The exhibition “Photography Unknown” has been an excellent opportunity to confront my work with the new publics. Here is what the curator of the show, Hyosup Jung, wrote for the opening.
<Photography Unknown> is designed to pay attention to certain artists who develop his or her own independent artistic style not by going along with the main stream of contemporary photography. As the first show of these series <PU#1_Body & Nature> is organized with diverse works of four female artists, Gabriela Huk (1986-), Kaja Dobrowolska (1984-), Lotte Fløe Christensen (1979-), and Kyung Eun Han (1975-).
Since the great invention of photography in the beginning of the 19th century, photography has rapidly become integrated into modern society. As artists depicted people in the backdrop of the society in which they lived, the figures in pictures became the portraiture representation of the times of their own society. In this way, the identities and boundaries of figures in photographs have come to be defined by their social realm, not by their individual realm.
Henceforward, the recognition of human body has been changed gradually according to the flow of times. Eventually, figures of the body began to obtain an individual status divergent from the realm of society. Photographers have tried to take pictures through individual or even subjective interpretation and emotion instead of social phenomenon, and to see human body as an independent object rather than a partial element of typical space. Four artists participating in Photography Unknown #1: Body & Nature consider body in the realm of ‘individual’ and also have been working to involve the society and world in which they live into the individual realm. These artists aim to reflect their introspection by observing certain figures of human body exposed between the subject and itsworld through photography.
Hyosup Jung / Independent Curator
It’s so exciting to have an opportunity to present my works for completely new publics. For the exhibition “Body & Nature” that is the first part of the series “Photography Unknown” I’ll be showing selected works from two of my projects: “Re:shaped” and “Eikon”. It’s a pity I will not be able to see the show myself. Have a peep at the exhibition sketch for now.
Body and Nature
March 11. 2014 – April 25. 2014
Curated by Hyosup Jung
Kyung Eun Han
Lotte Fløe Christensen
Art pace J, Bundang, Seongnam City, Korea
I was still a student at the Fine Art Academy in Gdansk, when I heard about the Bratislava Portfolio Review for the first time. Back then, though, I had plenty of teachers and fellow students to discuss my photography with. I probably didn’t appreciate it then but now – a couple of years after graduating – I realized that I truly miss these critical discussions about my work. So this is when I reminded myself about the review. Only a couple of days later I got registered and booked my flight.
I wasn’t expecting much. Despite the positive rumours that I heard from here and there I didn’t want to go to Bratislava thinking that it’d be a grand beginning of my photographic career. I didn’t want to hear blandishments; instead, I really hoped for some critical feedback from individuals from different environments who saw my work for the first time. And this is exactly what I received: during the two intensive days I had an opportunity to show my portfolio to as many as ten reviewer and to over a dozen fellow participants. Their opinions differed greatly spanning from constructively critical to completely neutral to enthusiastically positive. I value the first group the most as these are the comments I remember. For how long? – we’ll see.
The overall atmosphere of the review was really pleasant, the time flew fast. It was surprising how homogeneous the portfolios of over 80 participants from across Europe seemed. They showed such a similar approach to photography. The event was lacking in outstanding individuals, not many of the participants had their own unique visual language. Most of them showed documentaries. Well, it may be the trend now. And as a couple of the reviewers noted, I’m not following it.
Anyway, I really liked the formula of portfolio review. I know I need feedback and discussion possibilities that such events entail. Next year I’ll have to decide whether to go back to Bratislava or to try my luck in Arles,Vienna, London or Stockholm.
This year the Bratislava Portfolio Review gathered over 80 participants and 35 reviewers. The winners of the best portfolio prize were:
It’d been more than a year since I had exhibited any of my work when Zbigniew Muziewicz invited me to join him for the show he was having in the Czech Republic. I was thrilled as I always am when such an opportunity occurs. At that time I was working on a new series, which fit perfectly with his abstract work. I said yeas and in a couple of weeks finished the project.
The gallery we showed at is a tiny place run by the Nachod Photo Club. It’s nowhere near a sophisticated white cube, rather a room in a cellar where a group of friends that share an affinity to photography in its most various forms meet to discuss their work. And so was the opening of our exhibition. To the experimental tunes of Witek Szymanski we talked, drank Czech beer and talked until the dead of night.
The exhibition is on show until the end of October 2013.