Fotograf Magazine

#28 cultura / natura

We shall attempt to define the theme of the upcoming Fotograf Festival from its middle point, at the borderline between culture and nature, and in relation to how that borderline is rewritten, to the points of overlap sought between them, and to the strange constellations in which artificial things become natural and natural artificial. It is no accident that it is these constellations, these ‘blue flowers’ (the image Walter Benjamin uses in reference to the presence of immediate reality in the world of film), that become such rewarding photographic objects. The camera brings us closer to nature but at the same time distances us from it. The attempt to capture nature in the lens of the camera can then be likened to the desire to understand a wild animal by placing it in a zoo or to learn about rare trees by planting them in a park or an exotic flower by visiting a greenhouse in a botanical garden. The naturalness of nature only comes to the forefront once we have experience its opposite; as Derrida points out, the awareness of nakedness is essentially human – animals are naked without knowing it.

The urge to return to nature is indelibly linked to the pervasiveness of technology in our lives. All around us irreversible processes are going on that are driven by momentary needs instead of long-term considerations. What do contemporary art and photography have to say about this and how do they say it?

#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Claudiu Cobilanschi

Claudiu Cobilanschi straddles the border between art and journalism, campaigning as journalists do, overstepping the limits of a given media and presenting his audience with a complex problem as a whole, in relation to himself as a person…

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#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Michal Kern

Whether I perceive the Slovak artist Michal Kern as a solitary runner in the snow1 or a year-round walker – a tracker2, who carefully observed all, even the least obvious, traces, processes and changes in his surroundings, for me he is also one who left his own deliberate ephemeral imprints in the high-mountain landscape of the Low and High Tatras…

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#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Simone Nieweg

Simone Nieweg (b.1962) is a good example of the influence of place, time and even the experience of viewers on their perception of art works. Between 1948 and 1989, Czech photography preferred different approaches than Western Europe, accepting mainly those impulses that were in harmony with “lyric movements” defined as typically Czech by Jaroslav Boček no later than in 1962…

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#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Asunción Molinos Gordo

WAM (World Agricultural Museum) is a site-specific work that uses the historical trope of the cabinet of curiosities to explore the introduction of biotechnology in farming. This 200 square-meter art installation recreates the atmosphere and the colonial aesthetics of the old Agricultural Museum of Cairo, to present the contemporary discourses on genetically modified crops and their various derivatives, coupled with the implementation of intellectual property policies on seeds, international trade agreements and their connection with food insecurity…

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#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Martin and Osa Johnson

“The photographer is now charging real beasts, beleaguered and too rare to kill. Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been—what people needed protection from…

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#28 Cultura / Natura — Profiles

Peter Bartoš

Although Slovak neo avant-garde artist Peter Bartoš (1938) is a radical figure on the Slovak art scene, his work has still not been fully documented. Since he only selectively shares information about his work, Bartoš is difficult to access…

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