Art historian and curator Miha Colner devised the concept of the 2024 Artget gallery exhibition season through an active dialogue with the gallery’s curator, Jana Gligorijević, at whose suggestion he selected authors from the domestic photography scene. The programme that includes five exhibitions is primarily focused on showcasing diverse artistic practices in the field of contemporary photography from a wider regional context; the selected artists are coming from Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Photography in artistic context, which is only a small portion of the very broad field of photography, has developed significantly in the past thirty years and took on various directions, formats and concepts. Due to the extensive production and numerous parallel systems and scenes, it is nearly impossible to extricate currently dominant paradigms of contemporary photography. Instead, photography as art, or more accurately lens-based art, is above all characterised by diversity of voices and practices.
Therefore, the curators selected exceptionally diverse and variegated group of practitioners to exhibit throughout the first half of the 2024 at Artget Gallery. The selected artists predominantly use photography, as well as other visual media, in a peculiar and expanded manner. Each of five exhibitions showcases the dialogue between two artists (in one case even three artists) who in their creative practices actively address topical phenomena in the society; however, at the same their works remain highly ambivalent in their contexts and meanings. The curators invited photographers of different generations, who live and work in the wider region (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia) and who touch upon some of the most fundamental questions within current society and visual culture. Their works reflect on overall tendencies in contemporary photography such as observing and analysing everyday realities, subjective display of one’s intimate life, ongoing changes in cultural landscape and earthly environment, as well as perception of histories and futures.
In the first chapter of the programme the works of Senka Trivunac (Beograd) and Sara Pantović (Beograd) display the banalities of everyday experience in the period of late capitalism such as materialism, consumerism and unreal expectations. In the second chapter Marija Mandić (Novi Sad) and Ana Žeželj (Beograd) touch upon the phenomenon of recording intimate situations in the form of a visual diary. In the third chapter Nemanja Knežević (Beograd) and Robert Marin (Ljubljana) showcase their seemingly intuitive practices where they use snapshot photography in order to document casual moments in urban environments, and therefore in an almost objective manner expose some of the topical social issues. In the fourth chapter Davor Konjikušić (Zagreb) and Olga Matveeva (Beograd) present their visions of the human presence in the earthly environment and the obsessions of people to foresee the future. In the fifth chapter Darije Petković (Zagreb), Neja Tomšič (Ljubljana) and Vladimir Živojinović (Beograd) reflect on various notions and episodes of history in order to question socio-political discourses of the present. Works and practices of these artists confirm that nowadays photography is one of the most direct and efficient media to reflect on one’s everyday experience.
Artists: Sara Pantović / Senka Trivunac / Ana Žeželj / Marija Mandić / Nemanja Knežević / Robert Marin / Olga Matveeva / Davor Konjikušić / Neja Tomšič / Vladimir Živojinović / Darije Petković
Miha Colner (1978) is an art historian and has been working as an independent curator, art critic and editor in various fields of contemporary visual arts since 2005, specializing in photography, video, film and new media art. He was the curator of the Ljubljana Photon Gallery – Centre for Contemporary Photography, and a member of the organizing committee of the Photonic Moment Festival, which biennially presents recent artistic productions, mostly from Eastern Europe. For the last five years, he regularly collaborates on the archival and research project DIVA (Digital Video Archive) – the physical and online video archive of SCCA – Ljubljana (2007) and on the annual exhibition of Slovenian sculpture (2009). Since 2005, he has been working as an art critic for various magazines, newspapers, radio stations and publications. He was the editor of the Art-Area radio show dedicated to contemporary art, which is broadcast on Radio Študent in Ljubljana. The show has an educational character and serves as a training ground for many young authors engaged in artistic practice. Since 2007, he has been a permanent contributor to Dnevnik, a Ljubljana daily newspaper, in which he publishes reviews, comments and interviews. He is also a contributor to numerous regional specialized art magazines (Photographs, Art Words, Folio). He works on research articles (independent or as part of exhibition projects) and extensive interviews with numerous artists, curators and theorists. Currently he is working as a curator at GBJ – Božidar Jakac Modern Gallery, Kostanjevica na Krki. He mostly lives and works in Ljubljana.
