Ob letošnjem 63. Jazz festivalu Ljubljana bo v Mali galeriji CD potekala že tradicionalna fotografska razstava, na ogled postavljena ob festivalu.
Tokrat se bo s svojimi fotografijami predstavil italijanski fotograf Luciano Rossetti, čigar delo je tesno povezano in prepleteno z glasbo in gledališčem.
Njegova fotografija je pred kratkim pridobila mednarodno priznanje zaradi svoje odličnosti. Leta 2021 je prejel nagrado najboljša fotografija leta in nominacijo za karierno odličnost v fotografiji Združenja jazzovskih novinarjev (JJA), ameriškega združenja jazzovskih novinarjev in kritikov.
There are men and women who sow seeds, who set emotions, states of mind and communication in action, who pave the way for others, and who have the power to bring down mountains.
They inspire us to get up and move, to get busy, and to experience life to the fullest.
Men and women who make music like others make bread.
There are also men and women who make us see things in ways we wouldn’t have been able to on our own, by highlighting details, changing perspectives, opening things up, shine light. They literally make things reveal themselves. One of these men is photographer Luciano Rossetti.
Pino Saulo - RaiRadio3
After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ljubljana became part of the new state of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the short-lived kingdom, Ljubljana enjoyed one of its most important and prolific architectural peaks. With his numerous interventions, architect Jože Plečnik (1872–1957) transformed the city into a symbolic national capital. Plečnik rejected modernist approaches and rebuild the city following his own vision.
In the process of Ljubljana’s overhaul, Plečnik contextualized the existing space, taking into account the different levels of the city, its natural, architectural, historical and immaterial qualities, and streamlined it into a series of public spaces (squares, parks, streets, promenades, bridges) and buildings (library, churches, markets, funeral home complex).
Thus emerged Plečnik's Ljubljana, a phenomenon of twentieth-century urban landscape inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In response to the new architectural trends, Ljubljana’s modernist architecture took shape concurrently.
It was designed by Plečnik's contemporaries, most notably Josip Costaperaria and Vladimir Šubic, as well as Plečnik’s students (France Tomažič, Edvard Ravnikar and others). In the year that marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jože Plečnik, the photography exhibition seeks to thematize the metamorphoses of the city.
The exhibition presents a series of Peter Uhan's portrayals of family life, portraits that are anything but typical. Offering glimpses into an amusing and comic, occasionally chaotic and exhausting yet altogether beautiful life of a family of four and half, the photographs feature a colourful array of stories, memories and experiences.
Peter Uhan (1977) pursues a career in professional photography, primarily theatre and portrait, as well as occasionally commercial and architectural photography. He regularly works for the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana and the Slovenian National Theatre Nova Gorica, and occasionally for other theatres and independent theatre companies. He has documented over 350 performances. In 2012–19 Peter Uhan collaborated with the German visual artist Ulay on performance art. Recipient of several Slovenian and international awards and distinctions, he rarely holds exhibitions of his work.
FEATURED ARTISTS: Jošt Dolinšek, Andrej Lamut, Tilyen Mucik, Sara Rman, Blaž Rojs, Anja Seničar
Curator: Hana Čeferin
Photography, perhaps more so than any other field of art, has been defined by a commitment to experimentation from its very beginning. The first successfully stabilised photographic images were created as a sequence of physics and chemistry experiments, and the patenting of the first daguerreotype in 1839 was followed in quick succession by new techniques – the calotype, the heliotype and the ambrotype, and later camera-less processes, most notably the photogram, the chemigram and the luminogram. The definition of photography has been expanding even further in contemporary art – from digital intervention to works created using artificial intelligence, unusual chemical compounds and countless emulsion combinations, integrating living organisms and unexpected mediums –, there are infinite ways of interpreting the photographic within the context of art. While photography is still often perceived as merely an image that is captured on a light-sensitive surface by means of a photographic camera, this definition may have been inappropriate since the very beginning of the medium.
Bearing this experimentation in mind, the Beyond the Lens exhibition turns to younger Slovenian photographers who combine different mediums, re-examining materials and form, and exploring the potential of the medium of photography beyond the use of a camera. Developments in Slovenian contemporary photography over the recent years have been truly exciting. Younger artists adopt highly idiosyncratic approaches to photography, fully aware of the principles of the medium, unburdened by photographic “purism”, combining styles, materials, tools and image carriers. They organise themselves into groups, studios and collectives, apply to international platforms, exhibition projects and publications, and independently integrate themselves with the art world. Slovenia’s vibrant and varied young photography scene undeniably reveals new spins on the medium that brim with freshness and individuality.
