Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Goran Bertok Postmortem Photography

 For the past twenty years, Slovenian artist Goran Bertok has been recording and portraying the human body, its fragility and transience, which eventually leads to the very end, the physical death. In doing so, he is not merely interested in wider cultural and social aspects of the contemporary understanding of body and death, but rather in the very encounter with matter as the consequence of a discontinued life. Although in the spirit of the time, his photographic portraits of helpless bodies have become rather subversive, this is merely the expected collateral reaction of an individual integrated in the conventions of a given space and time. This is followed by unconscious referring to and interfering with the endless symbolism of the phenomenon of death, although the artist manages to avoid it by applying direct naturalism. However, the visual material on display is always provided a wider historical, social or intimate context by unconscious associations to the iconography of death as well as the fear of the obscure and unknown, which death certainly is.

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