Initiated during 2010, the project “Photo-documents” was conceived as an initiative that had as its goal to affirm different approaches in the framework of contemporary practice of photography and (re)animate the interest of professional public in this medium of artistic expression. At the first exhibition “Photo-documents 2010”, held at several locations in Pozega (City Gallery Pozega, Museum of Serbian Railroad – division of narrow rails, Trg Slobode, the windows of two photo-shops), the curators of the exhibition Miroslav Karić and Sladjana Petrović Varagić selected works of five artists: Mihailo Vasiljević, Dušica Dražić, Goran Micevski, Ivan Petrović and Katarina Radović. Conceived as an insight into contemporary happenings on the photography scene, the exhibition was focused on presentation of the most recent artistic production by the mentioned authors, their deliberations on nature and the potential of the medium of photography, as well as considerations of their actual treatment in the context of active professional following of achievements in this field. The exhibition held during 2010 pointed out to the possibility of a more long-term project, and as the next step in this direction ensued the public gathering “Photo-documents 2011”, also organized in Pozega, at the end of the last year. With the participation of professional public from Macedonia (Macedonian Center for Photography, Skopje), Slovenia (Photon Gallery, Ljubljana), Serbia (Gallery Artget – Cultural Center Belgrade, New Art Academy, Center for Photography Belgrade, Remont Belgrade, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, NFC Filmart, Cultural Center Pozega), the two-day convention had as its primary goal to establish regional cooperation, as well as to further deal with different problematic aspects of photography. In the final realization is also the proceedings with texts of the participants of the gathering, which discussed some of the current themes and questions: photographic picture in the era of domination of digital technology; models of photographic education and programs of professional education; activities in the field of presenting and promoting photography in specialized centers and exhibition spaces; local context and identity in contemporary photography; protection, digitalization and filing of photographic heritage as significant cultural and civilizational achievement. The proceedings will be promoted during the exhibition “Photo-documents 02”, as a new phase of the project and further elaboration of the idea of forming a platform for active and continuous perceiving, analyzing, affirming, valorizing and presenting accomplishments in the field of contemporary photography.
The history of photography is the history of permanent debate on different aspects of the medium of photography, its nature, status, usage, interpretation in a broader social context and in the field of visual arts. Accelerated technological development and numerous innovations that photography inevitably follows have only intensified the discussions and deliberations on its current position, importance and role, most often underlined with the question: is photography obsolete or dead? And while the deliberations on the theme of “death” of photography primarily come down to the problematics of the effect of transition from analogue to digital technology, and sharp competition imposed by proliferation of most diversified video contents, there are also frequent opinions that photography was never more actual and relevant and that the challenges it is confronted with actually mark its new beginning. Photography today in fact notes full break-through into all spheres of social life, bringing radical change regarding the understanding of contemporary visual culture. The limits of the medium of photography are constantly being tested, and some of the most thorough researches of its potential come from the world of art. From the sixties, when it becomes more present as an art form, photography has passed the road of continuous reexamination in theory and practice. For the last two decades, photography has been in an utterly dynamic period of its history that is best illustrated by large museum exhibitions and projects dedicated to this medium, new readings of the bodies of work of the key XX century authors, as well as the ultimate break-through of photography into the art market, where certain works are valued by millions. All this is followed by numerous artistic actions, diversity of approaches, practices and further inquiries into the application of photographic resources. What could be singled out as a special characteristic of the recent global happenings and an appearance on the contemporary photographic scene is more intense use and deliberation on the medium and conventions of documentary photography through which artists, in the most direct possible way, analyze and comment on all the aspects of complicated processes on social-political and economic plan, to which photography, above all, was always and unavoidably closely related. The exhibition “Photo-documents 02” represents one possible insight into happenings on the local, otherwise vibrant photographic scene, its protagonists, their production and answers to some current movements in the domain of contemporary photography. The diversity of presented approaches and poetics is a framework for recognizing a broader conception of photography today and the vitality it possesses. Revealing of its numerous possibilities in the works of the selected authors is the starting point for what we could most concisely describe and define as complex visual sociological and anthropological researches. The documentary quality in their case remains yet another field in which, very openly, the very medium of documentary photography and the power of documentary picture are being problematized and reexamined, as well as its implications, significance and influence in predominantly visual surroundings. In its whole, the exhibition represents reflection of persistent artists’ endeavors to find new statements on photography, its function as a document but also as a process through which all manifestations of the world and everyday life are ascertained, revealed and considered. The lectures, panel discussions, conversations with the artists, presentations of museum photography archives and the activities of founded centers for photography, planned for this occasion, are a continuation of a broader deliberation on the problematics of the medium of photography and an incentive to the profession for further dealing with photography and its relations with different contexts in which it originates, in which it is being applied and interpreted.
Partners: KC Požega/Filmart, Remont – Independent Art Association, Mikro Art/Street Gallery, Center for Photography
Support by Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
September 7 – October 28, 2012.
Curators: Miroslav Karić, Sladjana Petrović Varagić, Una Popović
Artists: Aleksandrija Ajduković, Benjamin Beker, Boris Lukić, Goran Micevski, Vesna Mićović, Andrea Palašti, Dragan Petrović, Ivan Petrović, Katarina Radović, Belgrade Raw, Mihailo Vasiljević, Srdjan Veljović
Center for Photography
In Full Light: photographs from the collection of Center for Photography