Within the context of these developments, the aim of this exhibition is to present the production that has evolved through the younger generation’s attitude towards traditional approaches to the medium. The exhibition does not aim to present the young artists’ latest or most contemporary works, but seeks to shed light on the specific understanding of the medium that started to develop in our cultural space. The exhibited works, most of which have already featured in solo shows, are here presented collectively as a reflection on the possibilities of the medium itself, the photographic orientations of the younger generation, and the viewpoints on photography embraced by today’s young artists in producing it beyond the lens.
In their showcased projects, Andrej Lamut and Tilyen Mucik address photography through the thematic field of botany. In methodically observing invasive plant species in his immediate surroundings, and presenting them as extra-terrestrial invaders, Lamut’s Invasive Alien Species series deals with the topic of the environmental crisis and its consequences, both hidden and in plain sight. With her Flora Femina series, Mucik literally introduced botany into her works by incorporating plant dyes into images and using green-plant leaves in place of paper. Sara Rman and Anja Seničar understand photography on a formal level, whereby the photographic paper subjected to specific treatment can already constitute a bearer of meaning. By burning, crumpling, and destroying, experimenting with emulsion and exposure, they process the photographic paper until it takes on unexpected shapes and assumes the form of a standalone object. Blaž Rojs and Jošt Dolinšek combine various mediums – Rojs adds acrylic paints, plexiglass, textiles and other elements to Polaroids, his primary medium, composing multilayered objects, and Dolinšek introduces several entry points of gaze by way of frame-inserted mirrors, at the same time strengthening their ambient role through sonic accompaniment and exploring the intimate experience that opens up in observing the images.
The featured artists take different perspectives on photography and interpret it in their own, wholly distinct way. However, the common denominator in all these styles may be their exploring the ever-new potentials of the medium and challenging its boundaries, while concurrently searching for ways to merge meaning and form. They approach the medium from an expressly technical angle, through reflection on materiality, while taking a strong interest in the experience of the viewer and all the possible interpretations of their works. Through the formally and contextually varied works of the six featured artists, we enter the field of contemporary photographic output that takes form outside the box and beyond the lens.
As the year 2021 is coming to a close, the Small Gallery hosts an exhibition of photographic works by Igor Škafar. The Ulica exhibition comprises a large number of portraits, mostly featuring young people. The artist has been creating these portraits continuously, with unwavering dedication and in search of the new and fresh, for the past twenty years.
The exhibited works include both older photographs taken on film and more recent, digital photographs. In a unique way, the exhibition will also lend a small insight into the artist’s creative process.
Igor Škafar was born in Ljubljana in 1975. He has pursued a career in photography since 1997, when he took up the position of assistant at the Manjana photographic studio. Two years later he started contributing photographs to the Mladina weekly. He now works for various media and agencies, and regularly publishes his work in Mladina. Ichisan – DJ (and photographer) Igor Škafar’s stage name – started out on his musical career as a guitarist with various bands, and later devoted himself to electronic music, a genre to which he is especially partial.
DK is one of Slovenia’s most prominent photographers of the middle generation. His exceptional output is marked by an idiosyncratic visual and conceptual artistic style. The first association with the artistic name DK, in Slovenia and beyond, is probably still related mainly to the iconic portraits created in Ljubljana’s Alternative District of Metelkova.
An accomplished and established photographer, DK has been concurrently developing interest and practice in various areas of photography throughout his career: from documentary photography, even photojournalism, and series that have dealt with certain phenomena of social reality in a distinctive and critical artistic way to pure abstract photography, the least showcased part of his output that was eventually imaginatively presented within the context of the Scotoma exhibition in the Jakopič Gallery.
Non-representational photography exists in this area of conflict between material reality and photographic illusion – between fact and fiction. The Small Gallery exhibition – featuring photographs taken by their author in "timeless" Egypt, photographs that could be said to be lost in time – suspends it somewhere in-between. The accompanying text has been authored by art historian Hana Čeferin.
DK (1970) obtained a master's degree from a notable photo school in Munich (FPS). He has been member of Strip Core, an art and cultural production collective, for over thirty years. Through his work DK responds to current socio-political and cultural issues and, through a creative method based on artistic research, provides ambivalent yet insightful visual metaphors for the zeitgeist.
