Selection of student work of the Department of Photography, VIST (Higher School of Applied Sciences)
Opening: 4 June at 8.30 pm
4-25 June 2014
Zorye Gallery, Rog Factory, Ljubljana
WHERE: Trubareva 72, Ljubljana
As long as there exists an awareness that on the one hand the world is solid and full of truths that we can spread with careful recording, photography serves the purpose of communicating the images of the world in the service of phantasms.
Artists: Adriana Aleksić, Ana Amborž Strle, Jernej Čuček Gerbec, Peter Fettich, Anže Grabeljšek, Peter Gorenšek, Anja Hrnčič, Sara Kiršić, Nataša Ilec, Davor Kralj, David Mencinger, Bojan Mijatovič, Žiga Palčar, Cherie Plausteiner, Andreja Prijatelj, Matjaž Rušt, Dare Sintič, Vedran Tomšič, Igor Vidic
Of course, it can also be harnessed by other employers, newspapers, advertising and activists, but it always remains a means to an end that is external to it. Under these conditions, photography is a rhetoric skill and its proficiency is manifested in the mastery of the sophistic practice of reshuffling the truths according to the inclinations of the patrons of its charms. These abound, of course, and they can simply be used to strengthen the belief that we communicate authentic scenes and tell stories with photography and that we are committed to rendering imagery that soothes and calms the (mysteriously) agitated petit bourgeois spirit and whispers to it that all is right, and even if it isn’t, it at least looks nice on the wall. The world is even more solid and photography is reduced to the mechanical activity of perfect sampling and masterful phantasmagoria. If there is a reduction in the client relationship, it only needs a small shove further to think about photography as a rhetorical activity, as a representational technique and so on until we reach the very bottom, the building blocks and recipes, the grains, emulsions, algorithms, equations, indexes and such junk in the cellar of practice. The problem with cellars is that junk attracts vermin. Just like the 17th century Flemish chemist van Helmont gave a recipe about spontaneous generation (place together sweaty shirts and some dry grain and after three weeks of fermentation, mice will emerge there), monsters of free will and action evolve from the junk of some immanent concepts of photography. That is how photography cultivates from total reduction its own vermin: the object of education and discussion – but make no mistake, first come shirts and grains and only later do mice emerge! Photography may not require a client and dares to utter the heretical thought: it is an end in itself. This means that it chooses its own object of consideration, the methods, the goals, and that it can develop the rhetoric of its own structural laws. This emancipatory ambition brings with it something else, too. The world that was solid and portrayable loses the status of authenticity with the emergence of photography’s own object of consideration. What was once considered the appearance of something becomes the essence of another structure. This means that the solidness that fueled the old appearance is not fixed anymore, the structures multiply and signifiers wander around and breed freely. Truths are not unshakeable and the world of shadows can substantially exist independent of the light and the transparence of plain truth. Thus, photography dictates a reality as a series of fragments, similar to looking through a window. (The window is not merely the absence of a wall, a lack, but the only real part of the wall, the core around which the wall can base its existence. The window emerges as a positive void filled with the gaze that shapes itself around the holes, around which it circulates and through which it penetrates.) All photographed objects are granted the status of a unique object rising from the darkness of time and the concoctions of various structures. The act of photography is similar to an archaeological excavation, the difference being that the object is not separated from the existing material, but emerges as a part of fundamental reduction and at the same time as an unexpected result. In the midst of the junk in the cellar, from the darkness that surrounds sweaty shirts and grains of wheat, a mouse emerges – ex nihilo. All this means that the originating object is always both internal and external and that even the seemingly most insubstantial detail of the dictated reality blossoms into a potentially priceless artifact.