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Nataša Segulin // Lumen

By 25. 9. 2019 November 4th, 2019 No Comments

Nataša Segulin
Lumen

4.11.2019 – 10.01.2020

Nataša Segulin
Lumen

LUMEN

Nataša Segulin began her work in photography following her retirement. Prior to that she had continuous exposure to visual art, as she was a journalist and editor of the cultural programme on television. She soon began to exhibit her work and it’s no surprise that her fourth series Lumen thrust her, with the same confidence and curiosity, into a new form of creativity – the »writing« of a photobook. Despite its long tradition, the photobook has been through a true renaissance in the past decade. The term describes a book in which the photographs are the only constituting element of narration. It is not only about a sequencing of photographs, but rather about providing a wholesome narrative through images.

When first viewing the photographs of the Lumen series, the eye unused to visual reading enters a place of shadows, darkness and decay. However, the artist’s story of a crumbling, centuries-old complex[1] is read in another way. The story is simple. We follow the protagonist, natural light, in three chapters, as it slowly unveils and deglamourizes. In the first chapter, protruding slants of light are unravelling miniscule details and creating mystical, dream-like images. We could be anywhere. Then, Lumen takes us into the tangible, but is entirely subordinate to geometry. Only in the third chapter is the exhausted body of a former maternity hospital illuminated, the walls stripped off to recognition. It is unforgiving, unmasking the misery, but bringing hope, light and warmth at the same time.

The aesthetic of the atmosphere is an important part of the tale. In the tradition of abstract photography, the real pictorial space is eliminated. She focuses on the use of light and shape, colour, texture and tonality, and through them expresses feelings, sensations and impressions. The deteriorating, ugly, depressing reality disappears under the warmth of light, rich contrasts between dark and light, the softness of shadows, haptic drawing of structures, the rhythm of recurring shapes and the muted, monochrome colour palette, which emphasizes beauty and harmony.

The artist’s visual narrative is and is not a story of a building. It is a testimony of an eye that reads visually wherever it turns. A true constant in her work are the language of balance, harmonious and minimalistic, the clarity, rhythm or repetition of simple archetypical shapes, the tangibility of textures and vivid contrasts between light and shadow. Just as the feelings of peace, quiet and harmony which she places in the former Servite monastery, in the hopes of a bright future.

Every artistic series speaks of the author themselves. With Nataša Segulin, we are always in spaces which are somehow remote, even though they’re bustling with people at the same time (the port of Koper, quarries, tourist destinations with cultural heritage value). The cause for the tale of lumen is a love for art and cultural heritage, a personal involvement in a physical space, the city of Koper, and the artist’s own emotions related to the building, from which the name of the series evolves. »Lumen as light, radiance, and the happiness and joy accompanying the birth of so many Primorska and Istria residents, I was born here, as was my family… light as hope for a better tomorrow.« Her positive credo is recognized as part of her photographic expression and although she is mainly concerned with formalist aspects of her photography, she tried, in her newest series, to affect a change in the collective social consciousness. If we look at Sartre’s definition of engaged literature, which states that »literature reveals to the reader their own situation, for them to take responsibility for it«, then in terms of defining an artistic style, her engaged poetic questioning of society’s attitudes toward heritage as one of the key elements of national identity has, in the case of Lumen, crossed the threshold of contemporary art.

Renata Štebih, art historian

[1] The Servite monastery in Koper’s old town is a building with the status of a cultural monument of national importance. It is one of the oldest complexes in the city and a superb architectural example of its era and of the style common all along the eastern Adriatic coast. The location, taken and inhabited by the Servites in 1453, has been inhabited already in Roman times. A Benedictine monastery with the church of St. Martin used to stand in its place. The monastery was used for different purposes through the centuries, including a military hospital. Since 1810 and until the second world war, a general city hospital was based there, but after the war and until 1996, a regional maternity hospital and paediatric department were based in the building. When the maternity hospital moved out in 1996, the former monastery spaces with its countless stories of the past, became empty. The interior is decaying, collapsing in on itself and has been waiting on renovation and revitalization for years. (After Neža Čebron Lipovec and Minka Osojnik, 2017: Stavbna zgodovina samostanske zgradbe / Storia della costruzione del convento. IN: Servitski samostan, Arhitekturni in arheološki spomenik v osrčju Kopra / Il convento dei serviti, Un monumento architettonico e archeologico nel cuore di Capodistria, ed. Neža Čebron Lipovec et al., Milano: Politecnico di Milano).

 

TÒ PHÔS, LIGHT, LUMEN AND DARKNESS AS LUX AETERNA –

LICHTUNG INTO DARK, AS DUNKELHEIT, FROM DARKNESS –

AMYDRON INTO LIGHT – PHÔS

 

And that brought to my mind a certain image, at which I immediately shrugged and even tried to stifle my imagination, which is always quick to react; but still I cannot say I have not thought of the image which appeared to me in that moment; and I’ll tell you what I thought of, even though you’ll shrug your shoulders, as I did: I thought of God’s FIAT LUX. (A. Artaud, Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara).

