SODOBNI SLOVENIAN

SLOVENSKI CONTEMPORARY
 PORTRET PORTRAIT

 

Portret je eden bolj reprezentativnih žanrov, saj ima dolgo in
zanimivo zgodovino – tako v polju fotografije kot tudi drugih
umetniških praks. Portret je tista zvrst, ki se v svojih temeljih ukvarja
predvsem s posameznikom, z njegovo identiteto, hkrati pa močno
posega tudi v polje odgovarjanja na vprašanja reprezentacije ter
dojemanja posameznika in tistega, kar je človeku in človeštvu
imanentno. Po besedah umetnostnega zgodovinarja Milčka
Komelja je pri portretiranju velikega pomena pronicljiv duševni
pogled na osebnost, saj prav s takšnim pogledom portret lahko
zapelje gledalca in zadrži njegovo zanimanje. O podobnih kvalitetah
portreta piše tudi likovni kritik Max Kozloff. Po njegovem mnenju
gre pri portretu za tisti del fotografske ustvarjalnosti, kjer se najbolje
izkazuje koncept duše, ki je lastna vsakemu posamezniku. Gre za
zelo enigmatičen žanr, ki se ukvarja s kompleksnimi vprašanji,
povezanimi z odnosom med avtorjem, portretirancem in tudi
gledalcem. Ta namreč odpira vprašanja o družbenih dilemah,
identiteti in ne nazadnje o pomembni vlogi, ki jo ima pri tem
fotografija v današnjemu, sodobnemu, s podobami nasičenem
svetu.
Skupinska razstava Sodobni slovenski portret predstavlja omenjene
splošne značilnosti žanra, hkrati pa z nekaterimi serijami, ki na prvi
pogled niso izrazito portretne, preseže tradicionalno razumevanje
portreta. Vsebinsko se osredotoča predvsem na psihološka stanja
in usodo posameznika na eni strani, na drugi pa s premišljenimi
koncepti gledalca izziva in od njega zahteva več kot samo bežen
pogled. Predstavljeni avtorji se v usmeritvah znotraj žanra
razlikujejo in tako je na razstavi kot njeno temeljno izhodišče
poudarjena prav raznolikost. Vračanje k nekemu specifičnemu
trenutku v zgodovini portreta je značilno tako za Katjo Goljat kot
tudi Boruta Peterlina. Vsak na svoj način stopata po sledeh
zgodovine fotografije in jo predvsem s čustvenimi stanji
upodobljenih in z izrazitim osebnim pristopom celo presegata. Na
podoben način se nekateri fotografi vračajo v zgodovino tudi z
obliko dnevniških zapisov. Tovrstne serije so osebno izpovedne in
dokumentarne. Nataša Košmerl in Simon Chang sta najznačilnejša
predstavnika takšnega toka v sodobni slovenski fotografiji. Za
Natašo Košmerl je značilno predvsem intimno doživljanje in
raziskovanje same sebe in okolice, ki jo obdaja. Pri Simonu
Changu, ki se pogosto poigrava s sodobnimi mediji, prednjači
občutek za trenutno in za posameznika v njegovem lastnem,
predvsem domačem okolju. Zgodbe, o katerih pripovedujeta, so obče in tako gledalcu puščajo prostor za ustvarjanje lastne interpretacije. Tudi Katja Kremenić se
v svojih serijah približuje podobni obliki, vendar na igriv način, ki gledalca navadno zapelje s tistim,
kar na prvi pogled ni vidno in se razkrije šele ob ponovnem gledanju. Portret je zelo značilen tudi v
dokumentarnih, družbeno angažiranih in reportažnih serijah, saj je karakterizacija posameznika po
besedah fotoreporterja in avtorja knjige o estetiki reportažne fotografije, Uroša Hočevarja, zelo
pogosto ključna za razumevanje takšnih serij. Ciril Jazbec in Matic Zorman se v svojih serijah
posvečata predvsem družbeno angažirani tematiki. Prvega največkrat zanimajo posamezniki,
katerih usoda je nejasna zaradi hitro spreminjajočega se podnebja, drugega posamezniki, ki trpijo
zaradi političnih nesoglasij in vojn. Za oba je značilno, da sta izjemno občutljiva za težave
marginaliziranih, na rob družbe odrinjenih skupnosti, in to predstavita prav s podobami
posameznika v njegovem težavnem vsakdanu. Portreti posameznikov v avtohtonem okolju so
značilni tudi za Boštjana Puclja ‒ ti nas s klasično kvaliteto zopet spomnijo na neko točko oziroma
prelomnico v zgodovini portretne fotografije. Fotografije DK in Jošta Franka so izrazito
dokumentarne in nosijo v sebi predvsem zavest o nekem času in prostoru. Tudi delo Roberta
Hutinskega bi lahko označili za družbeno angažirano, vendar ga avtor nadgradi s tehniko kolaža,
ki za družbeno angažirano fotografijo sicer ni značilna. Njegova fotografija tako prehaja v
konceptualno fotografijo, ki ima v sodobni slovenski fotografiji posebno mesto. Značilna je tudi za
Uroša Abrama in Jureta Kastelica. Oba namreč z digitalno manipulacijo brišeta mejo med
resničnostjo in fikcijo ter tako manipulirata z gledalcem ter se poigravata z njegovim ustaljenim
dojemanjem fotografije na vsebinski in tudi povsem fizični ravni. Ne nazadnje je pomemben tudi
avtoportret, ki na razstavi sicer ni celostno predstavljen v eni sami seriji, vendar ga lahko v
številnih zaznamo, bodisi zelo subtilno bodisi reprezentativno.
Portret je v slovenskem prostoru v zadnjih letih tako tehnično kot tudi vsebinsko izrazito
heterogen žanr in to potrjuje tudi izbor fotografov, ki so predstavljeni na razstavi. Nekateri z
inovativnostjo prestopajo meje žanra, drugi nadaljujejo izročilo preteklosti. Kljub heterogenosti so
si predstavljene serije bliže, kot se sprva zdi, saj je vsem fotografom skupna neka posebna
občutljivost. Njihove fotografije namreč vodijo k premisleku o čustvovanju in usodi posameznika,
njegovih fantazmah in idealih in ne nazadnje – o omejitvah in novih možnostih samega medija
fotografije.

