Varuhi ptic / Bird Keepers

Description

Serija osmih črno-belih portretnih fotografij nas na izredno presunljiv način popelje skozi različna občutja in čustvena stanja. Sleherni portret deluje kot najbolj intimna izpoved pred fotografskim objektivom, ki pa nikakor ne razodeva izključno stanja portretiranke/-ca, ampak se zdi, da so le-ti tudi nekakšna refleksija fotografinje. Serija gledalca “zapleta” v dvojno igro: po eni strani nam podobe posamičnih portretirancev in mrtve narave dajejo občutek gotovosti, gradijo na izkušnji, ki izhaja iz naših vsakodnevnih bazičnih dejavnosti, in na percepciji, ki pa ni samo vizualna, po drugi strani pa prav ti isti portreti, sopostavljeni drug ob drugem, zastavljajo nova vprašanja o njihovi percepciji. Zdi se, da je avtorica uspela ujeti popolno ravnovesje elementov fotografskega medija in na zelo samosvoj način presegla klasično portretno fotografijo. To ji uspeva predvsem s sopostavljanjem čustvenih stanj portretirancev in njihovih “atributov” (ptic), ki razkrivajo nove simbolne pomene fotografske podobe. Z združevanjem elementov racionalnega, etičnega, estetskega in čutnega je avtorica presegla ikonografske monolite in minljive trende, ki nenehno spremljajo področje umetnosti. Čeprav se na formalnem nivoju zdi, da smo pričujoče portrete že videli nekje na premici zgodovine portretne fotografije, pa nas “punctum” sleherne fotografske podobe nekompromisno sooča s presunljivo iskrenostjo in svojevrstnostjo serije črno-belih portretov Varuhi ptic.

Tevž Logar,
kurator

Upodabljati z staro velikoformatno kamero je posebno izkustvo. Duh preteklosti, ki veje iz lesene škatle, sistematiziran arhaični postopek, pričakovanje, vznemirjenje… Občutenje sodelovanja pri posvečenem obredu prevzame tudi portretiranca. Ko le-ta vzpostavi še odnos z nagačeno ptico in se z njo gol usede pod luč v temnem studiu ter se prične opazovati v ogledalu pred kamero, smo vsi že globoko v nekem drugem svetu.
Ta serija je hvalnica čudoviti človeški zmožnosti vživljanja v različne vloge in prebujanju empatije. Iz romantike se zdramim šele, ko v temnici naredim prvi print in se iz razvijalca vame zastrmijo oči portretiranca. Vdor realnega ob pogledu na končni print je neizbežen. Pogled na ambivalentnost podobe in nasprotujočih izpeljav nas pusti razdvojene. Toda kadar gledalec postane priča boja med domišljijo in realnostjo, je ta izkušnja neizbežna.
Serija Varuhi ptic je bila narejena lani na višji ljudski šoli Vrå Højskole, na Danskem. Šolo sem prvič obiskala leta 2010, kjer sem 6 mesecev, pod mentorstvom Emila Schildta, spoznavala analogno fotografijo in stare fotografske procese. Pri portretiranju sem uporabljala osemdeset let staro leseno velikoformatno kamero, za negative pa fotopapir v velikosti 30x40cm. Končni printi so kontaktni printi, 1:1. Portretiranci so bivši študentje te šole, prihajajo pa iz Danske, Venezuele, Mehike, Japonske in Slovenije.

Katja Goljat


A series of eighth black-and-white portrait photographs in an intensely moving way takes us through various experience and emotional states. Every photo works as the most intimate confession through the eye of the camera lens. However, this in no way reveals exclusive states of the portrayed person. We are under an impression they are just reflections of the photographer. The series “involves” the viewer in a kind of a double play: on the one hand, the images of individual portrayed persons together with inanimate nature give a feeling of certainty while they at the same time build on experience which arises from our basic everyday needs as well as on perception which is not just visual. On the other hand, the same portraits juxtaposed against each other open questions about our own perception. It seems that the author has managed to catch the perfect balance of photography media elements and has in a very unique way overcome the classic-style portrait photography. Mostly she achieved this by confronting the emotional states of portrayed persons against their “attributes” (birds) which reveal new symbolic meanings of photographic image. Bringing together the rational, ethical, aesthetical and sensual elements the author has overcome iconographic monoliths and passing trends which are constant companions in the field of art. Although on the formal level it seems that we have already seen these portraits somewhere along the historic line of portrait photography, we are still uncompromisingly confronted by the “punctum” of every photographic image and their moving sincerity and uniqueness of the black-and-white portrait series Bird Keepers.

Tevž Logar,
curator

Creating portraits with an old large format camera is a special experience. The wooden box which evokes a sense of spirit from the past, the systematized archaic procedure, the expectation, the excitement… The feeling of participation in a sacred ritual also takes over a portrayed person. When that person then connects with a stuffed bird and sits with it under a light, naked in a dark studio, and starts to observe one’s own image in the mirror in front of a camera, we are all already deep in some other world.
This series is an ode to a wonderful human ability to identify with different roles and awaken the empathy. Only when I make the first print in a darkroom and see the eyes of a portrayed person staring at me from a developer, I wake up from romanticism. The invasion of reality becomes inevitable by looking at the final print. A look at the ambivalence of an image and contradictory conclusions drawn from it leave us divided. But when a viewer becomes a witness to a battle between imagination and reality, this experience is inevitable.
Bird Keepers series was made last year at the folk high school Vrå Højskole, in Denmark. I first visited the school in 2010 and stayed there for six months to learn about analogue photography and old photographic processes, under the mentorship of Emil Schildt. I was using an eighty year old wooden large format camera for portraying and a photo paper the size of 30x40cm for the negatives. The final prints are contact prints, 1:1. The portrayed persons are former students of the school that come from Denmark, Venezuela, Mexico, Japan and Slovenia.

Katja Goljat

Type
analogue photography, paper negatives, large format camera
For
Emzin, Photography of the Year 2013 / fine-art photo series: 1st prize