Fotograf Magazine

Filip Cenek & Josef Dabernig: poetry in stadiums

10. 10. – 9. 11. 2012

The darkened room slowly lights up with a slide-show, revealing at first some shrubbery, and eventually there emerges the urban landscape of a football stadium which has fallen into disrepair. Captions – in the form of sentences or verses – are screened in a faster sequence than the photographs. The second part of the gallery features light-colored tables, and lined up on them in rows are panoramic views depicting the landscape of empty, often almost arid football stadiums. While the panoramas, phased in sequences of photographs, feature locations from Santiago to Cairo and Priština, the slide-show – apart from the inter-titles and graphic screening marks – features a faded sign reading “Brno” in one of the images. 

The subject of the exhibition are two creative approaches and styles that share a common poetics in terms of the documentation of the immediate surroundings, and also in the ambition to narrate, or point out blank spaces in the interpretation of surrounding reality – both as something depicted and experienced. The urban landscapes of football arenas were presented as a sort of dual form of an “aimless walk”. Cenek embarks on a form of narration, changing the word order in his slide-show. As the pictures gradually reveal themselves, flashing out of the darkness, the meaning of the inter-titles shifts with the changing order of both photographs and text. In contrast, the terseness in the rendition of Dabernig’s photographs is revealed by the gap between the individual pictures within the sequence of panoramas. This gap, or “pause” in his record indicates not only a shift of perspective in the course of photographing, but also an occasional dual record within the horizon of seeing.

Martin Mazanec