Barbara Kukovec (Online Gallery)


BIO | GALLERY | EXHIBITIONS | PERFORMANCES AND VIDEOS | PRIZES AND GRANTS
| ARTIST’S STATEMENT | CRITICAL APPRAISAL

ARTMargins is pleased to present new work by Barbara Kukovec (London/Ljubljana), from her exhibit The Pungk’tum Project (Exhibition Access Space, Sheffield, December, 2009). All images in the series were taken with self-made cameras, using film or paper treated with a photographic emulsion and printed in the darkroom on different surfaces. Kukovec was born in Slovenia in 1980 and has worked as an actor, dancer, and performer in a diverse range of theater and dance productions.  She is currently still active in this field with the performance art project Via Negativa. Recently Kukovec’s work has shifted into the realm of the visual arts, especially digital and analogue photography. Her interests are in the simplicity and flexibility allowed by a do-it-yourself aesthetic, from working with self made cameras to the construction of digital images with open source software tools. Kukovec lives and works in London . Her website is at http://barbarakukovec.com.

Barbara Kukovec, ‘Six Times the Window’, 2009, silver gelatin on paper, original negative, 43 x 76cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Self Portrait with Multiple Gasworks’, 2009, silver gelatin on paper, original negative, 46 x 71cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Self Portrait in Overlapping Corridors’, 2009, silver gelatin on paper, original negative, 51 x 71cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Scaffolding’, 2009, silver gelatin on paper, original negative, 43 x 76cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Barbara Kukovec, ‘Jackie and Me’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Captured Leaves’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Cigarette Butts’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 39 x 39cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Welcome to...’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Three Times Through’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 39 x 39cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Disintegrating Panel Openings’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 39 x 39cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Barbara Kukovec, ‘Sidney Street Parking and Ventilation Tower’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 31 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Traffic Lights’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 36 x 38cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Park Bench’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Peak District Access Land’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Paradise Café’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.Barbara Kukovec, ‘Jackie’, 2009, silver gelatin print on recycled computer hardware, 37 x 40cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

EXHIBITIONS
2009 The Pungk’tum Project, Exhibition Access Space, Sheffield
2009 At Home, Exhibition of Pinhole Photographs, Red Shoe Studio, Regent Studios, London
2009 Emzin Magazine Photography of the Year, short listed and exhibited, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana
2007 Koline, video, showing as part of Laura Trevail’s exhibition, The Viewfinder’s Gallery, London
PERFORMANCES AND VIDEOS (SELECTION)
2009 Spotlight on Me, part of VIA NOVA, Via Negativa, created by Barbara Kukovec and Bojan Jablanovec, www.vntheatre.com
2008 Obsession, video by Marina Grzinic and Aina Smid
2007 Oblivion, director: Ivan Peternelj, Maska
2007 Four Deaths, Via Negativa, director: Bojan Jablanovec
2007 Slovene National Theatre, direcor: Janez Jansa, Maska
2006 Mise Eire (I am Ireland), director: Dylan Tighe, The Museum of Fraudulent Identity
2006 Viva Verdi, Via Negativa, director: Bojan Jablanovec, Old Power Station
2005 Golem III, choreographer: Stefan M. Marb, Dance Theatre Ljubljana
2004 Moment, choreographer: Magdalena Reiter, Exodos, Stara Gara
2003 Blow Up, The night of Samuel Beckett, director : Ivana Vujic, City Theatre Ljubljana
2003 Faces from the Sand, director: Ivan Peternelj, Slovenian Youth Theatre
2003 More, Via Negativa, director: Bojan Jablanovec, Theatre Glej
2003 Golem II, choreographer: Stefan M. Marb, Dance Theatre Ljubljana
2003 Eastern House, video by Marina Grzinic and Aina Smid
2002 OHORGANIZEM, director: Dragan Zivadinov
2002 Koora, choreographer: Tanja Zgonc, Dance Theatre Ljubljana
2002 Starting Point: ANGER, Via Negativa, director: Bojan Jablanovec
PRIZES AND GRANTS
2009 Residency in Access Space, Sheffield, UK
2008 Residency in New York City Awarded by the Slovene Ministry of Culture
2005 Full Scholarship for Postgraduate Degree Awarded by the Slovene Ministry of Culture
2003 Zlata Ptica, National award for young perspective artists
2002 Studentska Severjeva nagrada (Student Sever Award) Acting Award
ARTIST’S STATEMENT
While the inclusion of the camera lens in devices from mobile phones to computers and portable media players has further democratised photography in some ways, it has also made us unquestioning of both the act and the technology that underpins that act. To revisit the fundamentals is to be empowered, without being influenced by the interface and pre-sets of mass produced technologies. The decision to follow a route of reductionism is not purely a political one, but is something more pragmatic. A background in theatre has informed my work through the exploration of the performer/spectator relationship. It is during the long exposure times afforded by pinhole cameras that the temporal stage emerges; the photograph is an artefact of duration, only the still or slowly moving become the protagonists, captured and compressed into a single image.  It is during this exposure that the possibility to play with the deeply rooted convention of performer/spectator-subject /photographer begins— the photographer can abandon her position and cross the threshold to become part of that performance or leave the scene completely. It is these types of subversions and interventions of presence and role that interest me.
CRITICAL APPRAISAL
Barbara Kukovec’s Pungk’tum Project exhibited at Access Space utilises ideas about the re-use of redundant computer technology and primitive photographic techniques to create thirty four images of urban Sheffield which at once distort and inform one’s understanding of a city-scape in the middle of a wholesale regeneration which has suddenly ground to a halt.
The pin-hole camera photographs show car parks, pavement level street vistas, road junctions and empty food markets. Mostly printed on the sides of desktop computer cases, they exhibit a kind of dark, Victorian photographic stillness and a very large depth of field. Each computer side gives only hints as to its origin and those images printed on paper show the brush strokes of the chemical wash (applied before the paper was exposed to a negative) giving the illusion of being painted artworks. The design of some panels, with vent gratings in various configurations, interact with the image subject in an almost geometrical relationship. All the images were created in the exhibition space while it was open to the public in the two weeks before the exhibition opened, and the processes were visible to everyone.
While the artist put the pinhole camera at ground level to take the photographs, she also exposes the photographic process from the ground level up, transforming the inaccessible technological magic into an understandable image making process by transforming computer junk into cameras and raw chemicals into artworks.
In this exhibition objects have not been used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
Jake Harries, Arts Programme Manager, Access Space

 

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