Dušan Šarotar

Dušan Šarotar, Duše / Souls, 2012
Dušan Šarotar, Duše / Souls, 2012


Opening: 2 June at 7 pm

2–20 June 2014

Trubar Literature House, Ljubljana

WHERE: Stritarjeva ulica 7, Ljubljana

Accordingly we would be ineptly equipped to understand the ‘souls’ of Šarotar’s photographs without the epic meaning brought to us by his writing. Just as someone looking for inspiration in religion and the strength and confirmation of their own faith through reading holy texts, the Torah, the Bible, the apocrypha, so it is far easier and more meaningful to approach Dušan’s souls by drawing from his written work.

In this sense Šarotar’s literature is a pool of codified, iconological keys that enables us to enter a deeper realm of understanding and appreciation. In his own unique way, through his individual experimentations, Šarotar has gradually managed to find a formula where, with the help of photographic invention, he conceptually visualizes and shapes images of the incorporeal and essentially abstract that we, in the extremities of the imagination and fantasy, identify with the notion of the soul.

Dušan Šarotar’s Souls that reside in his photographs of clouds are beautiful. They are extremely accomplished photographic records of clouds, created at a chosen moment and form that present them in all their bounty. They are caught at a unique moment of longing, desire even, to see what is by its very nature only visible once and what no one will ever be able interpret or grasp in completely the same way. To show how the soul, or souls more generally, appear at the given moment. Dušan Šarotar shows us that it is possible to see the soul in his way, though a particularly developed sensitivity and ability of experiencing is still essential.

At the same time the recipe offered still allows the souls glimpsed in this manner to continuously elude us, forever changing and manifesting themselves as endless patterns. What is also admirable is that to Šarotar himself they seem to simply reveal themselves, offering to be ‘caught’ in his photographic lens. It is left to the imagination and fantasy as to whether we know how to recognize their singular metamorphoses and innumerable associated manifestations. Their transformations are the result of transience and are at the same time witness to the metaphysical. Appearing as they do only for a brief moment, their testimony of an unrepeatable moment is captured in the photographic image.

It is interesting that Šarotar later never alters the images, he never manipulates them at the processing stages, consciously leaving the printing to manufactured production. With the aid of high quality computer printers Dušan’s souls are printed onto standard size canvasses. Their rough weave and the soft grey-black images with light rinses, pure white in places, make them appear urban and aesthetically refined. We can say that the images of Dušan’s souls are extremely polished and formally as well as artistically well thought out.

Dušan Šarotar (1968) is a Slovenian writer, essayist, literary critic, editor and photographer.

dr. Janez Balažic