Discovering the Forgotten

Technique: gum print

Photo gallery STOLP

 

Miroslav Arbutina (1959) became interested in photography in the early 1980s when he got a Russian Lubitel camera. After working in the Metallurgical Factory Sisak in 1987, he decided to make a living from photography, working in the direction of industrial photography for fairs, catalogues and such. At the beginning of the Patriotic War, the process of deindustrialisation began and at the same time, the need for the beforementioned photography slowly began to disappear. He started to work as a freelance photographer for the domestic and foreign media. He has exhibited his work widely and has won many awards.

Looking back always gives us a glimpse of the bigger picture. When we look back, we see the beginnings of what, through transformation and refinement, becomes intrigant, upgraded and different again. Photography allows a lot of room for exploring and developing new paths, so Miroslav Arbutina always sees, in old techniques, something that can become different, regain or even increase its power, effect and story. Over the past ten years, the photographer has begun to work with older photographic techniques, and a series of photographs entitled Discovering the Forgotten has been created. The exhibition’s central theme is actually the use of old photographic techniques that lead to the creation of new and more developed works of art. The search for a story in Miroslav Arbutina’s photography begins with the search for a place, an interior or exterior, which serves as a basis for further creation. He then elevates the space through aesthetics, composition and the inclusion of the model and their story. At first glance, the models appear almost provocative but on closer inspection, one realises that the erotic touch, that is typical of such photographs, has been removed. Instead, a subtle dignity has been added. This marks them out as the archetype of the “girl next door” with their lack of excessive make-up and clothes, while at the same time elevating them to aesthetic perfection through their surroundings and through an exploration of feminine elegance and beauty. The artist strives for aesthetic and compositional wholeness in his art, and says he places the greatest importance on light, which connects all the components in the photograph.

Rebeka Tašič

 

 

Artists in studios

 

Technique: analogue photography

DLUM Gallery

 

Tihomir Pinter was born in 1938 in Bjelovar. He holds the title of Master of Art Photography. He was awarded the title of FIAP Excellence in 1975 by the International Federation of Art Photography (FIAP). In 2000 he received the Janez Puhar Award of the Slovenian Photographic Association for lifetime achievement. He has so far held 112 solo exhibitions, most recently the retrospective “The Chemistry of the Image” at the Jakopič Gallery in Ljubljana. His photographs have been published in national and international newspapers and magazines. 12 books have been published from his oeuvre, mainly portraits of Slovenian artists.

The series of artists in their studios have marked a large part of the oeuvre of Tihomir Pinter, who embarked on the path of documenting artists in the course of their work in 1970, when, on moving to Ljubljana, he contacted artists living there and began, at first spontaneously, to take photographs in their studios. In 1981, the work of the photographer Erika Kiffl inspired him to think about a larger series, which has been systematically developing to this day. The photographs do not only have a documentary value, but serve as an artistically refined humanisation of the person behind the artwork. The specificity of the photographs, created when an artist photographs an artist at work, is a unique understanding of the creative process and a reflection not only of the art but of the personality from which it emerges. This kind of work could be called meta-art, enriched with a sensibility that is the result of a desire to immortalise the status of the artist and his individuality, all through the gaze of someone who is also creating a work of art. All these factors converge in the photographs, which this time show artists from the Styria region and continue the series that was exhibited in 1983 in the Rotovž exhibition salon in Maribor. The exhibition continues the artist’s opus with twenty photographs taken in 2022 and photographs taken between 2009 and 2019. Taken as a whole, they form a valuable insight into the modern and contemporary artistic landscape of Styria, and speak clearly of the photographer’s own masterful artistic contribution to it.

 Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

Woman- Power in Sensibility

Technique: experimental analogue photography

Media Nox Gallery

Klavdija Žitnik (1982) has worked and created in Železniki and Kranj, and is currently based in Železniki. She has been working as a professional photographer for more than ten years and has honed her skills in both sports and corporate digital photography. In 2020, she returned to analogue techniques, to the very beginning of photography, to 1851, when Friedric Scott Archer invented the wet collodion technique on glass, which roughly coincides with Puhar’s invention of photography on glass. She is an active member of the Janez Puhar Photographic Society in Kranj, where her innovation is encouraged through unusual approaches. The photographer herself says that she enjoys the magic of slow but rewarding techniques, which she builds on with experimental approaches.

