CLOSE-UP&BLOW-UP: RE-CONSTRUCTING THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE
Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad
30. April – 30. May 2013
an artist curated iniciative
Author: Andrea Palašti
Co-authors/artists: Selena Junačkov, Nemanja Delja, Ivana Stojanović, Jelena Vladušić, Aleksandar Ramadanović, Marko Ercegović, Tijana Luković, Boris Lukić, Darija Medić, Miroslav Dajč, Petar Mirković, Monika Sigeti, Slobodan Stošić, Tatjana Vukelić
The exhibition CLOSE UP & BLOW UP: Reconstructing the photographic image focuses on the exploration of photographic ‘space’ and on different ways to approach the medium. The exhibition shows in what way contemporary artists use photography; these approaches are, therefore, compared to those of contemporary photographers. Since the medium of photography is constantly transforming itself, the exhibition in fact poses the question what does it mean to make a photo in the 21st century.
The exhibition originated from the need for collaboration and self-organisation of the artists from (approximately) the same generation and context (educational system), with a goal to initiate affirmation and a correct understanding of the photographic medium by infiltration into main streams of the “institutional system” as a closed/specialised art field. Research and analysis is carried out through recognition, overview and discussion about individual practices (or excesses) of photographers/artists and artists using photography who are, more or less successfully, functioning in a common value system. Continuing the idea of the necessity of self-organisation in the given context, the exhibition initiates questions about reasons/conditions for the (absence of) existence of photographic practice (and scene!) in Novi Sad.
The choice of works itself is based on the diversity of themes/genres and the manner of presenting photography: visual and plastic qualities and/or the intensity of their method, concept, intentions, obsession. The exhibition presents the works of artists/photographers whose education is tightly connected with the studies of photography and film, and who represent the documentary form through which research in various psychological, social and political spaces is carried out. They talk about the power and potential of a document: about facts and fictionalisation of circumstances, through which, directly or by detour, they interpret their own social position. Simultaneously with the documentary practice of the photographer/artists, the works of artists using photography widen the definition of photography as a ‘presenting’ medium. Their works explore photographic processes/technologies and blur the borders between photography and other art disciplines and curating practices. By using conceptual models, using ‘found’ photos and treating photography as a traditional visual medum or a pure digital document, the presented works deal with the thematic and/or critical reexamination of photography as a medium.
Certainly, due to its unstable character, photos do not necessarily belong to a single category/form. Therefore, the set dichotomy serves only as a ground for reexamining and redefining photography in the sense of its form and content, thus revealing the complex question about the role of photography in the context of contemporary art. As the very title implies, close-up – as a photo or film cadre – places one or more characters in the foreground (exhibition); blow-up – as a technique of enlarging an image – in this context poses the question what do we, in fact, see and what do we think we see (meaning); while reconstruction assumes a new interpretation, re-interpretation of the position contemporary artists/photographers assume in the representation of a photographic image.