If Well Lived, Life is Long Enough

Una Knežević

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August 20th – September 5th


A photograph of human beings must not convey the belief that it is capable of capturing the being photographed: it always misses it, capturing only one of its possible appearances, depending on the subjective perspective and technical equipment. The artist explores precisely that area of the visible and the unknowable, to observe it instead of immediately considering it in an observable/ considered relationship, and to show us something else, in a different way, and perhaps thus open us to some other worlds, to other knowledge. Knowledge of the object? Maybe, but isn’t that a question related to some secret? In short, photography still haunts us with its key questions: what is the object to be photographed? What is reality? How can a work of art be created based on such a lack of obvious answers? (Sоulages, Francois, Aesthetics of Photography: The Loss and the Rest, 2008, Cultural Center Belgrade)

For me, family history is a key point of intersection of the collective unconscious and the individual. The starting point was a family photo album with photographs that I took with my analogue camera. Parents are witnesses of my childhood and development. I took photos of my parents during New Year’s holiday at the beginning of 2019. Ambient shown was our living room that did not change a bit for 30 years. Christmas decoration that we have is always the same with each of the ornaments having its own special place. It’s just time that passes.

Large-format painting reduces the intimacy of photos that are a template for pictures. What used to be presented through a small-scale photo, accessible to everyday viewing and browsing through photo albums, diaries and collected memories, becomes monumental, chilled, devoid of personal and intimate. I am interested in the atmosphere and plot of the photo. When taking the photo itself, the photo is a template that I later intuitively resolve. In my paintings, the color palette is intuitively selected, it is very expressive and free. It is important that my paintings are viewed live because that is how the very presence of the image and its materiality come into focus.