If we refer to Yoko Ono’s words “I believe that all women are witches, in the sense that a witch is a magical being”, we can relate these words to the work of Klavdija Žitnik. Conceptually, the series of photographs was created in the spring of 2021 and is the result of an exploration of women’s deepest emotions. The expression of inner strength is a privilege which manifests itself through years of closing behind spiritual walls dedicated to the defence of the most honest, the purest. With the right approach, we decide when these walls come down and what it is that we let close, and through this the incomprehensible power of sensitivity is expressed. It is this moment that is depicted in Klavdija Žitnik’s photographic series. The technique used, just like the individual photograph itself, is personal and inimitable, allowing impurities and imperfections that lead to a complete picture. The tints are created over a special RC paper that allows for delicacy and controlled stepping over the frames.

What we perceive in Klavdija Žitnik’s photography is the inimitability of magic, which directly contacts the viewer and touches them in a completely unique way.

Rebeka Tašič

 

Nostalgia

 

Technique: analogue photography

 

Maribor Museum of Photography

 

Janez Korošin (1935) represents one of the oldest generations of Slovenian photographers and is one of the representatives of the so-called black photography. He received his photographic education through his work in the Photography Club Ravne na Koroškem and the Ljubljana Photography Club (founded in 1935). He conceived his work and the development of his high-quality artistic expression on the basis of his collaboration with established photographers of the time. His work also influenced by the international photography exhibition in Ljubljana in 1959. He presented his work with a clearly developed idea of his photography as early as 1973 at Golnik, and later at Cankarjev dom (1984), as a participant in the exhibition called Developmental Paths of Slovenian Photography 1945-83. In 2015, a retrospective exhibition of Korošin’s work was held on the basis of one hundred and forty black-and-white photographs, covering his oeuvre from its first peak, from 1970 onwards.

Although the classical capture of landscape and figurative motifs in black and white photographs express a certain melancholy, Korošin allows and deliberately addresses the lyrical beauty of the Slovenian hilly landscapes that have surrounded him since childhood. He has paid homage to the beauty of his home environment with his camera on Sunday trips to nearby hills, such as Veliki Osovnik, or St. Jakob in Topol. Here, spontaneous shots of nature were taken, which were inspired and composed leisurely. Korošin’s photographic oeuvre can be divided into several thematically rounded, extensive or numerically modest cycles, in which the landscape and the human figure came to the fore. He brings dignity to the people in his photographs and immortalises them in their familiar surroundings, which, in their final product as captured on black-and-white photography, again allows for a lyrical mood and prompts reflection on stories from people’s lives. While delighting in the simplicity of the ubiquitous potential photographic backdrop, Korošin also deliberately reaches for modern photographic techniques, as he further characterises his work by the extreme graininess of his shots. This important formal characteristic of his earlier works connects him with the work of other members of the ŠOLT-Ljubljana Photography Group, which, alongside the so-called Maribor Circle, was the most important Slovenian photography group in the 1970s.

Klara Zadravec

 

פ – Here

 

Technique: analog and digital photos; prints on hand-formed plaster panels

Synagogue

 

Andrej (ofc. Andrea) Furlan (1966, Trieste) graduated in Cultural Heritage Conservation at the University of Udine. He is employed as a research assistant at the Frantz Stele Institute of Art History, ZRC SAZU, where he works on documentation, photography and design of publications and exhibitions. He teaches photography at the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor. He is a member of the KONS Cultural Society for the Arts in Trieste. He has presented his work in several solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, and in 2011 he participated in the Venice Biennale. In 2018, he participated in a photography residency in Beirut and had a solo exhibition there. Among his major exhibition projects are the series Signa (2021), Place of Memory (2017) and Paths of Destinies (2013).

It is rare to come across a photographic series whose message is carefully consolidated in every detail from the very beginning, from the title to the layout. This kind of detail is almost necessary in cases where the art touches on social engagement, more specifically, on historical events that leave a stain on human morality until the present day. In three-dimensional photographs (the works are printed on plaster), Andrej (ofc. Andrea) Furlan combines the tombstones of the Jewish cemetery in Dolga vas near Lendava with details of records from Jewish registers*. The title itself is composed of the Hebrew letter פ (P), referring to the tombstone inscription “here lies”. The artist has omitted the word “lies” in order to highlight the historical presence of the Jewish community in the area, rather than its passing, and to draw attention to the atrocities committed and the consequent destruction of the community. It emphasizes the desire to provide a photographic record of the few remnants of Jewish material heritage in the area, while at the same time reminding us of the past and providing us with the knowledge we need to move forward. The photographs are mounted on six railway tracks, suggesting the Shoah (deportation and the journey to the camp), and presented in an low light atmosphere which outlines a space of reflection and immersion. The series is at once shocking and hopeful. In its entirety, it exudes a thoughtful homage, an awareness that the events visualized in the photographs have affected the whole of humanity, regardless of nationality or religious denomination, and continue to guide the course of the development of our morality and the creation of a future past.

* The documents that are part of the pictures are details from the Collection of duplicate registers of Prekmurje and Medžimurje, Jewish registers of Lendava 1820-1943 (SI_PAM/0016), kept by the Maribor Regional Archives.

 

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

Tupljak

Technique: cyanotopy

Water tower

Slavica Isovska (1980) studied photography at the Higher Technical School in Sežana, where she graduated in reportage photography with the series Behind the Urban Horizon – Šutka, which was made during a several-month stay with Roma in Šutka – Macedonia. Her field of interest includes documentary, reportage and, above all, conceptual photography. She also uses various alternative processes in her work, such as photogram, cyanotype, etc. She has participated in more than 60 group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad and eighteen solo exhibitions; her work has been awarded and praised several times. Currently living and working in Istria, she organises photography courses, workshops and excursions.

The mine is ours – Good Luck! is not only a heartfelt greeting when entering the mine, but much more – it is a fight for freedom during fascism, a fight for humane working conditions, and above all a fight for safety. Through a series of cyanotopias, Isovska reveals a piece of the abandoned, yet very important history of the Istrian mines. It was in the mines of the Istrian mining town of Labin that the first anti-fascist revolt in Europe took place – a strike of 2,000 miners against the attacks and almost slave-like attitudes of the administration – in March 1921. During the strike, the miners occupied the mine, organised the authorities, set up anti-fascist guards and proclaimed an independent republic symbolised by the hammer and sickle and the motto “The mine is ours!”. The Italian authorities crushed the rebellion with the army after a month, on 8 April 1921. Slavica Isovska’s fascination for abandoned mines was sparked in 2018 when she won the International PhotoExtempore in Novigrad (theme Industrial Legacy in Istria), and she has been returning to the sites of Istria’s mines, exploring them and photographing them ever since. Tupljak is the best preserved of all the mines in Istria, which is what attracts her the most. With the blues, the thoughtfully chosen motifs, the details of the mine and the elaborate composition, the author conjures up the spirit of the time of the last century, while at the same time evoking discomfort and claustrophobic feelings – an anxiety that, due to the motifs and the surprising history, also attracts us and we cannot look away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing Dissolves into Nothing

 

Technique: analogue photography

 

UKM Gallery

 

Cveto Zlate (1955) began working as an artist in the 1970s, producing paintings, prints and applied graphics, alongside photography. His artistic path was marked by his graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (1977) and his Master of Fine Arts degree (1980) under the guidance by Professor Janez Bernik. He has participated in over 160 group exhibitions at home and abroad, and has presented his art 22 times as a solo artist. Zlate’s series of black-and-white photographs is one of the milestones in the history of Slovenian photography.

As a photographer, Cveto Zlate allows himself to look beyond the search for beauty in the world that surrounds him. His works, created in the anxiously closed space of a cottage under Storžič in 1975, actually reject beauty and reduce its meaning to a minimal level. With the exclusion of colours in black and white photography and dynamic foggy effects, he creates a language that speaks about the transience of the flamboyant figures, friends and moments spent with them, caught in a precise relationship between figure and interior. Thus, the author addresses his amiable relationship with persons unknown, which evokes in the viewer a feeling of interrupting an intimate atmosphere. The artist, while making his movements spontaneous, creates a reduction of composition in an aesthetically uninteresting space, as one might expect in painting or graphics. The exploration of the figures’ frenzied, dynamic, or completely static gestures leads us to subjective interpretations, which, due to the lack of context, we do not connect with each other or cannot understand. The black border that frames the composition is a photographic element. Light also plays a strong visual role, both in Zlate’s poly-figural photographs and in his photograph of a single male figure (a model at the Academy of Fine Arts), where the frontal illumination suggests a portrait representation within a tantalisingly inanimate space. This is the misery of living in nothing, nothing dissolving into nothing.

Klara Zadravec

 

 

Origins

 

Technique: analogue photography

Exhibition space UKM Lobby

 

Anja Papuga (1999, Ljubljana) is a photography student at the Higher Vocational School of Material Design and Photography in Sežana. In her work she focuses on portraits, fashion, nudes and commercial photography. Since 2020 she has had several solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad. She loves to depict sensuality, conceptually encompassed through the female gaze, which leads the artist to investigate her own archetypes and dreams of reality. Her main interest revolves around human emotion, in which she finds rare beauty and her own artistic expression.

Through conceptually based photography, the artist explores archetypes, themes of femininity, sensibility and the female gaze. In her Origins series, she remains faithful to feminist and psychological themes, marked by a thoughtful sensibility that directs the gaze towards the depiction of ecofeminism. The movement began in North American and European circles in the 1970s as an offshoot of the feminist movement and is defined in close connection with environmental activism. Ecofeminist art and environmental art, which established themselves as distinct genres in the 20th century, manifest themselves in works that raise public consciousness and promote concern for nature. Ecofeminist art is specific in exposing the harmful effects of the patriarchal desire for uncontrolled growth, power and control, which results in the destruction of both the environment and the feminine principle in human beings – regardless of gender. Women and nature are seen in this kind of system as property, a space for exploitation. Anja Papuga’s photographs show the problem through the eyes of a person who is inextricably linked to the aforementioned. It emphasises the sensitive side of human beings, who perceive their environment not only as a home, but as a world to which they are constantly connected by the characteristics of their very origins, as well as by virtue of a collective destiny that we can change by being aware of our inner power.

The clothes in the photos are the work of Slovenian fashion designer Janja Videc, who creates all of her pieces from natural and sustainable materials.

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

Technique: analogue photography, digital processing

 

Karlinia exhibition space

 

Uroš Črnko (1994, Ptuj) is a graduate of educational mathematics and philosophy. He is interested in creative work, especially photography, graphic design and video production. In these fields, he is committed to conceptual art, where he can use the aforementioned media to express his visions of the world. He is also interested in social, street and portrait photography. Often, he tends to emphasise the intrinsic happening in the subject. He is most fond of melancholic-morbidly coloured art, as he believes that this is what shows the true interiority of the individual, including the environment in which he lives. In his opinion, the happiness and joy depicted are, in most cases, mere masks that people wear to conceal their true feelings, which are not consistent with the truth.

The central photograph of the Mommie Dearest series presents the relationship between a homosexual child and a narcissistic mother who uses religion as a performative tool for moralism and the imposition of traditional values. All the frustrations that have been transferred from the mother to the child are visible on the child’s body in the photograph. The mother rationalises the shame she feels with words written on her hand. This paradoxical attitude leads to the emotional distress of the child and later of the adult, whose accumulated frustrations are reflected in the photographs with the inscriptions, either by humiliating oneself, or by countering the mother’s values, as protest inscriptions against the church, patriarchy and thus internalised misogyny, or people in general. In Uroš Črnko’s series, we follow the origin of art from personal trauma, which is transformed into sections of thoughts and spoken words transferred onto a substrate – be it an analogue photograph, one’s own body or a short film where the author portrays unfiltered conversation about the perception of a gay son. The raw, uncensored words in close contact with the visual image are a representation of a liberated mind, which, out of a desire for self-preservation and rebellious growth, has expanded beyond the frames given to it during its development. The photographs and text allude to the tendency of the word to stay with us, even if spoken unthinkingly, while at the same time showing the power of the individual to use words as a clear way to establish identity and ideological position.

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner


South Tyrol 2018

 

Technique: digital photography

Nova Vas Library

 

Gero Angleitner (1943) was a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, at the University of Maribor before his retirement. He has been working in photography for more than 50 years. His photographic beginnings were in black and white and colour slides, later he turned to digital photography. Since 1995, when he organized his first solo exhibition at the urging of friends, he has exhibited in 40 solo exhibitions and over 30 group exhibitions. Since 2008 he has been designing photobooks. He has published 47 books on various subjects.

Through our travels, we discover places that take our breath away. We can lose ourselves in the unspoiled beauty of nature, which transmits stories through its silence that are louder than the spoken word. This is the picture that Gerhard Angleitner paints in his photographs. The main motifs of his work are nature, travel impressions and cultural events. He is particularly fond of photographing his hometown Maribor with its city park, Lent and Pohorje, and with this series, he has turned his attention from his native landscapes to exploring Tyrol. The works on display include photographs from his 2018 trip to South Tyrol. The route took in the Dolomites, the Passo Falzarego and Passo Pordoi passes, the Renon mountains and the town of Bolzano. The journey through Tyrol then followed Lake Kaltern to Trentino, ending in Bessano del Grappa, a town famous for its eponymous alcoholic beverage. Through the photographs, we are placed in a breathtaking landscape that inspire with their picturesqueness. The photographer manages to capture the uniqueness of each part of his journey and to conjure up an extraordinary fairy tale for us as viewers, through the sights and beauty of Tyrol.

Rebeka Tašič

 

 

Group exhibition – I SWAN Part 3 (since 2016 – )

 

Technique: various techniques

BlackBoxGT22

 

Authors: Marko Golnar, Labod d.o.o., Marija Radoš, Aphra Tesla, Stanka
Kobal, Branimir Ritonja, Daniel Kodrič, Matej Lipovšek, Novomeška pomlad,
Mario Grubišić, Matija Brumen, Valerie Wolf Gang, Leon Gobec, Gero
Angleitner, Leon Gobec, Robert Waltl, Toni Soprano Meneglejte, Jaka
Prijatelj, Mojca Kasjak, Maja Pegan, Zdenko Vanjek, Miro Vlašić, Dan
Graham, Suzana Pušaver, Srdjan Trifunović, Alexander Rodtcshenko, Marc
Dusseiller, Hilma af Klint, Ayanna Workman, Feyer, Joel-Peter Witkin,
Nataša Berk, Rasta Fašmon, Zvonko Strmšek, Iztok Klančar, Bojana Žohar,
Goran Antić, Maribor is the future

 

Curatorial statement: I SWAN is an exhibition in progress. Photographs, drawings, depictions of moments and situations have been collected since 2016. Each new edition of the exhibition, sequel, sequence/part presents new acquisitions in this emerging collection, a poetic archive of moments.

 

Venetian pathways

 

Technique: analogue photography

 

Exhibition space ED2RD

 

Branimir Ritonja (1961) is one of the most prominent contemporary photographers in Maribor, particularly known for his portrait work. He is the author of several photography books, the visual material for monographic publications and catalogues of many fine artists.  For his work in the field of photography, he has received numerous awards and honours, including the Glazer Prize with Charter, the Golden Plaque of the Union of Cultural Associations of Slovenia, a medal at the SALON DES BEAUX ARTS, the Carrousel du Louvre Paris, an award at the 8th Festival of Fine Arts in Kranj, the DLUM Award, the Silver Plaque of the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities.

Polyptychs of Venetian Canals is a photograph that bears the typical characteristics of Branimir Ritonja’s current work. The photographer, who advocates creation based on concept and expressiveness, reaches for older camera models and low-cost cameras, which consistently prove that the final product depends on the skill, content and the atmosphere of the photograph. One of the most frequently seen motifs from Venice is reborn this time, with a skilful fragmentation and merging of views that in the final version create a dark and lyrical synthesis, whose spirit is emphasised by the spontaneous blurred edges of the photographs, and the dark border. Both allude to the rawness and authenticity of photographic film. The format of the polyptych itself is the result of a defect in the photographic camera, which the artist used as a deliberate artistic device. The absence of chance is also demonstrated by the photographer’s earlier series of photographs from Auschwitz, where we can observe the same artistic approaches being used. The photographs, which reimagine the streets of Venice, deliberately personalising them, deepening and moving away from the touristic images of the canals, are accompanied by an analogue camera on display. A simple device, worth a few euros, it is an artistic statement of intent towards the design of the photographed, the mastery of light and concept. The exhibition is a tribute to simplicity and skill at once. One photograph, one camera, one motif and a common thread of devotion to the very essence of art – the idea.

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

Multiplicity – Group exhibition of members of the Mišnica darkroom collective

Exhibiting: Andrej Firm, Marko Golnar, Žan Koprivnik, Gregor Salobir, Anja Seničar

GT22

The group exhibition of the members of the Mišnica darkroom collective is distinguished by the multiplicity of approaches to photography as well as in its motifs.

The series of photographs, named Puntarska, by photographer Andrej Firma, immortalises the social agony and feelings that are only growing, both in our country and around the world. Playing with light and composition, he makes us feel the emotions of the protests, which bring with them tension and not knowing what will happen next.

Marko Golnar shows with freshness and distance the lively action in a market in Turin (Torino series), his first trip outside Slovenia after the pandemic. His minimalist square composition brings the subject and his story to the fore, achieving an extraordinarily profound narrative power through a black and white analogue technique.

Body Landscapes, a series of wet-plate photographs on glass by photographer Žan Koprivnik, encourages us to start observing the body as a landscape. A landscape that at first glance seems overwhelming, but if we delve deeper into it, it acquires an extraordinary narrative power and we can read into it the past, untold stories and beauty.

Gregor Salobir’s series Glacialis Nature: variationes represents the delicate and mystical flora in the medium of cyanotopy, which, with deep blue hues, places plants in the night sky as constellations. Through variations of format, material and motif, it evokes in us an awareness of our own transience – how insignificant, yet indispensable to the cosmos we actually are.

Anja Seničar’s Liminal explores the photographic medium as an object – the photographic paper, by folding and illuminating, acquires a new image and ultimately becomes its own image. By changing the light, the folding levels and the specific angles of the paper, she achieves a distinct composition, strong contrasts and an original concept.

The multiplicity of motifs in the exhibition, which at first appear unconnected, provoke in us an awareness of all aspects of our lives – the society we live in; our relationship to our bodies; the nature we live in and the constant exploration of something new.

Martina Frangež

 

Sprouts – Group exhibition of young Slovenian analogue photography  

Exhibiting: Mark Česnik, Pia Golob, Sara Gradišnik, Eva Ručigaj, Ema Širec, Tim Topić, Lea Vidmar, Patricija Zupanič

RRRudolf gallery

 

The process of technological development always offers new approaches to art that fascinate as much as older techniques. Nevertheless, generations that have mostly grown up in a world dominated by digital photography are still reaching for older techniques and turning to analogue photography. This can be attributed to aesthetic trends, an interest in mastering more difficult photographic processes, or simply to the desire of photographers to use their youth to bring a new perspective, a new beauty and a new expressiveness to analogue photography. The development of the art of photography gains a new chapter with each young photographer. Even in the classic genres of portraiture and street and nature photography, the authors offer us original approaches and conceptualise them with a thoughtful red thread. The exhibition provides a space for new artists to enter the gallery space and sheds light on their relevance and their immeasurable contribution to the current artistic landscape. 

 

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

Levitation for Two Ballads

Technique: digital photography with analogue lenses

 Exhibition space IZUM

 

Rudi Uran (1961) graduated from the School of Design in 1980 and in the same year he passed the entrance exams at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, which he graduated from in 1985. In 1985 he became a member of the Maribor Association of Visual Artists, in 2015 a member of the Slovenian Directors’ Association, and in 2018, a member of the Maribor Photography Club. He lives and works in Maribor, where he works in fields of film, video, photography and design. In recent years he has made more than 200 music and promotional films, more than 20 documentaries, and 2 feature films. He has also exhibited his work and won many awards.

The concept for the series of photographs Levitation and the video projection Two Ballads was developed during the filming of an art video by flautist Cvete Kobal. The protagonists of the video are the musician Cveto Kobal and the young ballerina Pina Batič. Each of them as a character represents a metaphor. Kobal alludes to wisdom, age, time and transience. Pina acts as a kind of counterpoint, presenting youth, carefreeness, timelessness and infinity. Together, they present a metaphor for life. In Pina, the subversion of the rules of the expected by walking through the spaces in the art of ballet is highlighted. In the photographs, the key motif is the ballerina in mid-jump, for the viewer she appears frozen in the jump. She is placed in the eternal repetition of a leap into the air, which emphasises her aforementioned role as the personification of infinity. Caught in a loop of timelessness, she acts irritated through her meditativeness. In the jump she travels through different spatial sets that do not belong to the world of ballet itself. Through the mise-en-scene, the viewer is offered a different insight into the spiritual state of the photograph.

Rebeka Tašič

Silence Caught

Technique: analogue photography

 

Exhibition space Tota Trafika (kiosk in the main city park)

 

Mihael Brunčko (1974) lives and works in Maribor. He has been working in the field of photography since 2016. He has been a member of the photography club since 2018. He has participated in eleven group exhibitions. In 2019 and 2020 he had solo photography exhibitions that were a part of the Festival of Photography in Maribor. He creates landscape, portrait and street photography. Recently, he has been working intensively with analogue black and white photography made with a medium format camera.

The photographs of the streets of Burano, taken in one day, were created removed from the main, most known city streets. The photographer has assumed the position of an unnoticed observer, creating works that aim to show the place in a pure and unornamented way, and carry this intention onto visually sophisticated scenes with an emphasis on colour and line. The sharpness of the composition, and the saturation of warm colours, reflect the heat of the Italian city and the calm and tranquillity it brings with it. The images remind us of colour-field painting and function as autonomous works of art, freeing themselves from the label of street photography, even when they include, in rare cases, the figurative addition of a local. The people, removed from the crowd, further emphasise the weight and serenity of the summer afternoon and, combined with the perfectly framed geometry, evoke a comparison with Edward Hopper’s imagery. The sparser insertions of everyday objects – ladders, bicycles, chairs – create a detailed balance with perfect abstractions, transporting the viewer back to the authenticity of the city streets. The photographs are complemented by a visible edge of the negative, which breaks up the austerity of the composition and further reminds us of the very theme of the series, the depiction of the essence of a place, in this case an island, which exudes the character of the Italian way of life: spontaneity, emotional fullness even in tranquillity, a tendency towards an aesthetic that draws its inspiration from bygone eras and fuses them with modernity. We are offered a contact between the imagery and the narrative of photography which allows us to perceive the works as an aesthetic experience and also as an insight into the life of the chosen place.

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

Beyond the Present – Are We Aware of the Time to Come?

Technique: digital photography

Maribor Regional Museum, Bastille

 

Mihael Kacafura (1955) has been working in the field of photography since 1968.  He is an active member of the Maribor Photo club, which he joined in 2011, and a member of the Digital Photo Club.  He has had 12 solo exhibitions and participated in 80 group exhibitions. He mainly works with nude and portrait (B&W) photography and landscape (colour) photography. He holds the AFIAP title of the International Federation of Photography and the F2 title of the Photographic Association of Slovenia.

In his series of photographs, the author focuses on socially engaged themes and responds to the dramatically changed social climate of the last few years. The black and white figures in a dimly lit environment are surrounded by smoke, which symbolises the danger in the environment, be it gas, radiation, or the invisible threat of political change. The photographs are also accompanied by the vanitas motif, a skull, which reminds us of the human transience and vulnerability. In recent years, we have become accustomed to the clichéd “new normal” and have continued our routines more or less undisturbed for the most part. If we have not suffered the direct consequences of change, we have been told to be happy and to ignore the micro-aggressions of our environment. We find that we have unwillingly internalized the phrase written by Sally Rooney in her novel, Beautiful World Where Are You? “But this sense of the continuous present is no longer a feature of our lives. The present has become discontinuous. « And we begin to live with a constant sense of threat. Kacafura continues his oeuvre in which he mostly focuses on the female nude, and makes it clear that social change first affects the oppressed groups, which include women, who are too often valued only as bearers of new life, but even in this role they can stay disrespected and unappreciated.

Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

 

 

Interworlds

Technique: IR photography

Street Gallery Židovska

 

Branko Koniček (1957) is a photographer active both at home and abroad. He has participated in more than 200 exhibitions with more than 500 accepted photographs. Among his most important achievements are a large number of awards and accolades, including a gold medal in Vigex, Australia, a gold medal in Singapore, a special prize at a major international exhibition of invited artists in Mestre-Venezia, Italy, a gold medal in Chelyabinsk, near Moscow, and a 3rd prize in the Three Lands Exhibition in Gorica. His work has been presented through solo exhibitions at the Stolp Gallery in Maribor, in Zagreb, Varaždin, in Austria, Graz, Knittelfeld, Vienna, Feldbach, and in Bergerac, France. For his outstanding achievements, he was awarded a plaque for his prolific contribution to the achievements of the Maribor photography circle by the Association of Cultural Societies in Maribor in 2006. Currently, he works exclusively with infrared black and white photography in digital technique.

Branko Koniček, as one of the few connoisseurs of infra-red photography, has been steadily following his research and artistic drive on the creative path of this photographic technique for many years. Infrared photography leads the viewer’s gaze into an invisible world. It produces distinctive effects that give the photograph an aesthetically pleasing and refined character, perhaps most notably in the “wood effect”, where leaves reflect light, making them appear bright white. It is an effect named after the photographer Robert W. Wood, considered the father of infrared photography. With Koniček, who keeps with the established practice of this technique, such effects can be found in landscape photography, where he has created surreal colour landscapes or high-contrast black-and-white photographs. Using this particular photographic technique, the author is engaged in discovering new artistic expressions, where he gives priority to ruins and unusual compositions of intertwined vegetation in nature. The remains of the once pompous, grandiose buildings of the wealthier inhabitants are the most appealing to him in terms of content. The contrasts of black and white tones in the tangles of random vegetation in nature bring about a special sharpness to the photograph and an unexpected glorification of the remains of some still recognisable architectural building elements, which in turn provoke reflection on a bygone era. All this is rendered through this modern technique of capturing the world through the lens.

Klara Zadravec  

Mongolia 1979

 Technique: analogue photography on slides

 Kamnica Library

Ivo Usar (1953) was born in Maribor and lives in Studenci. He is a university graduate in law, who has been acquainting himself with photography for several decades, but has started to delve into it more seriously in recent years, since he has started to invest his time in a different, less obligatory context. His relationship to the surrounding matter could be described by him giving context to it. The photographer is fascinated by what he reads, hears and sees, the latter mainly through portraiture, landscape photography or purely through his own artistic expression.

In 1979, Mongolia was an exotic, rarely visited country. Usar recalls its vastness, its somewhat sparse population and the nomadic peoples who gave it their human footprint. In his series, which was created as a lens-based documentation captured on photographic slides, the artist has devoted himself to the representation of Mongolia. Through photography, the secondary viewer witnesses a different world of a community of people, a landscape, and also the representation of the individual within that landscape. Author accompanies all that with the thought that ”perhaps travellers of the present time will notice some differences.”

Klara Zadravec

PIONEER

Technique: analogue photography (anthotype)

Židovska Street Gallery

 Andrej Firm (1985) is a graduate photographer, self-employed in culture. He works in

He works in the field of documentary photography and old analogue techniques.

Barbara Kukovec (1980) graduated from AGRFT and received her MA from Goldsmith. She is a performance artist and gardener.

PIONIR is a return to basics through content and technique. Abandoned, plundered

and bare earth is first inhabited by pioneers. Before optics, chemistry and pixels, the pioneers of photography used whatever material was at hand. Our PIONEER

is almost invisible, but omnipresent.”

Curatorial statement: Street Gallery Židovska has developed a cyclical curatorial principle, in which artists who have presented themselves in the gallery choose an author to exhibit next year. So, the Maribor authors from 2019 chose an international artist for the exhibitions in 2020. These international artists from season-2 chose a Slovenian for season-3 in 2021. For season-4, in 2022, Slovenians will curate Maribor authors and cycle # 1 will be concluded and a new one – #2 will begin in 2023.

Curator: Petja Golec Horvat / 003