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Fotografija 0/57–58 (2013)

Selected articles

  • Marjan Horvat:

    If You Lack Intuition, Give Up Photography: Interview with photographer Klavdij Sluban

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    Abstract:

    Photographer Klavdij Sluban’s essential mode of artistic creativity is his inner division, the consequence of his having grown up between two homelands, Slovenia

    and France. Switching on his childhood memories of his carefree years in Livold

    (Kočevska) every time during shooting, his black and white photography reflects

    this inner schism. "My creativeness grows out of these Proustian memories of my

    childhood," says Sluban, adding that he is defined as an artist by a certain "Slavic

    subjectivity". Sluban searches for the soul in phenomena, yearning – even though

    his photos, at first glance, seem melancholic and dark – for the light, be it in his

    photographs of "unknown" countries surrounding the Black Sea, scenes from his

    travels on the Trans-Siberian Railway, or prisons for juvenile delinquents in Russia, Slovenia, France, Ireland and Central America. "This is my battle for the light.

    I fight for the light," says Sluban. For this interview, we talked with Sluban about

    these topics, but also about his beginnings as a professional photographer, his role

    models, about cultivation of the eye, the awards he has received for his work, about

    socially engaged photography, and about the theme of "alienation", which he has

    chosen as Art Director for this year’s Fotopub in Novo mesto.

    Keywords:

    Klavdij Sluban, Francija, Slovenija, črno-bela fotografija


  • Meir Wigoder:

    The Blocked Gaze: A User’s Guide to Photographing the Separation Barrier-Wall

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    Translations:

    Jaka Andrej Vojevec


    Abstract:

    Pointing the camera at the Israeli Separation Barrier-Wall involves a fundamental

    paradox: no matter how critical we are of its construction, once we choose to photograph it, we are colluding with its construction and preservation. Photography is

    related directly to proving that something exists and to memorializing the presence

    of places that have been built or destroyed – at the core of the photographic sensibility is the tension between presence and absence, life and death, documentation

    and memory. The article is an essay into a series of questions faced by the photographer in photographing the wall – the Israeli separation barrier. How do we go

    about framing the wall? How should I take my first photograph of the wall? When

    should one start photographing a wall? Is it possible to capture the essence of the

    occupation by photographing the emptied terrain? The article reminds us of the alltoo-often disregarded role of photography – its neutralising power which obscures

    political and social circumstances of the photographed object while offering possibilities of escape – attempts to subvert canonised ways of representation and

    dematerialise the wall.

    Keywords:

    dokumentarna fotografjia, zid, ločevalna pregrada


  • Jan Babnik:

    Martha Rosler and the Dilemmas of Documentary Photography

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    Abstract:

    The article analyses the relationship between artist and theoretician Martha Rosler’s

    exhibition project The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems (1974–75) and

    her two essays, "In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography),"

    from 1981, and "Notes on Quotes," from 1982. In part, it also refers to another Rosler’s essay, "Post-Documentary, Post-Photography?" (2001). All of these works represent in one way or another a relentless critique of documentary photography and

    modernist photography while dissociating itself from artistic and critical practices

    of postmodernism. The article contemplates the currency of Rosler’s critique in the

    light of the possible contemporary escapes from the crisis of documentary in general,

    and takes a closer look into the critique of participatory photography (or participatory

    documentary) as a current practice of documentary photography.

    Keywords:

    Martha Rosler, črno-bela fotografija, dokumentarna fotografija, New York, Bowery


  • Martha Rosler:

    In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography)

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    Translations:

    Domen Kavčič


    Abstract:

    "Sure, images that are meant to make an argument about social relations can 'work'.

    But the documentary that has so far been granted cultural legitimacy has no such argument to make. Its arguments have been twisted into generalizations about the condition of 'man', which is by definition not susceptible to change through struggle. And

    the higher the price that photography can command as a commodity in dealerships,

    the higher the status accorded to it in museums and galleries, the greater will be the

    gap between that kind of documentary and another kind, a documentary incorporated

    into an explicit analysis of society and at least the beginning of a program for changing

    it. The liberal documentary, in which members of the ascendant classes are implored

    to have pity on and to rescue members of the oppressed, now belongs to the past."

    Martha Rosler

    Keywords:

    Martha Rosler, črno-bela fotografija, dokumentarna fotografija, New York, Bowery


  • Martha Rosler:

    Post-Documentary, Post-Photography?

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    Translations:

    Domen Kavčič


    Abstract:

    "So why continue to defend documentary? The short answer is, because we need it,

    and because it likely will continue, with or without art world theorizing. As the division widens between rich and poor in the United States and elsewhere (and as art

    practices are institutionalized and academicized), there is less and less serious analysis of the lives of those on the wrong side of that great divide. My understanding of

    postmodernism does not extend to the idea of a world with no coherent explanation

    of differential social power or advocacy of ways to right the imbalance. Explanation

    and advocacy are still viable in relation to photography, as in purely word-based journalism. Documentary's best course, it seems to me, is to provide a balance between

    observing the situation of others and expressing one's own point of view – which

    ought to include some form of analytic framework identifying social causes and proposing remedies. In pursuit of this, documentary will continue to negotiate between

    sensationalism on the one hand and instrumentalism on the other."

    Martha Rosler

    Keywords:

    družbena dokumentarna fotografija, postmoderni svet, ameriški dokumentarizem, verodostojnost


Fotografija 0/57–58 (2013) View Co-financed by the Slovenian Book Agency.
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