The initial idea for this year's Fotopub is to work with types of images which are imminently linked to concrete locations in terms of content and topology. Image types such as road signs, explanatory plates or illustrative notifications are public images which inform a viewer at the specific location of the specific circumstances of this very place. Virtually, they are regarded as "displaying images". Think of an information board outdoors that is found on a marked tourist path giving you an overview of the flora and fauna that can be found in this area. These rather didactic images imminently have a time-related reference to their particular location. Other images such as rendered computer animations which can be found nearby construction areas indicate a future stadium of the respective location. Then again, other images such as billboards of archeological excavations, for example, refer to circumstances already lying in the past. Moreover, the immediacy of the relation between image and location can vary. Most probably one would easily identify the context of the computer animation at a construction site, whereas the information board shows animals which potentially live in this area but in fact, the chance to spot such an animal turns out to be extremely low. Likewise, the notification within the scope of an archaeological discovery demands a certain level of imagination in order to be able to mentally reconstruct the location's condition in the far past.
The decision of the exhibition space on the campsite of Novo Mesto forms another keystone to our exhibition work. An utterly neutral exhibition site does not exist in reality, however, the idea of the White cube indicates to such an ideal. If an exhibition site is chosen which at first is not within the range of experience of the visitors in terms of an appropriate exhibition site for art and secondly, which does not possess the neutrality to give these artistic works "room to breathe", it is important to coordinate location and work very well. An easy method is to design the work in such an obvious way that it physically dominates the location. The more complex method is to to capture the location's structure and its meaning in order to put the work in context. Ideally, location and the artistic work form a unit. The location becomes the artistic work. The added artistic work "activates" the location in a certain way.
A campsite as exhibition space. There you can find pastures, woods, narrow gravel trails, a river with bathing areas, an outdoor barbecue, an open fireplace with seats and a small cabin. The combination of the campsite as exhibition space with public displaying images as described previously, yields particular themes such as leisure, construction site, archaeology, nature, handcrafts and the like. We further differentiated these themes, collected images, combined and edited them. The aim is not only that our images, just like their patterns, fulfill the function of a location-oriented reference but also that they go beyond this notion. Within its overall structure we expand the genre of displaying images with an artistic work by means of a well known tale in fiction: Treasure hunting. Four panels are placed directly in front of dense bushes. The entry of a path is created by slashing it into the bushes with sticks. Through their position the panels are interconnected with the bushes and the path. It is rather indirect and abstract that the images enrich this location. They address a treasure and the troublesome and dangerous way to it with the aid of a treasure map. Moreover, these works also function autonomously as a grouping of four images which, independent from the context, imminently refer to each other, address themselves and ultimately are surfaces. Whilst we concentrate on a specific genre with regards to the installation within the frame of the Fotopub 2016, it is not the case that other interests in images are being left out. In all cases it is about the contemporary and artistic production of images which raise interest in us in all their manifestations.
Our basic principle in dealing with images is that we don't want to move in accordance to the common usages and aesthetics but rather we want to transform them. The difference is in the distance which we, as authors of the images, adopt or at least try to adopt. Of course on the other hand, it is about getting involved with such images, to enjoy them and to be drawn into their maelstrom. We believe that too much distance will lead to a rather dull and purely intellectual work. The motto is to get the balance right between proximity and distance.
Fotopub 2016, Novo Mesto
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Documentation: Klemen Ilovar and TI&TO