By means of the visual medium, the photographer's remarkable body of work activates an in-depth awareness – more sublime than direct, through kindling pristine emotions. DK thereby touches an individual on a subconscious level, more permanently. His work has recently been exhibited at the Photo Basel fair, the Vienna Photogalerie and Ljubljana’s Jakopič Gallery, which hosted a large exhibition of his photos, Scotoma.
The exhibition has been organised in cooperation with Strip Core, a part of the Forum Ljubljana Institute for Art and Culture.
It seems as if, in an environment drastically facing the extinction of any kind of (self-) criticism, meaningful criteria for evaluating and promoting authentic values, or, in an environment facing up to the consequences of this erosion that has been eating away at more and more areas of cultural production, Damir Fabijanić has no choice but to get “in the midst of things”.
Due to lack of other means of communication, the artist chose first person narrative. Fabijanić is a sharp judge and an uncompromising critic of the phenomena he encounters in his daily life, both of the public media and cultural institutions of which no mention is being made by common consent. He is equally convincing as the author of photographic representations, when ironizing the pseudo-civilisational legacy of the newly formulated Croatian culture, in documenting his own vision of reality, opening up a debate about the commercialisation of art, in questioning the division into art photography and other genre categories.
The exhibition combines several individual sections, with each theme consisting of photographs and texts: rather than the usual exhibit interpretations that accompany an exhibition, the artist uses written statements, comments, or descriptions to further highlight the context in which the works were created. The layout of the exhibition is devised as an installation that establishes communication codes on the basis of experience of conceptual practices, or the starting point for the dematerialisation of a work of art as an aesthetic object. At the same time, these texts allow us to follow the chronicle of a photographic pursuit that reveals several constants in this artistic output, both at the level of themes and content and artistic approach. Instead of an objective, neutral observer, Fabijanić opted for a less comfortable position of an engaged participant, which further underlines the self-referential dimension of his works and their distinctive interpellate power.
Damir Fabijanić (born in 1955 in Zagreb) has been a freelance artist-photographer since 1987. He specialised in architecture and landscape at the very beginning of his career. During the Croatian Homeland War, he photographed damaged cultural heritage sites, especially Dubrovnik and its environs. Photographic material addressing this subject was published in the book Dubrovnik… An eponymous exhibition, along with several others, has toured Europe and South America – and was on view at CD’s Small Gallery in 1997.
In 1992, as the only Croatian photographer to date, Fabijanić took part in the most prominent European photography festival in Arles. Throughout his professional career he has held numerous solo exhibitions and received prestigious awards and distinctions. He is the chief photographer and photography editor of Croatia/Croatia Airlines (since 1993), Oris (from 1999 to 2008) and Iće&piće (since 2007). He has published photographs in reputable newspapers and magazines, including Abitare, Architektur aktuell, Architektur und Bauforum, Architectural Review, Baumeister, Casa Vogue, El croquis, Detail, Diseno interior, Domus, Piranesi, Topos, Werk, Bauen+Wohnen, Japan Architect.
Sunčan Stone has gained renown as an accomplished photographer, known for his photographic studies of movement – dance, dancers and dance shows –, as well as for his vibrant images of music and theatre performances. After a three-year stay in his native England, Stone is presenting a new project – Grenfell Tower Silent Walks – in CD’s Small Gallery. These are silent walks taken with a view to admonishing the authorities and paying respect to the memory of all the people who died when this tower caught fire (14 June 2017). The artist shares his thoughts on the series:
“A 24-storey tower block in Northington caught fire on 14 June 2017 – 72 people were killed in the fire. ... A month later, on 14 June 2017, survivors and relatives of the deceased took part in the Grenfell Tower Silent Walk, a memorial procession winding its way through the neighbourhood in honour of the victims. The marchers were joined by firefighters who fought for the victims that night, people from the neighbourhood and random passers-by. Silent walks have been held in the neighbourhood on the 14th of every month since the fire, attracting hundreds of people – as a reminder to the authorities to identify the culprits and introduce changes as early as possible. I joined in the third march with my camera, accompanying and supporting the marchers throughout my stay in London (until October 2019). The exhibition constitutes a series of portraits of people whose lives have changed irrevocably in a matter of a few hours. Here, my definition of a portrait is somewhat loose, given that all the photographs were taken during the walk, so I first focused on one person, and then on two people or a small group. Other times I just did a group portrait. The photographs depict a person in a deep emotional state, whilst reflecting a strong sense of human dignity, capturing a moment when the circumstances and memories weigh one down, while at the same time clearly reflecting this person’s upright posture, their feelings of empathy and solidarity – as we have repeatedly taken part in the march to remember the deceased, to support the survivors and make sure that this never happens again.”
