URBANAUTICA IN SERBIA FOR MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART OF VOJVODINA
by Steve Bisson


THE NEW EDITION NATURAE 2014:  ’THE EXPERIENCE OF SPACE’

In 2013 Steve Bisson was invited by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Serbia to curate a new exhibition with Ljubica Milović Mastilović.

The theme of the research is the “Experience of Space - Landscape in Photography”. Perception, as a term, suggests more of a physiological mechanism of seeing and observing while experience has a strong component of personalized interpretation and emotions related to what we see Researching how the manner of representation influences the way we experience space (specifically, the landscape) through photography as a media.

Different photographers have been invited for the exhibition: Jordi Huisman (The Netherlands), Dustin Shum (Hong Kong), Geoffroy Mathieu (France), David Pollock (Canada), Paolo Fusco (Italy), Dušan Rajić  (Serbia), Juan Margolles (Argentina), Mustafah Abdulaziz (United States), Ryan Debolski (United States), Sérgio Rolando (Portugal).

The catalog include the following essay:
Ljubica Milović Mastilović (read here)
Steve Bisson (read here)
Gary Green (read here)
Natalya Reznik (read here)

THE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Mustafah Abdulaziz
b. 1986
United States

Water

«Water is photographic typology of a natural resource in crisis. Structured into chapters, this project reflects on our relationship with water, how we use and misuse it, to ultimately understand our place within one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is an on-going project, spanning water issues from 32 countries, created with grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and commissions from the United Nations and WaterAid. The final collection of images, selected from photo essays on each water issue, will then be displayed in a touring exhibition in 2018 in order to educate and bring awareness to water as a critically global and interconnected topic.»

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Mustafah Abdulaziz’s website here

Ryan Debolski
b. 1982
USA

Unfinished City

«The recent economic collapse in Dubai left an unfinished city stuck in the desert. Development in many areas slowed down considerably or even stopped completely, awaiting the funds necessary to complete projects. Buildings remained empty without any occupants in the city core. Prebuilt neighborhoods devoid of residents resembled ghost towns. Outlying areas already master planned appeared like mirages in the distance. The surrounding stagnation clashed with the expectations of the past and the realizations of the future. This photographic series documents this transitional period in a city without boundaries.»

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Paolo Fusco
b. 1980 
Italy

Fiori 24h

«Hardly anything is open 24h in Rome: a few bars, a few stores, self service gas stations and flower kiosks, a lot of flower kiosks. You can find them everywhere in the city and they never close. They never close, and they stay open 365 days (and nights) a year. Their presence has always fascinated me, they seem like sentinels in the quiet roman night, small lighthouses populated by half-asleep immigrant workers. An hint of mystery sorrounds them, but it’s probably just a business model which takes advantage of the immigrant workers’ need to have a place to spend the night.»

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Jordi Huisman
b. 1982
The Netherlands

Close but not really and Outline

«Almere Poort is the newest part of the fastest growing city of The Netherlands, Almere. The on-going documentary ‘Close, but not really’ shows the development of the area from early 2008. It’s an investigation on how people use new residential area’s while those are not completed yet. 

In the 1950’s and 60’s an area that is now known as the province of Flevoland was reclaimed from the IJsselmeer. A large dyke surrounds this polder, which lies fives meters below water level. The dyke forms an elevated outline, protecting the land from flooding. The series ‘Outline’ portrays Flevoland and its essential outline. It shows how life, infrastructure and nature got implemented after this part of the former Zuiderzee was reclaimed and land was created.»

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Juan Margolles
b. 1975
Argentina

Inhabit Fedora

«Only man inhabits. A space is inhabited by individuals who leave consciously or unconsciously marks of life that represent and distinguish them. These footprints also enable us to recognize ourselves within our surrounding.

“Inhabit Fedora” reflects on this concept and analyzes residential and recreational spaces which have been designed exclusively under a principle of functionality and where evidence of the reality, questions the social function of the city in the individual and collective development of the citizens.»

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Geoffroy Mathieu
b. 1972
France

Marseille, Wild City

«The city is thought to be a world in itself, something which, in a sense, places us humans “outside” the world. We assume that there is an urban stage in human development, that the city dweller is a human being torn from the natural condition – and free at long last. That ties  in with the common sentiment that, in the city, one is not in nature. Baptiste Lanaspeze.»

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

David Pollock
b. 1952
Canada

Enclosure

During 2011 and 2012, I made photographs in a community garden which consists of about 140 plots in Victoria, Canada. Each plot reveals an intimate and idiosyncratic interaction between a human and the natural world. 

These plots together form a larger garden, a representation of paradise, enclosed and separated from the wilderness. Hortus conclusus, literally meaning enclosed garden, is a recurrent theme in Medieval and Renaissance art and is an expression of our desire for shelter within cultivated nature and protection from the cycles of birth and death. The photographs replace a scenic description of nature with one that incorporates human activity in the process of growth and decay.  

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Dušan Rajić 
b. 1983
Serbia

Exile Esthetics

A series of photographs documents people without their real home, a way of their lives and their settlements. Nomads of the 21st century, driven from their homes or looking for better, are forced to make temporary shelters. Whether they are an illegal asylum seekers from East wanted to flee to the rich West or Roma from Kosovo and southern Serbia, which survive in the city, their way of life is amazingly similar. Forced to make contact with their surroundings because of mere survival at the same time must be alert to the law, police and racist violence.

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Sergio Rolando
b. 1978
Portugal

Manifold Landscape

The Douro Valley landscape is quite consensual. It is said to be unique, spectacular and sublime. It is considered a World Heritage Site. Its consumption is a continuous and insatiable desire. The omnipresence of its own image accents the illusion of conquering and belonging, showing how invasive and permanent the image of a place can be. We propose a two-fold portrayal of the figurative interpretation of Douro by the locals. Images that portray a reality removed from reflexion, which both enhance its exhaustive experience and the permanent commercialization of the region.

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco

Dustin Shum
b. 1971
Hong Kong

«’Blocks’ is a documentary series about Hong Kong’s public housing estates. The kindergarden styled color palette of these housing fail to hide the realities public housing tenants are living in: low income, unemployment, disability, family problems, new immigrants, a society of an aging population, etc. The appearance and what is inside is simply a glaring contrast.Through these “portraits” of face-lifted old buildings, shops and restaurants folded due to sky-high rent of “Link REIT” (a real estate investment trust), the surreal as well as gloomy atmosphere of these estates that nearly half of the Hong Kong population regarded as “home” is shown.» 

read more here

© Installation view. Image by Paolo Fusco