ALTERNATIVE WORLDS

15 November – 6 December 2013

 

Photon, the leading Slovenian and regional organisation for exploring, producing and presenting a variety of practices within the field of contemporary photography and artists' moving image, is celebrating its tenth anniversary with the Alternative Worlds group show, which displays the recent works of young and not (yet) established art photographers.

 

The artists who are shown in this exhibition were selected through the open call that is part of the Young Contemporary Photography project dedicated to photographers up to 35 years of age. Ten artists managed to convince the three-member jury (Dr. Petja Grafenauer, Dejan Sluga and Filip Vančo) with the pervasiveness and lucidity of their works. At the opening of the exhibition one of the artists receives an award: a one-month residency in Bratislava, awarded by Photoport Gallery.

 

On different discursive levels, the Alternative Worlds group exhibition aims to open up a discussion on several exceptionally topical issues addressing the relationship between individuals and the environment in which they live and work. The selected works of the young artists-photographers who responded to the open call demonstrate subjective visions of parallel social (and societal) and cultural universes, alternative ways of life and world views that commonly constitute the opposition to the dominant political discourses, cultural patterns and social conventions. Although their works seem to be exceptionally diverse when it comes to their subject matter, political discourse and formal approach, they inevitably reflect thezeitgeist of their immediate surroundings. The artists commonly deal with issues such as their (personal) relationship to the past, intimate views of the collective reality, or they reflect references from the history of photography and art.

The young generation of artists and cultural workers are facing the constant imperative of flexibility, endurance and adaptability, characteristics that are inevitable for survival and active work in the field of art and culture. They are compelled to work in an environment marked by uncertainty and instability, which is often - with critical distance and seemingly unaffected - reflected in their artistic practices. However, they are largely aware of their deprived status when compared to the older generation of artists and citizens.


It's always extremely difficult to set the criteria for evaluation of art works. In the fluid world of changing contexts and dominants the criteria are – in addition to a visually convincing merging of subject matter, idea and form as well as to the reaction to the contextual frameworks of its existence – also based on personal values in which I believe. The jury was fully convinced by works of several artists. My decisions were based on the deliberation about the artist's mastering of a medium, on his or her aesthetic decisions, on the response to the given conceptual framework, on the reasonableness of a particular photograph within the series, on the reflection of process and final execution, and on the way in which I received visual information that was much more than only information on the emotional and conceptual levels. The jury unanimously selected several artists. However, Biba Košmerl's work was recognised as noteworthy and the most notable for the precise and lucid choice of material submitted. Her works show unusual response to the topic. After the detailed examination of the materials submitted, I am pleased to point out that the works exhibited in Photon show humour, poetics and aesthetics, topical responses to the contemporary state of affairs as well as a desire to discuss the characteristics and tradition of the medium. 

Petja Grafenauer, member of a jury

AUTHORS AND THEIR WORKS

BORIS BEJA (1986) graduated from the High School of Design and Photography and then from the School of Graphics, Textile and Design, a part of University of Ljubljana. In 2013 he also graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana with his thesis Death, Product of the Subject. He has participated in several group exhibitions locally and internationally. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

One Step Ahead of the Public, 2013
While studying the artist worked as a journalist and was regularly contributing articles about contemporary art exhibition for the Planet Siol online magazine. Because of his tight schedule he usually came to exhibitions before the set-up was complete witnessing the artworks removed from their context and separated from their supporting information. This emptiness and absence of an artwork is accompanied by the transcript of an article about the exhibition that was published online. The artist is interested in verbal translation of an image to text, digital mortality and perception of art through a digital interface. The series of photographs draws attention to the constitution of art events against their background.

TATJANA CANKAR (1991) graduated from the High School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana, studied at the photographic department of VIVISS in Sežana and eventually at the VIST academy in Ljubljana. She lives and works in Ljubljana.

Untitled, 2013
The image is seen but overlooked because of one’s own habits of seeing.The image has the ability toshow physicaland mental reality, to show the way one acceptsthe principles ofbeing.The display of animageis influencedbyour behaviourin society.

DAVORIN CIGLAR MILOSAVLJEVIĆ (1982) graduated from the Academy of Arts in Belgrade with a degree in photography. He lives and works in Ptuj.

I Didn't Press the Button But They Did the Rest, 2013

We live in a digital age when each of us carries at least one device capable of taking photographs. Capturing images has never been so simple. Digital technology enables us to record surprisingly good photographs using only mobile phones. These mobile phone images can be manipulated by using different filters, many of which are designed to make digital photographs look like snapshots taken with old amateur cameras such as Polaroid or Kodak Brownie. This projects focuses on Instagram filters, which were applied to a completely white image (created in Photoshop) representing the blankness of unexposed photographic paper, so that the starting point of the image would be lacking visual information.

 

SARA KIRŠIĆ (1989) works in various fields such as photographic practices, scenography, video and graphic design. She is a final year student of photography in Ljubljana and has taken part in number of performances, theatre plays and group exhibitions. She lives and works in Ljubljana and Pazin.

