Alumni News |
Tadej Vaukman, Ritual Purification at P74 Gallery
14 January – 2 February 2020
P74 Gallery, Ljubljana
At the 2019 OHO Group Award Nominees Exhibition, Tadej Vaukman exhibited a monumental format photo, That Night in the Basement (2019). Through this work he shifted his focus away from obsessively documenting the outside world to himself. The direct, even sexually explicit, scenes of skate culture, night drinking, and the motifs of his grandparents’ living environment were replaced by a self-portrait. His new topics of choice include an exploration of the personal and of repressed memories that we turn a blind eye to, not wanting to talk about them. He left for an artist residency in the USA with the question: “In what ways can a radically different, completely new environment affect you?”
The Ritual Purification exhibition features works that have mostly been created in New York. There, at some bookstore, he accidentally came across David Michael Wojnarowitz’s book Weight of the Earth. He did not know this American artist, but his autobiography, made with transcriptions of sound recordings, made a strong impression on him. He identified himself with the depressing atmosphere that pervades the book – its author had been recording himself in his room in that very city, lonely, even sick. That book represents the starting point of the project and marks the moment when he realized that he needed to move on and start to incorporate new procedures of artistic expression. Not surprisingly, the trigger was an encounter with the book, as he holds a bond with a book as a medium. He has repeatedly presented his photographs in fanzines or Artist Books, but this time it is not a classical form of presentation but an appropriation. As the Artist Book is exhibited closed and framed, it prevents us from reading; we can only read the author’s name and the title of the book, which bears the meaningful phrase “the weight of the world”.
For more information visit: P74 Gallery