feeling of that special continuity of expression, which sets him apart from his contemporaries. His whole opus therefore follows that form of expression, in which the author’s interest for introducing individual and collective identities at the same time can be clearly perceived. In his media concentration, DK especially takes control of his series »Lice« (Face), which with his characteristic upper cut and the contrast of (again accented black) light reveals or flows over one side of the portrayed face. »These faces are contemporary pirates« (Marina Gržinić). With this series, DK reaches a new depth of character, a fossilized stiffness and reserve, which reaches into the area of the uncomfortable aesthetics. »In the process of exchanging the onlook between spectators, the portrayed faces and us, there is always the feeling of some kind of blindness. «
Exhibition of art photographs with the scope on “multicultural dialog and absence of this dialog” /portraits, autoportraits, masks, posters, shadows, puppets, graffitti …/
Photomultivision as reflection of multilayered problems of this dialog and its absence
Music of the author, as integral part of this multivision and at the same time independent acoustic vision of this dialogs “Between echoes of the tower of Babylon”
The 1990s post-communist situation – the analogue, pre-digital world, without mobile phones, email, digital cameras. When the Berlin wall falls, Velvet Revolution ensues and old systems stop functioning. A short time of euphoria is followed by grave insecurity in society and loss of vision for the future. A generation gap magnified by the new conditions leaves the youth generation with no one to turn to for answers. The patterns and stories of our parents are suddenly rendered useless – new problems and situations require new approaches without precedent. Few have the capacity to adapt at the rapid pace of the new technologies, the burgeoning economy and encroaching globalization. Mafiosi influence or participate in parliament. Chaos rules and stability is absent for a while. The last youth generation of analogues and walkmen emerged from unstable social and political fault lines, then receded and became lost. Now they try to catch up to the Google generation. What to do with the analogue memories? Is life only digital? Is the human dialogue over a cup of tea or coffee the same as it was during the pre-digital era when there was no persistent mobile ringing, when life was not defined by hundreds of messages in mail boxes and instant messengers. We cannot return – life means change and impels reflection. The pictures here are coming from this lost period. They appear here in public exhibition for the last time. The installation is already in museum.
As an artist, Tomo Brejc always strived for a determined deviation from accepted patterns of the authorial photography context – he managed to create a unique recognizable style, which turns mainly to directed documentarism, based on a firm, conceptually oriented background. He was one of the first photographers to create his own artistic plans in such a consistent and formally purified way on large format photographic prints. His staged figures can identify themselves with the flow of a film story or a coincidental motif of a documentary photograph, while their characteristics are subtle, often completely irrational narratives, which pose more questions than offer clear answers. At the moment, Tomo Brejc’s planning in the context of authorial photography is taking a completely new turn as it highlights quite metaphysical motifs, subliminal images of nature or artificial environment of human civilization, which push away the emphasized narrativity and instead prefer extremely formal consistency and research. The presented photograph series is currently nameless, it is not final and concluded; this is a completely new direction in the author’s constantly formal research of the photographic media, its infinite expressional and confessional possibilities.