It – is – an, 2013

It – is – an is a book deriving from my reflection of a ‘scape’. The exploration of „scape of space“ and „space scape“ becomes photography of a space, photography as space and photography that creates a new space. Books - that include an index and artist's hair glued on the cover - are hand sewn addressing the mysterious presence of materiality and materialisation of personality. Photography has never shown the truth neither to the author nor to the viewer. The book therefore includes images depicting personal fascinations, reflections, traces, objects and simulations.

BIBA KOŠMERL (1990) graduated from the High School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana and is presently finishing a degree at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. From 2012-2013 she attended the study exchange programme at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark. Since 2013 she is working as a visual editor of the Tribuna newspaper. She lives and works in Ljubljana.

Wash the Cat, 2013

The artist captures snapshots of banal reality in order to picture the utterly random, unusual moments of (her own) everyday life. By visualising the aesthetics of camp and kitsch she touches on the questions of stereotypes and attributes of contemporary society. The images are not staged but rather intuitive records of moments and actions.

ANDREJ LAMUT (1991) graduated with a degree in visual communication from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He took part in number of youth exchange programmes across Europe both as organiser or participant. He has exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions and his photographs have been published in the Tribuna newspaper. Presently, heworks as a part time photographer at the CUK Kino Šiška, EnKnapGroup and Arsana Association. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

Imagery Image, 2013

The Imagery Image series of photographs is the artist's metaphoric response to a number of issues affecting the here and now, in other words, his photographs depict his perception of the current political, economic and social environment. The photograph and the image are a (re)presentation of imagery of our society and culture. By using symbols and the human figures Lamut juxtaposes man and nature and strives to present the troubles of his generation such as brain drain, lack of interest in culture, economic meltdown and revolt. His interest in the relationship between nature and humankind is depicted in the landscapes populated with human presence that reflect the degradation of Slovenian and European society.

SIMON PODGORŠEK (1984) studied at the Academia Fotografii in Warsaw (Poland). After returning to Slovenia he enrolled at the VIST Academy in Ljubljana where he is presently studying. He started working in the field of art photography in 2003. From 2012-2013 he resided in India in order to complete the research project: A Comparison Between Indian and European Contemporary Art. He lives and works in Kamnik.

Dark World, 2008-2013

In his ‘white series’ Podgoršek explores the ‘dark world’. This metaphoric layer of reality usually exists fairly unnoticed, or at least it isn’t perceived as such. The transformation of objects that usually carry negative connotations into brighter, positive objects is a technique and conceptual choice employed by the artist. For the artist, this metaphor is inherent in the notion of alternative or parallel worlds within modern societies.

 

AJDA SCHMIDT (1987) is a graduate student of visual communications at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. During her studies she worked on several design projects for: Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana; International Graphic Centre; Pogledi newspaper; Brumen Foundation; and she co-organised student exhibition 'Eye for an Eye'. In 2012 she was selected for Emzin’s “Photographs of the Year” exhibition.

It's Been Years Since, 2013
The It’s been Years Since series of photographs is characterised by the exploration of the question of how to aestheticise the loneliness and banality of spaces that are inevitably defined by a specific purpose or function. When low season, political change or economic factors carry away masses of visitors these spaces strike us as completely pointless and out of place. The series is not about documentary photography; rather the photographs portray feelings of overall displacement and fleeting closeness created by both changing times and human nature, and the consequent periods of transition.

DARKO SINTIČ (1985) is a final year student of photography at the VIST Academy in Ljubljana. Presently he is employed as an assistant at the High School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana and works as freelance photographer for different magazines (Mladina, Ambient, Pogledi) and on films (Cloud Catcher).

Yet Another Landscape, 2013
The Yet Another Landscape series of photographs was created  within the radius of the artist’s existential and social space. He occupies himself with the geometry of nature - modelling nature through a viewfinder, transforming it, organising it, working out the relationships between spaces, which are defined by the limitations of the camera without any need to manipulate the substance itself. The photograph becomes a paradox which is not worth recreating and therefore the artist questions its existence and functionality. For him a photograph is only an object without function and meaning, a medium which is addressed as a field of expression.

VIOLETA TEŠIĆ (1991) graduated with a degree in photography from the visual art department of NOVA Academy of Arts in Belgrade. Presently, she is studying for an MA at the same academy. She has exhibited in a number of group shows. She lives and works in Belgrade.

Work in Progress, 2013

The construction of urban environments is in a process of  constant change. No city is able to remain the same as it was when it was formed. Inhabitants always adapt their living spaces to their needs. With the Work in Progress series of photographs the artist searches for her own alternative city while constructing a reality that does not necessarily exist. She seeks out places that seem like they don't belong in their natural environment in the city of Belgrade. The photographs show the ever changing and evolving phenomenon of urban construction. It is a work in progress