Dragan Marković (Belgium) has attended the URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES workshop with Mark Power.
I'm 30 years old and I've been a photographer for almost 10 years now. I studied at Ecole de Recherche Graphique, Brussels, a school which gave me a large spector of knowledge in the field of contemporay photography, and art in general.My ongoing project is based on the idea of the city as a stage. web site
A stage for citizen and for buildings as well. Constructions, especially houses, have always fascinated me. This fascination is double-sided. I enjoy the silentness and the shapes of the modern ways of housing. On the other hand, I deplore the dehumanization which comes along. Nothing is black or white and I try to find this dialectical middle way between the visual, poetical pleasure and a quite ironic criticism on how the cities as they're designed nowadays provoke a lack of encounters, some kind of alienation, the disappearing of citizenship,... I'm also a big fan of the German school, the New Objectivity and i think it's a beautiful challenge to find out what this movement worths now that new technologies are evolving so fast. Digital photography broke the analogical photographic chain and one can question the authencity and objectivity of a cliché when it's eventually all about data.I wanted to attend this workshop because I wish to develop my project methodology and learn new techniques. Another point is meeting other photographers with another modus operandi, and, of course, learn from Mark Power's experience in the field of large scale photo project.
Free lance curator and teacher of History of photography, Spain
I think the portfolio that you presented is very interesting. Also taking into account that it was carried out in very few days, you must be congratulated. It is clear that you have had excellent training and that you have managed to cultivate your skills over the years.
The selected photographs show an undeniable ability for framing. This is a skill which creates different levels of meaning within the image and a meticulousness which is particularly necessary when viewing an architectural space such as the one you have chosen.
The difficulty looming at this stage, is perhaps the similarity with other projects of the same style by authors from your own generation, or even slightly older, that could render your voice invisible or put it on mute. In other words, the images could be interpreted too formally or literally because currently there are many photographers working in this same field. This inevitably generates a lot of interference. On the other hand, this problem could also be a challenge which forces you to work on it even more intensely and with even more dedication to organize these discursive lines which make the project flow, without allowing this to cause you to forget your favourite stylistic references.
Similarly, it may be beneficial, before taking more photographs, or in any case, as you carry on developing the project, that you go deeper into the hypothesis proposed by your project. Your initial approach is interesting but I think it is still too general, it would require greater precision in the basic parameters. I’m not only referring to whether you decide right now if you would like to work in one city, or many, rather to what aspects of the architectural structures you would really be interested in analysing through the camera and what they bring into play in everyday life. What really drives your interest for these types of structures? What is it about them that challenges you? What are the issues that you would be interested in reflecting on through your photographs? I’m sure you are doing it, but it is essential that your own questions and their possible answers act as a guide; not only to justify what you like, but also in order to propose an interpretation that provides new insights on this type of urban and architectural structure that you have chosen to photograph.
At the edition of the portfolio, the issue of the gates has a role which is almost redundant. If you consciously opt for repetition as an approach, it is important to thoroughly deal with this issue to highlight the different ways of interpretation. If it is a broader issue about the concept of access and its failure, it would not hurt to explore it more so that the viewer has specific information about this place and this type of structure.
Regarding the image of the workers, it is an interesting twist, and it raises issues throughout the development of your project. It’s important not to take these issues too lightly, too generically or as something which is only attractive from an aesthetic point of view. In your e-mail you talked about the “reverse glove”. I think it is a very evocative image. It would not only be useful to overcome this primary opposition which you pointed out in your e-mail, referring to the dichotomy between the constructed building/the builder, or between noise/silence, but it could also be a “door” which opens up issues that would be particularly interesting to explore.
Overall, I think it is a very promising project if you can be more specific and go deeper into your discursive approaches, which I am sure you will achieve and bring to fruition. May I suggest some reading that could perhaps be challenging for your project, as well as some authors who might be of interest and who you might be able to identify with.
Guido Guidi, A New Map of Italy, 2011, www.loosestrifebooks.com
Dieuwertje Komen, especially his project Commonness, www.dieuwertjekomen.nl/work/commonness/exhibition/attachment/04/
Jean François Chevrier, Des Territoires. Paris : l’Arachnéen, 2011. Particularly the interview with Rem Koolhas : « Changement de dimensions ». Págs. 48-
Francesco Careri, Walkscapes. El andar como práctica estética. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2003. (The original is in Italian).