GREGOR RADONJIČ: Arrows
5 June – 25 June 2012
5 June – 25 June 2012
KUD France Prešeren, Ljubljana
Arrows by Gregor Radonjič is an exhibition in which arrows are presented as a motif in different situations and contexts. An arrow in modern urban or natural landscapes is an archaic symbol. Placing the arrow motif in such a context brings new connotations, with multi-layered meanings that go way beyond a purely documentary vision. With a few exceptions, the locations of the arrows are not clear. They challenge the spectator with their hidden meanings.
Two topics that often appear in Radonjič’s photographic opus – though each time in a different context – are transience and journey; the latter in the spiritual sense of searching for a deeper meaning of life rather than on moving through earthly time and space. Through photographic meditation the author finds his meaning of life in transcendental mood motifs in natural or urban environments, and usually without the presence of the human beings. Radonjič deals with the problem of the eternal, often aimless, searching for the right direction on the path of life in his parallel and continued photographic cycle reproduced in the book The Pyramids of Hope, created in collaboration with the poet Neža Maurer, who also deals with the ceaseless journey through spiritual landscapes of memories, feelings and desires.
Even though in the most recent cycle Radonjič deals with the aforementioned topics, the motifs can be seen as a precedent, since for the first time he concentrates on an archaic symbol – an arrow, to which no Slovenian photographer has devoted so much attention. There must be as many symbolic meanings to the arrow as there are different civilizations. The specific characteristic of target orientation is expressed in the symbolism of the arrow seen as a signpost (besides symbols of penetration, fertilization, love, oracle, lightning, etc.) all of which can be seen in Radonjič’s photographs. The whole cycle consists of several small collections; from which perhaps the photographs of American motels stand out, where the symbolism of the arrow is directly connected to the Native American population and therefore partly relates to the mystical content of the Happy Hunting Ground, or the photographs of garage interiors somewhere in Sarajevo where red arrows have an ominous bloody image and finally, the night scenes of city roads where arrows direct the traffic to the left, to the right or forward, as if the driver stood at the crossroads of life and had to decide quickly where to drive, although not knowing exactly what awaits him at the end of the journey. The photographs of wall graffiti where partially personified arrows cause confusion and make witty remarks as if the remains of a memory lost long ago are also interesting. However, the meditative photographs by Gregor Radonjič are open to several interpretations whilst at the same time conveying a nostalgic mood and encouraging us to reflect on the correctness of the decisions made on the path of our own lives.