The seasonal concept at the Artget Gallery was conceived as a compilation of the exhibitions curated by the art directors and collectives who created the Gallery’s programmes in the second decade of its existence.
What is interesting in this approach is that it gives the possibility to the creators of the programmes to revise their views, compensate for what might have been missed out, feel a new impulse, but also to map new phenomena in the field of photography, arisen under the impression of what has been shown so far at the Artget Gallery. And the latter mentioned is exactly what the Raw Perspectives exhibition, curated by members of the Belgrade Raw Collective, brings.
Raw Perspectives offers the views of three authors: Jelena Nikolić, Predrag Đulinac and Stefan Jovanović. Although none of them would call, or calls, themself a photographer, all three use the medium of photography as a kind of getting some space, as an archive generator and a means of visually recording the surroundings. The members of the Belgrade Raw Collective themselves have a similar approach in creating an archive from which the socio-political circumstances, everyday life and its changes can be read.
We translate the English adjective “raw”, mentioned here several times for obvious reasons, into Serbian in the meaning of “unprocessed”, with the synonyms “ignorant” and “alive”. The translation, together with synonyms, explains the approach of the three authors’ work in presenting their raw ways of observation from several angles. Raw in the sense of representing what it is, without the intention of loading any narrative other than the existing, that is, the visible; Alive!
Ignorant – it may sound too rough, but the authors’ approach is certainly devoid of traditional ideas about mastery in the medium of photography. By no means does it fall into the realm of the bad.
Motivation to work with Predrag, Jelena and Stefan varies between the desire to document, study of the elements of fine art, recording seemingly non-belonging moments in space and the simple desire for some kind of ventilating of brain activities.
The Raw Perspectives exhibition is a result of unlocking rich archives and applying an exercise in which the authors created an associative network by stringing photographs and videos without previously established rules. The rules were dictated by the material itself.
Individually, each of the three authors has a unique internal logic in choosing the motive, or better yet, in choosing the moments they are going to record. However, when joining their archives, the equation of associative networks and losing the idea of authorship are noticed. It becomes impossible to guess which photograph is whose. It becomes irrelevant who is the author of which photograph. It becomes clear how one generation, through the same eye, detects its environment and everything it carries.
The sets of materials presented in the Raw Perspectives exhibition are the logical conclusion of the process of integrating the materials of these three authors, but also a space for the creation of new thought processes and mental images.
Dušan Savić, art historian