__________ART BOOK FAIR 2017_
OFFPRINT Fair London
May 19-21 2017
MISS READ: Berlin Art Book Festival 2017
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
July 14th – 16th, 2017 a
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 10557 Berlin
FRIENDS WITH BOOKS: Art Book Fair Berlin
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
September 22–24th 2017
born in Doboj (BiH) in 1979 was raised in Zagreb (HR), Heilbronn (DE) and currently lives and works in Berlin (DE).
Energy is really the word that comes to mind to talk about the work of Sergej Vutuc. Both in the production of zines and in the photographic work itself, there is the generosity, passion and even profusion. The world is moving, the world is changing, public spaces are constantly in evolution and it is here the question of appropriation of these territories. From the deep roots of subcultures from the margins of society such as punk and skateboarding, Sergej explores territories and makes them his. It makes us rediscover the city and invites us to look with new eyes that requires abandoning preconceptions. The city comes alive, and it is difficult to recognize.
Sergej chose not to work on conventional representations. The photographs are handled, crushed, interpreted. He interposes plastics filters, often simple bags for creating the texture in his images. He deconstructs reality, like memories out of a dream. The images are blurred as if to get away from reality. This aesthetic is becoming his trademark, his way of looking at the world, with which he combines some other signs, texts strummed we hardly read, like a background noise that would tell us something important but remains difficult to hear. Sergej’s own interpretation emphasizes and valorizes our imagination. The pictures are interactive, we must fill up the story with our own one.
Vutuc makes his own prints putting garbage between t, he light and the
paper, scratching and interfering with the image. Just as the images
themselves, many of the dilapidated buildings depicted bear scrapes,
scratches and wheel traces; signs that the structures have been put into
„good use,“ appropriated and re-invented by skateboarders.
Since the mid 1990s Vutuc has been engaged in the punk and skateboarding community and the aesthetics and philosophies of these DIY-cultures have granted his work a distinct character. Skateboarding is an undenia- ble part of all this, but the board here might better be understood as a vehicle, than a sporting tool or past time.
Vutuc’s work reaffirms that the skateboarder is not a detached voyeur of urban modernity. He has to constantly engage with his environment, re-invent and make new use out of it. His gaze, like Vutuc’s, is a nomadic one. It is always searching for things that are usable, beautiful or just plain fun, things he can invest himself in. These fragments become the raw material for stories the „mouth can never say,“ stories privileged for the eye.
There is seldom anything monumental or grandiose in Vutuc’s photographs. Just as in the skateboard pictures, his focus is directed on the small things surrounding him. The events he documents are therefore never the flamboyant stunts or the loud and dramatic „big moments.“ They are deeply affirmative and at the core of this sub-cultural scene from which his work grew. It is this realization that whatever you have grown up with, isn’t something you are stuck with. Every situation, like the city itself, is adaptable.
The work of Sergej Vutuc is about observing the development of the modern society; a privatization of the
public space and conquering the nature with concrete, on one side, and the natural human urge to expand
to be in between, to exist playfully and live through imagination, on the other side. Skateboard culture is just
one of many contemporary social subcultures whose philosophy is based on the aspiration for playfulness
and urge to use the open space in the context of freedom of expression. Sergej researches this phenomenon
and participates in it through his position of the modern nomad, whose radius of movement includes specific
places such as Fukushima, Detroit, Israel and Palestine, strong symbols of on going human mistakes and
wrong directions in social and economic development. Through his work, he grasps a surreal feeling of a new
or parallel existence, and, even though it can sound utopian,
moments of the shift of perception in the human and the society in general.
Dunja Jankovic, Skver