Tatjana Pregl Kobe
THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF ART
Damir Globochnik is an art historian and critic who has been active in organising exhibitions for which he also writes critical appraisals. For several years now he has also been exhibiting his own photographs from a series entitled Abstract Segments of Nature (2005-2011). Damir has cooperated with a number of different galleries and has exhibited his works at the Slovenian Biennial in Kranj, the exhibition entitled Risba in slika v prostoru Alpe-Jadran, (Drawings and Images between the Alps and the Adriatic) the biennial photographic exhibitions Pokrajina (Landscape) and Fotominiatura (Photo-miniature) and other exhibitions organised by the Cabinet of Slovenian photography at the Gorenjski Muzej in Kranj. He has also been involved in the Triglav painting/sculpture camp, various art workshops and has been a member of the jury in various art competitions. He is also the art editor of Revija SRP and its bilingual version Lives. His research work is in the field of Slovenian caricature and satirical illustration and connections between cultural/political history and art history in the 19th and 20th centuries in Slovenia.
For his own visual art Globochnik uses photography, the most widespread of visual media which has conquered the world in a time when visual art is seeking new paths and he is by no means of the opinion that its potential has been exhausted. His photographic project Abstract Segments of Nature, which has been six years in the making, consists of a broad spectrum of different photographs bearing the same title and concept. Throughout his work he chooses his motifs by intuitively observing the landscape. Photographs that appear to be the fruit of on-the-spot inspiration were actually thought out in advance and planned. Motifs from certain sections of landscape become universal abstract visual narrative due to their artistically interpreted image.
An innate sense for detail and composition combined with a digital camera were the basis for Globochnik’s photographs which possess a distinct artistic narrative. He found simple yet grandiose motifs for his photographs around the pool for wet sand separation on the meander of the River Sava near Radovljica. These photographs appear like pure art as they would have a similar visual effect and provide a similar emotional experience if they were produced in the traditional painting medium. He selected individual segments and shaped them according to his own feeling into suitable compositions. The photographs contain no concrete forms although they allow the viewer to create various associations. Globochnik’s visual narrative is consciously abstract, searches for beauty and the harmony of forms. He takes photographs of the real world as we do not usually see it from close-up. The purified visual field shows microstructures that came into being through denudation, the traces of water and animal movement recorded in the sand and the unusual graininess and colourfulness of the sedimentary deposits. The clean lines are not metaphorical although symbolism is inherent in them. Globochnik plays with certain colour effects for which he chooses the light conditions prevalent at particular times of the day. Colour and form are of equal importance while light is of special importance.
He experiences colour in all its material and symbolic power while the chosen light gives life to the body of the image. When at a precise moment he decides to capture the narrative formed by the accentuated aesthetic form of chosen segments of nature, the contrasting exchange of soft and hard lines functions above all on the basis of harmonic transitions. The 3D nature of textures is emphasised using an appropriate shooting angle, deliberately shot against the light and focused on the chosen detail. The effect of strong reflections from wet surfaces is also made use of. The photographs are not further edited, only the intensity of light effects is changed. The chosen series of abstract photographs address the viewer with pure aesthetic delight in which optically interesting forms are poetically suggestive and express the photographer’s deep feeling for existence in this present time that is so full of visual information.
Damir Globochnik as an art photographer seeks and finds a wealth of forms in the real world which then appear through the working of light and light effects in that part of the chosen motif which he consciously chooses. He is enticed by nature’s minute details, the view of a minimal section of landscape which photographed from an appropriate distance and at a precisely chosen angle makes a magically attractive image that is as real as it is made up. He searches for a motif until he finds one that is worthy of his attention and in order to achieve what he desires he calms himself in order that his images bear a convincing message. Only once he has found the right composition does he give the final image its final equilibrium with his own artistic style. Helped by his expert knowledge of painting, he takes certain rules of painting from the general principles of art and includes them in his own photographic compositions. That is why they possess the elevated harmony and quiet majesty of simple but visually effective art. Clearly defined compositions fill the image in such a way that its structure and elementary colour are visibly preserved. The forms of structures existing in real life give away only an inkling of the real source of the motif.
Respect for tradition in an art historical sense is certainly evident in Globochnik’s photography. His quest for beauty manifests itself in his photographs as a refined sense for recognising characteristics of composition, the harmony of colours and structures. The photographs are full of strong contrasts and the meticulous search for glowing colour highlights, while it is surprising to find in the soft lines of the undulating ground sharp, almost violently interrupted lines, which with their dramatic nature give the photographs true energy. His gradual uncovering of nature as he records it with his camera also includes his special wish for a well-considered selection. The large number of motifs he encounters during walks on his chosen terrain also means a greater possibility of finding the composition he is looking for. With his inventive photographic segments he is looking for beauty and the sublime through the perspective of the universal principles of art. When in a precise moment he feels that he has found what he is seeking and what attracts him, the photographs are born almost of their own accord.
Translated from Slovenian by Marko Petrovich