Born in London, UK, in 1971, Sunčan Patrick Stone has adopted Ljubljana as his new home. He took up translating (mostly into English) during his studies (sociology of culture and art history at Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts) and has so far translated a large series of books (from scientific publications to poetry, children's books, novels and what have you), as well as specialist articles. A professional photographer since 2009, Stone is particularly interested in the ways in which people express their creative side. He therefore almost exclusively focuses on dance (especially contemporary), theatre (especially independent), as well as concerts and art exhibitions. Believing that photography can help raise people's awareness of current social movements, Sunčan always takes his camera with him to demonstrations. He has held more than 20 solo photography exhibitions (Belgium, Slovenia and the UK, almost half of which were dedicated to contemporary dance) and took part in more than 25 group showcases (Australia, Austria, Slovenia and Serbia), as well as in various art projects presented in Croatia, Italy, South Korea, Macedonia and the United Kingdom. He teaches various photography workshops covering a range of subjects – from introduction to digital photography to dance photography and theatre photography.
In accordance with the measures adopted to contain the spread of COVID-19 epidemic Cankarjev dom has cancelled or rescheduled all events, exhibitions reopened.
More about cancelled or postponed events >>
Franci Virant’s series of exquisite, spontaneous but at the same time well-considered photographs depicts a week's stay in the Italian metropolis. The holiday takes place in October 2008. In the photographs, the artist toys with the story of people, architecture, art, a story condensed into a recognizable genius loci of a mighty and ancient monument-city. He traces his impression of people's attitudes to things and reveals the core of his own experience of the place. At the same time, Virant captures the rapture of people who do not actually realize what they are looking at. The superficiality of mobile-phone photography raises the question: Does this prove that one has really been there? While some pictures take on new meanings, becoming completely updated, and others carry sophisticated, inscrutable symbolism, the common thread of exceptional emotional intensity runs through all of them.
Art critic Brane Kovič about Virant’s work: Virant's photographs may therefore also be read as a spontaneous, unpretentious, anthropological essay that encapsulates an aspect of today’s state of mind with a playful, occasionally humorous tone. The dominant line of Virant’s narrative emerges from the Italian capital’s extraordinary artistic richness, which is the most common reason for the vast crowds that flock to its streets and markets, thronging around architectural achievements, the many museums, art collections and archaeological remains, with occasional detours to more trivial segments of daily life faced by both the locals and visitors. … A reliable witness to the reality into which he is drawn, Franci Virant is aware of the privileged position from which he is able to interpret it, because in putting on view what was in front of his camera in a certain moment his standpoints and understanding of the world transcend the bounds of haphazardness and blend together to form a mosaic of creative freedom as self-cognition."
Franci Virant (b. 1958) has gained renown as a brilliant fashion photographer – photographing women is part of his daily routine. He broadened his experience in photography as member of the famous ŠOLT photo group, and later by working for the Delo daily's in-house photography department. Since 1988, he has worked as a freelance cultural professional. Contributing to projects by the IRWIN group, Virant has been involved in the NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst) group since 1987. He works with Slovenian artists and fashion designers. Virant's photographs feature on numerous theatre posters, and in many publications. He has held several high-profile solo exhibitions, including a 1996 showcase in Cankarjev dom's Small Gallery (at a time when this exhibition space emerged as Ljubljana's/Slovenia's new photography gallery) and took part in various group exhibitions locally and internationally. Virant's photos have been used for a series of outstanding calendars, as well as marketing campaigns, and appeared in numerous Slovenian newspapers and magazines (including ARS VIVENDI, Stop, Pepita, Moda, Focus, etc.). He is recipient of several international photography awards (e.g. in Poland, Japan and Hungary).
We need stories. We need stories to understand ourselves.
