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Past exhibitions

Jane Štravs: American Express

By 30. 4. 2012 April 15th, 2019 No Comments

Jane Štravs
American Express

30.03.2012 – 9.05.2012

Jane Štravs points to the state of photography at a time when the new digital media allow everyone to be their own photographer, cameraman, and archivist. Can photography renovate itself as well? Most of Štravs’ photographs are but shots of shots, as the content within his photographs seems to be already framed on the street. Packed for memory instead of presenting Reality. These photographs are already “off the field,” functioning similarly as new wave films.

Jane Štravs
American Express

Photobiennale 2012, Moscow
http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/en/exhibitions/american-express/

Enigmatic moving-picture icons
Marina Gržinić

The series of black and white photographs on New York is today an anachronism of its own kind. Or else? Immanuel Wallerstein, the American theorist on world systems, states that the USA is renewing its economic–financial capitalist system by having pushed the system into crisis. What does New York look like in black and white? What did it look like before Obama and the crisis? Already in crisis! Jane Štravs points to the state of photography at a time when the new digital media allow everyone to be their own photographer, cameraman, and archivist. Can photography renovate itself as well? Most of Štravs’ photographs are but shots of shots, as the content within his photographs seems to be already framed on the street. Packed for memory instead of presenting Reality. These photographs are already “off the field,” functioning similarly as new wave films. The repetitive alteration of black and white surfaces is reminiscent of the time on the eve of the crisis. In Štravs’ photography various objects are presented in simple way, sometimes with repetitive motions over monochrome backdrops, creating enigmatic moving-picture icons. We see images that recall fascination with 1950s movies and the aesthetics of snapshots. Štravs presents shots of USA’s mythologies, racial segregation and its militaristic turn. Who is on the street? Where is the Public? What is the Public? These questions are again important to be posed in relation to the present series. Štravs’ photography never gives up, trying to challenge our perception and questioning where is our place in this world.

Dr. Marina Gržinić is researcher at the Institute of Philosophy ZRC SAZU in Ljubljana and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Jane Štravs

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