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Past exhibitions

Jaka Babnik: We Are Dogs!

By 12. 1. 2010 April 15th, 2019 No Comments

Jaka Babnik
We Are Dogs!

12.01.2010 – 23.02.2010

Are we dogs? The photographic essay by Jaka Babnik, subtly entitled We Are Dogs!, is an auto-reflective study, carrying a tendency to deconstruct one of the socially recognized and acceptable forms of fight in its very core. The deconstruction is carried out by both questioning the essence of […]

Jaka Babnik
We Are Dogs!

Exhibition Catalogue

Are we dogs?

The photographic essay by Jaka Babnik, subtly entitled We Are Dogs!, is an auto-reflective study, carrying a tendency to deconstruct one of the socially recognized and acceptable forms of fight in its very core. The deconstruction is carried out by both questioning the essence of a man as well as questioning the origins and the purposes of fighting. By doing so, the author ruthlessly leaves it to us to answer such questions. In spite of the elliptical character of the essay pointing out to the man’s relationship with the dog rather than the man himself, the string of photographs illustrates and uncovers the fact, that human nature usurps violence and fights as the field wherein it exercises its power. Exercising power through aggression, fighting and humiliating animals, is not only the final consequence of the destruction which such fighting invokes, but it also speaks of the dehumanisation of man. Fighting for an almighty anthropocentric position unfolds itself in the most acceptable form of social combat rituals, the background of which is often covered by a veil of secrecy. What is more, it unfolds itself indirectly, through those lacking access to rational, humanly manipulation.

This photographic essay originates from the author’s own reflection of human nature manifested in dog fights. The location and the origin of the photographs are kept secret on purpose, even though this phenomenon practically unfolds itself on our doorstep. As a matter of fact, the location seems irrelevant, since the phenomenon may be interpreted as metonymy for the state of man. Portraits of the dogs are actually portraits of people and rather than speaking of violence as a product of human manipulation, they speak of people, who they are and who they long for to be.

Katja Praznik

JAKA BABNIK

This graduate of Philosophical Faculty at the Universe of Ljubljana (a degree in social studies in sociology with the paper “Skateboard as an unique medium of experiencing city spaces” and a degree in history with the paper “History of Slovenian skateboarding”) has been working as a photographer and a cinematographer since 1996. Between 1998 and 2006 he has worked as a photo editor for Slovenian-Croatian skateboard magazine Pendrek. He is also an author (as a director, director of photography and an editor) of a few renowned Slovenian skateboard movies such as Damage (2002), for which he received a special award for realization at 7. Festival of Slovenian Independent Film and a film Listen to Srecna Mladina (2006) for which he received an award for his camera work at 10. Festival of Slovenian Independent Film. His camera skills can also be seen in skateboard movies such as: Rise up (Element Skateboards, Element Europe), Wolfstadt (The Harmony Skateboards, Great Britain), Nothing But the Truth (Nike Skateboarding, international).
As a photographer he had a chance to introduce himself at the exhibition Babnik and friends at Kazamat Gallery in Osijek (Croatia) in 2005 and at The Le Boxx Art Show in Malmö (Sweden). Together with a photographer Sergej Vutuc, he has started a project called Art of Asfalt (2007), that brought together different artists from the republic’s of Ex-Yugoslavia, that all have their roots in skateboard culture and street continues to be their space of expression. Under this title 4 exhibitions went down: in Student Centre in Zagreb (Croatia) where beside the classical exhibition format a big concrete sculpture was build, that fused together different perspectives that present a new step in the development of urban communication and its application to the street, but at the end also gave skateboarders a chance to perform tricks on it, and with that they gave it another meaning; on the island of Korcula (Croatia) where the exhibition was a part of Ooze Festival; at the House of Culture in Pivka (Slovenia) and in the Skateboard Museum in Stuttgart (Germany). The same group later joined forces for the “Opušteno” exhibition in June of 2009 in Tuzla (BiH) and at the 2009 Motovun film festival (Croatia) as a support for a “Why so serious?” exhibition by a Croatian street artis Puma 34. In July of same year, Jaka was a part of a group photo exhibition at the gallery of Department of Conservation for protecting national heritage in Split (Croatia).
Beside before mentioned work as a staff photographer at Pendrek Magazine and a few book covers for Goga Publishing Company (Lenart Zajc, “Zguba”; Dušan Čater, “Pojdi z mano”; Slavko Pregelj, “Car brez zaklada”; Janja Vidmar, “Angie”) and now as an editor/owner of Kontejner, Jaka has had his photos published in magazines like: Yeyo Skateboard Magazine (Austria), Last Try (Austria), Transworld Skateboarding Business (ZDA), Sidewalk (Great Britain), Uno (Spain), Dogway (Spain), Free Magazine (Czech Republik), Kingpin Skateboarding (Europe), Kolektiv (Croatia), Maska (Slovenia), Monster Skatboard Magazine (Germany), Place (Germany), Transition (Sweden) and Giftorm (Sweden).

Jaka Babnik

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