Matjaž Rušt: The New World
Exhibition opening: 7th December 2017 at 7 pm
In his latest series The New World, the photographer Matjaž Rušt dedicates to the visual research of the life and activity of the Slovenian diaspora around the world. Through a broad set of photographs, he documents the iconography of demonstrating the cultural identity and addresses the questions of preserving the tradition within small communities.
In his research and field work, Rušt travelled to the USA, Argentina and Australia to know better the local Slovenian communities which are the oldest of all Slovenian emigrant communities and despite their smallness also most persistent. The artist is interested in the preservation of the identity in the environments which are socially, politically, economically and culturally completely different from those back home, and among the emigrants who are born and raised there. He is interested in the small enclaves of cultural and social life. In the period when there is a lot of talk about the integration of immigrants in the new cultural environments, the issue of diaspora can also be viewed through a universal prism which can be applied to any emigrant group based on a common ethnicity. The exhibition displays a set of images which illustrate the visual signifiers of Slovenian identity in the faraway lands, and the identity which due to the irregular contacts between the diaspora and the homeland increasingly diverges.