Adventure with light
“I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” – Diane Arbus.
Analogue photography has a long and varied history that cannot be considered as a singular field. From its beginnings to the present, it has given rise to many approaches and genres linked to specific periods, spaces and artists. The very field of developing procedures is rich and varied and needs a constant acquisition and expansion of knowledge which, although rooted in the early 19th century, has consistently and rapidly developed into a solid grounding for photography as an artistic practice that has infused technical sophistication with lyrical and conceptual confessionalism. In line with our capitalist values of quick results and easy but efficient access to the target, digital photography has taken the lead. So why analogue photography in an age where everything is available? Precisely because of that. At a certain point, simplicity and quick accessibility lose their charm, allowing too much doubt about what art even is anymore, if thought, attention and skill do not flow into it through the production process. Even younger generations of photographers have found that there is something fascinating, playful about the classical (or alternative) process of making photographs, that analogue photography is challenging and always patiently waiting alongside the current popular trends, a bit like the little black dress or vinyl records. The generations that can have it all and have it now want more complexity and look back to the masters so that they can re-interpret them with fresh perspectives on creation. Challenges must be overcome, adventures must be lived, games are meant to be played and art is meant to have more than one renaissance, sometimes recorded on film. If we want to have adventures with light, there is a range of versions that have taken shape from the beginnings to the present day. Polaroids, cyanotypes, botanical photography, gum printing… “the world is our oyster”, or at least our darkroom waiting to be turned upside down. In all this, we must not neglect the breadth offered by digital techniques, the heights reached by photographers who have chosen to take approaches that require new kinds of knowledge and training. Its very simplicity allows greater exploration of conceptual approaches, opens up the field of photo-manipulation and graphic design for the sake of creativity, and relieves the photographer, who can allow himself to sin and correct more easily than ever in the search for perfection. In this festival, let them stand side by side, analogue photography in the majority and digital photography as a supplement, showing the natural evolution of art and the free interference of elements that result in confessional final works. We are also witnessing the spill-over of acquired knowledge from one technique to another, and the expansion of creative possibilities in unexpected and exciting directions. Here are the foundations, what has grown on them, and what creates a free composition of creativity out of all that is given.
Sara Nuša Golob Grabner
The opening of the festival: Saturday, 17. 9. 2022, at 7 p.m., Jewish square, Maribor
With kind support of: