In collaboration with the Stolp Photo Gallery Maribor
The beauty of the scene lies in the eye of the beholder, who treats it with respect and accords nudity a sacred dimension.
From Dr. Manca Košir's interview with the artist featured in Cankarjev dom's programme booklet.
Aleš Bravničar – photographer, cameraman and filmmaker, as well as Slovenia Press Photo laureate whose resume lists numerous international exhibitions – embarked on his journey into the wonderful world of boudoir and eroticism two decades ago. His cinematic approach and an eye trained to capture even the infinitesimal amount of light, gave birth to a series of extremely sensual pictures, which were taken the a course of several years in intimate corners of the world, regularly published in some of the globe’s most prominent men’s magazines and exhibited at world-famous galleries – from the Milan Triennial to London’s Mall Galleries and Miami within the context of Art Basel. He is currently showcasing his extensive Goddesses series at the CD Gallery.
A photographic narrative shot in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in February 2014 during the workers protests against economic stagnation caused by rampant privatisation and corrup-tion. According to art historian Iztok Premrov, Živulović’s is “an impressive photo series, cre-ated in the spirit of journalism and making instant and hasty decisions, yet conveying power-ful moral messages.” Srdjan Živulović, co-founder of the Bobo Photo Agency, is the first Slo-venian photojournalist to win the Pulitzer Prize – the world’s most important photography award.
The Black Gold series was the offshoot of photojournalist Srdjan Živulović’s assignment in Tuzla, taken when covering the wave of violent demonstrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In February 2014, thousands of workers protested against economic stagnation caused by rampant privatisation and corruption. More than ten thousand people were made redundant in the course of several years. This was the photojournalist’s main task or subject. However, the photographer found another subject a few kilometres away, a story of human plight that he perhaps found event more telling, provocative and disquieting. Živulović captured the grim realities of the local unemployed and impoverished people searching for the remaining lumps of coal in refuse tailings – transporting the waste to spoil heaps from the Djurdjevik brown coal mine on a conveyor belt –, toiling to gather scraps and hoping to thus eke out a meagre existence. The phenomenon of a coal picker is not new. Having emerged in parallel with the coalmining industry, it is also commonly found in the history of Slovenian mines, e.g. in Zasavje and elsewhere. From this seemingly commonplace subject Živulović created an extraordinary, empathic photographic record of human suffering.
Živulović’s is an impressive photo series, created in the spirit of journalism and making in-stant and hasty decisions, yet conveying powerful moral messages. These are stories lived on the margins of society, stories about the struggle for a chunk of bread and survival of the redundant miners and their relatives, women and children. These are stories about the hu-miliated and their fight for the right to survival. Živulović related these stories in a dynamic, deeply expressive black-and-white series – shots taken offhandedly, using his equipment at a moment’s notice. With a trained artistic eye, the photographer took advantage of the ad hoc dramaturgy, incorporating it dexterously into his unique pictorial narrative.
Živulović’s Black Gold is a photo series exhibiting both rich visual expressiveness and unique journalistic articulateness. His pictures are artistically convincing, outspoken ‘photographic statements’. These sincere records of people and events are full of vividly expressive nuanc-es that can be spotted only by a seasoned and engaged photojournalist with a subtle feel for mankind – an interest in human life and all the mysteries it contains.
Accompanying essay by art historian and critic Iztok Premrov
Small Gallery will be closed to the general public on 10 June. Thank you for your understanding.
A keen explorer of the underground world, Gedei has pursued cave photography since the early 1990s, achieving world-renown as a major cave photographer. Involving absence of light, cave photography is a challenging pursuit. Photographers must thus think creatively about ways to illuminate the dark caverns. Artworks of great power, Gedei’s photographs reveal the artist’s extensive experience and a heightened sense of space, light and aesthetic. A blank canvas on which one paints with light, cave photography requires a full application of one’s abilities and resources but is well worth the effort.
“Explorers of new caves like to communicate the beauties of subterranean worlds to the broader public, people who will never have the opportunity to descend into unknown depths after a new crevice has widened. But we know what it means to take photos in complete darkness.” (jospdtrst.org)
Photo exhibition marking the 60th Jazz festival Ljubljana
For a decade and a half Žiga Koritnik has curated photo exhibitions at Cankarjev dom, especially showcases accompanying the Ljubljana Jazz Festival. To mark the special anniversary of the festival, this brilliant photographer will hold a one-man exhibition. Recently published to enthusiastic praise, Koritnik’s extensive monograph includes a plaudit from American multi-instrumentalist, Joe McPhee: Žiga is a ‘Muse-ician,’ one who makes magic with the muses. With his mind’s eye, he has the ability to move faster than the speed of light, to capture moments in time and share them with the world through his photographs. The camera in his hands transforms shadow and light from commonplace into truly extraordinary human experiences. He is an improviser, a chronicler of life in real time, a poet, a philosopher, a free spirit, a song in anticipation of being sung.”
An artist who has held several national and international exhibitions and whose series of photos is kept at the celebrated National Library of France in Paris, Bogataj has a wealth of experience in photography. On a commission from PEN International, Bogataj covered the 50th International Writers’ Meeting in Bled, attended by eighty international guests. As an accomplished portrait artist, he surpassed mere documentariness and captured the true spirit of the conference: friendship, longing, hope, as well as the importance of addressing major challenges that our world is facing today.