 

 

With its long and interesting history – within photography as well as
other artistic practices, portrait is an exceptionally representative
genre. It is the genre that deals fundamentally with the individual,
their identity, at the same time intervening intensely in the field of
resolving the issues of representation and perception of the
individual and of what is inherent to the man and mankind.
According to art historian Milček Komelj, an insightful mental view
of the personality is of major importance in portraying, as it is such
a view that can allure the viewer and hold their attention. Similar
qualities have been ascribed to portrait by art critic Max Kozloff,
who believes it to be the part of the photographic art that best
shows the concept of the soul held by each individual. Portrait is a
highly enigmatic genre that explores the complex questions
emerging from the relation between the author, the portrayed and
the viewer. It is this relation between the three that triggers
questions on social dilemmas, identity and finally on the important
role of photography in today's image-saturated world.
Slovenian Contemporary Portrait is a group exhibition presenting
the above-mentioned general features, with some of its series that
might not even seem distinct examples of portrait exceeding the
traditional understanding of the genre. In contents, it focuses mainly
on psychological conditions and individual fates, while it also
challenges the viewer with considerate concepts, requiring from
them more than a fleeting gaze. The exhibiting authors represent
various orientations within the genre, the exhibition emphasising
diversity as its basic premise. Katja Goljat as well as Borut Peterlin
both keep returning to a specific moment in the history of the
portrait. Each in their own way, they follow the tracks of the history
of photography, and even surpass it, mostly with the emotional
states of those portrayed and with their distinct signature styles. In
a similar fashion, some photographers are revisiting history with the
form of journal entries. Such series range between deeply
expressive and documentary, Nataša Košmerl and Simon Chang
being the most obvious representatives of this current in
contemporary Slovenian photography. With Nataša Košmerl, we
can typically encounter intimate experience and explorations of self
and her surroundings. In case of Simon Chang, who often toys with
advanced media, the focus is on the feeling for the present
moment, for the individual in their own, mainly domestic
environment. The stories they tell are general, thus leaving the
viewer sufficient space to create their own interpretations. Katja
Kremenić in her series approaches similar forms, yet in a lively manner that often seduces the viewer with what is not visible at first sight, but only reveals upon
second viewing. Portrait is also typically used in documentary, socially committed and reportage
series. As expressed in the words of Uroš Hočevar, photojournalist and author of a book on the
aesthetics of news photography, it is often of key importance to characterise an individual if we
are to understand such series. Ciril Jazbec and Matic Zorman use their series to explore social
issues. The former is mostly interested in individuals whose fates are unclear due to rapidly
increasing climate changes, and the latter in individuals suffering due to numerous political
conflicts and wars. They are both extremely sensitive to the problems of marginalised
communities pushed to the edge of society, which they present by portraying the individual in the
harsh everyday life. Portrays of individuals in their indigenous environment are also typical of
Boštjan Pucelj, their classical quality again reminding us of a certain turning point in the history of
portrait photography. In contrast, photographs by DK and Jošt Franko are markedly
documentary, primarily conveying the perception of a certain time and space. Robert Hutinski's
works could also be labelled socially committed, but the author further upgrades them with the
patchwork technique that would normally not be related to the genre. His works are therefore
bordering conceptual photography, which holds a special place in contemporary Slovenian
photography. It can also be ascribed to Uroš Abram and Jure Kastelic, both applying digital
manipulation to blur the border between reality and fiction. They manipulate the viewer, toying
with their set perception of photography as regards it contents as well as its physical attributes.
What also has to be mentioned eventually is self-portrait, which is not represented
comprehensively in any of the series, but it can be traced with many of the exhibiting authors,
either very subtly or in clear representation.
In recent years, portrait has been a very heterogeneous genre in the Slovenian environment, both
as regards its technical aspects and its contents, which is also confirmed in the selection of
photographers participating in the exhibition. Some of them are crossing the borders of the genre
with their innovation, others are building on traditions of the past. Despite their heterogeneity, the
series presented have more in common than it might seem, which is due to a special sensitivity to
be found with all the photographers. Their photographs entice in us a consideration of the
emotions and fates of the individual, their illusions and ideals, and, last but not least, the
limitations and new possibilities within the very genre of photography.