Reflections on the Landscape. . .
(A Brief Overview of the Artist Couple diSTRUKTURA’s Photography Work)

Miroslav Karić

The concept and theme developed by the artist couple diSTRUKTURA in their several-years-long photography project Face to Face revolve around a number of topics that are broadly interconnected by questions on the relations between the private/intimate and public space, individual and broader social actions as well as around today’s increasingly more complex experiential perceptions of the world around us.

It is in the tradition of landscape painting in Romanticism, primarily that of the artist Caspar David Friedrich and his scenes of the lonely figure contemplating sublime landscapes that the artists position their formal point of departure for their photography work. In their work they focus on exploring the different aspects of our daily collective existence and experiences of the radically changed context of contemporary society. It is with their backs turned to the spectator, their gaze directed at urban, industrial or natural scenery as they hold hands standing alone or in the presence of other individuals/participants, that diSTRUKTURA, through this unique symbolic act of direct confrontation with exteriors in front of  them, question essentially human’s dominant position and their role given as the key player in defining the dynamics and perceptual character of the environment.

The artist couple approaches the landscape phenomenon through a broad perspective of relations and links it establishes with social, political, economic contexts and cultural processes, with changes and trends. diSTRUKTURA’s perception of the multiple significations of the landscape is inseparable from the interpretations given it by universal and specific value systems, norms, technologic trends, cultural and identity interpretations, social interactions and other forms of social practice where people and communities live and pursue their existence. Scenes of protagonists’ gazing speechless at spaces and horizons marked with symbols of civilizational development and progress, suggestions of states of isolation among those present and of their alienation from nature are introduced by diSTRUKTURA as a general, paradigmatic image of what remains as a consequence of man’s permanent desire and effort to cultivate, control, manipulate and conquer the world around him.

In their later sub-series of photography works entitled Not So Far Away the artists continue contemplating the landscape as a metaphor of man’s nature and action. They focus on and elaborate issues of our direct impact on our living environment, the manner in which we actively shape it and modify it, and the fact that, today, we increasingly observe it and experience it in the virtual sphere. It is through images that remind us of post-apocalyptic visions of man’s encounters with grandiose and deserted natural scenes that, once again, diSTRUKTURA emphasize the pluri-dimensional and permanently transformational character of the landscape and, in historical terms, the way it was essentially conditioned by ideas of identity and belonging, relations of power and hegemony, legacy of the past and projected visions of the future contained in every civilizational moment.

* Miroslav Karić is the curator of the Independent Art Association Remont in Belgrade, Serbia.

Refleksije pejzaža…
(kratak osvrt na fotografski rad umetničkog para diSTRUKTURA)

Miroslav Karić

Višegodišnji fotografski projekat Face to Face, umetnički par diSTRUKTURA idejno i problemski razvija oko nekolicine tema koje bi se najšire mogle povezati kroz pitanja odnosa privatnog/intimnog i javnog prostora, individualnih i širih društvenih delovanja, kao i današnjih sve kompleksnijih percepcijskih iskustvenosti sveta koji nas okružuje.

U tradiciji romantičarskog pejzažnog slikarstva, najpre umetnika Kaspara Fridriha Davida i njegovih prizora usamljenih ljudskih figura u kontemplativnom susretu sa impresivnim predelima prirode autori pronalaze formalno polazište za fotografski rad u kojem se fokusiraju na istraživanje različitih aspekata naših svakodnevnih, kolektivnih egzistencija i doživljaja radikalno promenjenih konteksta savremenog društva. Okrenuti leđima posmatraču, pogleda usmerenih prema urbanim, industrijskim i prirodnim krajolicima, sami, držeći se za ruke ili u prisustvu drugih pojedinaca/učesnika, diSTRUKTURA u svojevrsnom simboličkom činu direktnih suočenja sa ekstrijerima koji su pred njima, pre svega, preispituje dominantnu poziciju i ulogu čoveka – ključnog aktera u definisanju dinamike i perceptivnog karaktera okruženja.

Umetnički par fenomenu pejzaža, u svom radu, zapravo pristupa kroz širu perspektivu relacija i veza koje isti uspostavlja sa kontekstima društvenih, političkih, ekonomskih, kulturnih procesa, promena i kretanja. Sagledavanje višeznačnosti pejzaža za diSTRUKTURU neodvojivo je od njegovih razumevanja kroz univerzalne i partikularne sisteme vrednosti, normi, tehnoloških tokova, kulturoloških i identitetskih interpretacija, socijalnih interakcija i drugih vidova društvenih praksi  u kojima se odvijaju život i egizistencija ljudi i zajednica. Scene nemih zagledanosti protagonista u prostore i horizonte obeležene simbolima civilizacijskog razvoja i progresa, sugerisana stanja međusobne izolovanosti prisutnih i njihove otuđenosti od prirode diSTRUKTURA uvodi kao opštu, paradigmatsku sliku svega onoga što ostaje kao posledica čovekovih trajnih želja i nastojanja da uređuje, kontroliše, manipuliše i osvaja svet oko sebe.

Promišljanja pejzaža kao metafore ljudske prirode i delovanja umetnici će i u kasnijoj podseriji fotografskih radova, Not So Far Away dalje tematski fokusirati i elaborirati oko pitanja naših direktnih uticaja na životnu sredinu, načina na koje je aktivno oblikujemo, modifikujemo i danas sve više u virtulenoj sferi posredno posmatramo i doživljavamo. U kadrovima koji podsećaju na post-apokaliptičke vizije čovekovih ponovnih susreta sa grandioznim i napuštenim prirodnim ambijentima, diSTRUKTURA još jednom ističe višedimenzionalni i permanentno transformišući karakter pejzaža odnosno njegovu, kroz istoriju, suštinsku uslovljenost idejama identiteta i pripadnosti, odnosima moći i hegemonije, nasleđa prošlosti i projektovanih slika budućnosti koje nosi svaki civilizacijski trenutak.

* Miroslav Karić radi kao kustos u Nezavisnoj umetničkoj asocijaciji Remont u Beogradu, Srbija.

Back to top