The forest paths lead past places of death, Fritz was killed here by a falling branch, Grandmother knew, here three men were charred by lightning, in the Devil’s Clearing next to the Death Beech by the creek, the screeching girls in the stream on the Poset farm, where the dead wander and wail, the Wild Ravine where they found a skull. These are stories told by Maja Haderlap in Angel of Oblivion, a book that inspired Andrej Blatnik to take photographs of the writer’s valley – the Valley of Lepena (Leppen) that wends its way through the Austrian state of Carinthia – creating a series to which he could give no other title but Angel of Oblivion. Having read the book, the photographer decided to try to visualize all the dramas that happen there, he said. He wanted the pictures to be dramatic, to display the tenacity, the will to survive, perseverance, the struggle of man with nature. Also the partisans and conflicts. Joy, he added. The spectators thus see Lepena in the photos. And we also see ourselves. The sun's rays filter through the trees, mists drift down steep pastures, the words of Maja Haderlap, turning into reality, are tumbling over the meadows. The photographs convey the narratives of the writer and the people to whom this part of the world belongs. They whisper the photographer's story to us, the viewers, very carefully, unobtrusively, thus opening up space that allows us to listen to ourselves.
But let us go back to the Lepena Valley or ravine, as the locals call it, which runs from Eisenkappel to the foothills of Mount Peca (Petzen). It is only about ten kilometres long. It is caught between Mount Peca, soaring to well over two thousand metres, and the slightly lower Topica/Topitza and Olševa/ Ouschewa mountains. These secluded places, where no freshness seems to penetrate through the high peaks to the ravine, nor the mustiness of the outer world, have a history of resistance all of their own, a history that the official historical records would prefer to omit. If only possible, these records seek to blot out the partisan resistance movement joined by many Carinthian Slovenes, which took a heavy death toll on their families during WWII whilst also stigmatizing them after the war for their resistance against the Nazis and the German army. One can also write about trees politically and there are many trees in my book, read the words of Maja Haderlap. Stories lost in the woods – the forests that used to be dense in this part of the world until just a few years ago when natural disasters devastated the landscape and stripped clean the thickly wooded terrain – were found and preserved.
A black-and-white photograph shows a tree. Who knows how and, indeed, why here of all places, it has grown out of rocks on a steeply rising slope. The tree is straight, no sense of bending is felt. A nice photo. An idyllic shot of nature one could add and move over to the next photo. But, no. The moment we place it in a historical context we feel the drama of the Lepena Valley. That is why we stop. It stands for total resistance to gravity and everything. It stands for a crazy will to survive, says Andrej Blatnik about this unyielding tree.
In telling stories, Andrej Blatnik skilfully blends writing and photography; his photographs have been used in designing monographs, textbooks, manuals, anthologies, fiction books. Over the past decade he has been increasingly interested in Slovenian ethnic minorities, especially the remote places in the Raba region, the valley of Zilja/Gail, the Rabelj Valley (Val Rio di Lago), on the Croatian side of the Čabranka River. In the series of pictures featuring places that in Slovenia are little-known, almost disregarded, the photographer moves between creativity and reality, between aesthetics, knowledgeability and feelings. Especially his own, of course. It is also Blatnik’s Angel of Oblivion photographs that hover between self-expression and documentation, between relating information and conveying the photographer’s exceptional feel for the beautiful. His photographs often feature bold colours, but this time he thought them superfluous. He skilfully took advantage of the narrative force of grey tones, light fading into darkness, blackness dissolving into whiteness. And at times one can even sense a very, very gentle vibrancy that has slipped stealthily into this solemn environment.
In another photo, we see a roof, atop of which rises a tree canopy with the sky spreading above. The roof is dilapidated, the treetop ragged, the sky is disappearing into darkness. There are no people. And yet it is immediately clear that Andrej Blatnik is talking precisely about them, the extraordinary people in whose stories he found great fascination.
Andrej Blatnik (b. 1963 Ljubljana) studied design and modern art at UK’s Open University between 1991 and 1994. A professional photographer since 1991, he has worked independently, as a self-employed professional in culture, since 1994. Actively pursuing a career in photojournalism since 2000, Blatnik is member of the Slovenian Association of Journalists. His photos have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines: Ambient, Viva, Albert, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Elle, Gea, Atelje, Adria Airways In-Flight Magazine, Pri nas doma, Jana, Mama, Otrok in družina, Vrtnar, Rože in vrt, Kmečki glas, Življenje in tehnika, Zvon, as well as the supplements Objektiv, Polet, Ona… He has held a series of solo exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. His previous shows at Cankarjev dom include: the 2009 Knapovske marionete (Marionettes from a Mining Town) solo exhibition, a series that has since formed part of Hrastnik Museum’s permanent collection, and the 2010 photo series Sečoveljske soline (Sečovlje Salt Pans) within the context of a museum exhibition.