Senka Trivunac (1984) is an artist and photographer who works across different media but currently her central tool is photography. She graduated from photography at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Athens, Greece, and from sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. In her practice she is particularly interested in recording places and situations that she is exposed to, and exploring visual representations of the modern world. She lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. https://senkaphotography.com/
Sara Pantović (1998) is a photographer who works across different genres, from documentary to conceptual photography. She graduated (BA) from photography and visual communications at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In her practice she focuses on documentary snapshots of her immediate surroundings as well as conceptually-based photographic projects. She lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.
Ana Žeželj (1998) is an artist and photographer who works across different media. She graduated from photography at the Faculty of Dramatic In addition to photography, she also deals with video as a director of photography and post-production of images as a colorist. In her photographs, she mostly deals with human nature and experiences, exploring different spaces and ways of understanding the world that surrounds us. Through the manipulation of form and content within the photograph, she reveals her point of view. She lives and works Belgrade, Serbia.
Marija Mandić (1990) is an artist and photographer who works in a number of different media, from artistic works based on the use of an optical lens to object art. She graduated from the Department of New Fine Media at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, and completed her master’s studies at the Department of Photography and New Media in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic, where she defended her doctorate in the field of visual arts in 2022 on the topic ” Reli(e)ving Memory: Representations of Collective and Individual Remembrance through Late 20th and 21st Century Photographic Practices”. She is a multiple scholarship recipient of the Dositeja fund for young talents of the Republic of Serbia, and a scholarship recipient of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. She is a finalist for the Mangelos award for 2023, and for her artistic work Bela Pčela, she was awarded a grant from the VID Foundation (2021) and an award from the Fotograf photography festival (2022). She lives and works in Novi Sad. https://cargocollective.com/marijamandic/Photography
Nemanja Knežević (1985) is a freelance photographer. He is one of the founding members of the Belgrade Raw photo collective that explores social aspects of urban life. His work has been commissioned by various institutions and magazines, whereas he has also worked for major festivals and conferences. In his practice he is primarily interested in observing and mapping of social and cultural curiosities of contemporary cultural landscape. He lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. https://www.nk.rs/
Robert Marin (1984) is a photographer and journalist who is interested in the everyday reality of his immediate surroundings. He studied history and cultural studies at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Since 2014, he is part of the creative tandem Najlepše mesto na svetu (The Most Beautiful City in the World) where, together with Matjaž Rušt photographs changes in the social fabric of the city of Ljubljana. In his individual practice he as well documents everyday realities. He lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Davor Konjikušić (1979) is a photographer, artist, educator and researcher whose central interest is to explore the relationships between power and control. He graduated from cinematography at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. He uses photography as a primary medium in articulating his artistic concepts while combining it with text, archive materials, found objects and moving images. Currently, he is a professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, and founder of the Unwanted Images platform. He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia. https://www.davorko.net/
Olga Matveeva (1986) is an artist working across different media, from lens-based art to installation, while she also works as educator and independent curator. She graduated in political science at the State University for Human Sciences in Moscow in 2008, and from photography at the Rochenko Art School in 2013. In her artistic practice she is focused on the experiences of an individual in an ever changing socio-political turmoil while being immersed in mythology and mysticism. She currently lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. https://www.olmatveeva.com/
Darije Petković (1974) is a photographer and artist who work across different genres, and combining his works with archive materials and found objects. He graduated in cinematography at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb in 1999. In the late 1990s he became a photojournalist who worked for various media outlets, while he also worked on his personal artistic projects. Since 2005 he is a professor at the academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. In his practice he focuses on the issues of changing cultural landscape, history and memory. He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.
Neja Tomšič (1982) is a visual artist, whose interdisciplinary practice merges research with photography, drawing, moving image and performance. She graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. In her practice she uncovers overlooked and often hidden stories from history in order to rethink dominant historical narratives. She is a founding member of Nonument Group, an art collective that maps forgotten, abandoned or demolished 20th century monuments, public spaces and buildings. She lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia. https://ne-ja.com
Vladimir Živojinović (1993) is a documentary photographer who works for different media outlets focusing on news, social and humanitarian issues in the Balkans. He collaborated with organisations and agencies such as AFP, Getty Images and UNICEF Srbija, documenting global events and humanitarian causes. In his personal work he addresses issues of memory and history from a different angle of visual storytelling. He lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.