The Margins: Slovenian Contemporary Photography exhibition in Banja Luka
Jaka Babnik, Vanja Bućan, Emina Djukić, Peter Rauch, Matjaž Rušt & Robert Marin
10 Dec. 2015-1 Feb. 2016
Museum of Contemporary Art RS, Banja Luka
The group exhibition, entitled Margins: Slovenian Contemporary Photography, is above all a display of different artistic positions and practices among the selected artists from Slovenia who use photography as their primary creative medium. Over the past ten years these contemporary photographers have significantly marked the developments on the local art and photographic scene.
The exhibition was initially conceived as an insight into the documentary features within the so called artistic or conceptual photography. However, as contemporary photography is distinctly an eclectic field of expression that increasingly unites and merges numerous genres, approaches and technical possibilities, such distinction is nowadays almost impossible to make. Even though five Slovenian artists and artist groups who are displayed in frames of the Margins show usually follow, in a strictly technical aspect, principles of documentary photography, their works belong in artistic domain - in terms of their production, as well as distribution.
At the forefront of the show are either topical themes exploring a state of mind of contemporary society, or the intimate views on the artists' own surrounding, that are expressed through both, particular and universal narratives of everyday life, as well as through profound consideration of the nature of photography and visual culture. Namely, these are documentary-based works that explore marginal urban stories and places (Jaka Babnik, Matjaž Rušt & Robert Marin), works that penetrate to the social domain through intimate perspective (Vanja Bućan, Emina Djukić), and projects which question the ambivalent nature of photographic medium through visual metaphors (Peter Rauch). And if we reverse the prism once more; following the tradition of photography, the works of these artists do not only have an artistic purpose and function, but they are also, despite discursive openness and ambiguity, precious documents of a very distinctive place and time.