 

Darkness as amydron is replaced by light … and caves, tunnels and canals in the Underworld: the barricaded »cave« replaced by Heaven = reflection of mirrors on the floor, walls and from open windows. The photography of a (former) maternity hospital as home of Woman … and line. Lines = light beams as »fruhe Spur«, as »early trace« of light out of darkness … And the patterns, wrinkles and spirals which peek out of doors and windows (some, some kind) of a sentimental building and … a fairy-tale city … out of a sunken and cathartic decaying and remerging »house of essence«.

 

Photography as clinamen and art = artist and photography as object in the making, transience and eternal, never-ending production, the basic, core amoebity (Indo-European ambh), the crossing into a being of the pre-image as a possible and probable existence of Art, dwelling for-yourself and on-yourself and at the same time in a social contract with the world and art in the making: like a paradise come to life, gardens of Eden as opportunity and enclosing of the divine and at the same time mortal pansexual relationship between photo/graphy and photo/grapher. At first as a reconciliation of yourself and others, others inside you and the capital Other, Art with a capital A, the other from another and objet petit a as the artistic in photographic gift and act.

 

 

Andrej Medved, poet and philosopher

 

Nataša Segulin

Born in 1948 in Koper, Slovenia, Nataša Segulin graduated in 1973 from the Faculty of Arts Ljubljana. She worked as member of editorial staff, journalist and editor, and for the past twelve years as editor-in-chief at the TV Koper-Capodistria (TV Slovenija). She became interested in photography while studying art history and, subsequently, working as an arts and culture journalist. Following current events with a camera, editing, contributing news items and news stories, shows and, obviously, attending various exhibitions provided Nataša with ample creative inspiration and was crucial in shaping her artistic vision, which she was able to fully pursue only after her retirement in 2011.Travels with her partner, archaeologist and photographer Slavko Ciglenečki, have also been a great inspiration, the archaeological expeditions to remote and hidden Roman sites on three continents. A marked influence on her approach to photography has also been the internationally acclaimed artist and photographer Diana Lui (Fotografija Gallery, Ljubljana 2013). She is a member of the Slovenian Association of Fine Arts Societies.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019 – Lumen, Galerija Fotografija Gallery, Ljubljana, SI

2018 – »Geometry – the Rationality of a view«, 7th International
Fine Arts Festival Kranj, SI

 

2017
In the Harbour, Fotogalerija Stolp, Maribor, SI
In the Harbour, Equrna Gallery, Ljubljana, SI
In the Harbour, Gallery Kranjčar, Zagreb, HR
In the Harbour, Art Photo Budapest, HU
In the Harbour, Month of Photography, Bratislava, SK

2016
The Poetics of Silence, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, SI

2015
Sounds of Silence, Kulturni dom, Šmarje pri Jelšah, SI
Sounds of Silence, Zavičajni muzej, Biograd na Moru, HR
In the Harbour, Loggia Gallery Koper (Obalne galerije Piran), SI
In the Harbour, Gallery SKC Korotan, Vienna, AT

2014
Sounds of Silence, Galerija Meduza Koper (Obalne galerije Piran), SI

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019
AZIL, Grin Photo Gallery, Umag, HR
AZIL, Gravisi palace, Koper, SI
AZIL, Biblioteca statale Stelio Crise, Trieste, IT
ART LINKS 2019, Novi Sad, SRB

2018
»We’re still swimming«, Gallery DLUL, Ljubljana, SI
Festival of Photography Maribor 2018, Gallery DLUM, Maribor, SI
»Cicle 13.0 Distant proximity – Art/History«, Stift Lilienfeld,  AT

2016
Street Stories, Museo d’Arte Moderna Ugo Cara’, Muggia(TS),IT

2015
4.International Fine Arts Festival Kranj-ZDSLU 2015, Kranj, SI
Recognition for high quality artwork
Street Stories, TheArtPhoto Gallery, Triest, IT
Street Stories, Gallery of Modern Art, Koper, SI
Street Stories, Gallery Lera, Piran, SI

2014
Sounds of Silence 3, Evening projections of the feastival »Photonic Moments – Month of Photography 2014«, Ljubljana, SI
Sounds of Silence, »Remains of a City + Photo Emona«, Park Tivoli, Ljubljana, SI
Galerija Meduza Koper (Obalne galerije Piran), SI
Library Galerija Fotografija, Ljubljana, SI

2013
Sounds of Silence,Thursday award 2013, Festival of documentary photography Fotopub, Novo mesto, SI
Slovene Female photographers 2013, Kosova Graščina, Jesenice, SI

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