Cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition on January 14 at 9 pm in the Alkatraz gallery
The artworks of Tomaž Tomažin explore and reveal the attitude of an individual towards society. The essence of his works is manipulation of the visible, and his aim to encourage a reflection about the contemporary society and the identity of an individual in it.
Around My Head is an exhibition, composed of the latest panoramic photographs from the 360 Series. The panoramas are computer edited photographic shots composed in a way to encompass the entire space, i.e. 360 degrees around the axis of shooting. Within it, the author appears as an auxiliary; in many bodies of himself and in various roles. Of the utmost importance, but also a very time-consuming part of their creation is the choice of interiors and locations where the shooting takes place, as the chosen locations allocate the contextual frame to the final photograph. The author, with his physical presence, does not remain only within the artistic level, but also incorporates social themes into the photographs.
In the panorama entitled In Honour of the Hat the viewer finds him- or herself in a hat manufacturer workshop where the hat production is present as active labour only secondarily, and the relaxed hanging around and discussion within the circle of the family are the primary focus. The Arrow and the Violin depicts the studio of a fiddler Daniel Musek, where we can see Tomažin in the roles of a manufacturer all the way to the testing of the finished instrument, where we, somewhere in between, witness an nearly suicidal testing of the bow. The photography depicts the time-consuming and precise process of production resembling the process of archiving and the human history itself.
In the Waiting for the Idea we catch him in nature, surrounded with multiplied half-naked young woman wearing an animal mask. The artist in a meditative posture of a „zen buddhist“ with his eyes closed and golden-coloured palms, fingers stretched out, alludes to the myth of a genius – artist – man, with the notion of mocking and condemning patriarchate, concealed underneath. For his creative process the „genius“ is inevitably in need of inspiration and he - with his “golden” hands - thoughtfully and inspiringly catches - creates with the help of his muses, whose only purpose is to fulfil all the desires and passions of their god – the artist. This is a pivotal panorama – the one who is of auxiliary importance here is not the author, stemming from his situation of an over-burdened individual, but the emphasis lies within the overburdening of the opposite sex, equally compelled to perform numerous, or looking from the historical view, even more roles, to establish herself a stable position in the world.
And as we are really in need of multiple copies of ourselves for successful performance of all the duties, the production of these panoramas subtly reminds us of the daily rhythm of overburdening. They are actually light boxes, just like a PC, that we more and more often stare at. Tomažin’s works also represent stagings of fragmental stories, each of them creating a coincidental narration in a different way, thus establishing a link with the photographs of Jeff Wall and Andrej Gursky. With a mixture of all the elements present within they puzzle the reader/viewer, create psychological tensions among spaces and the participants, and make up stories that are difficult to read, so perhaps the aspect of the lighting of the display unconsciously connects the viewer with stories, and introduces him or her into an easier identification with the topic.
The absurdity of the dialogues and situations is what adds a sense of humour to the artworks of Tomaž Tomažin. Faced with his landscapes the viewers are ever again inevitably forced to pose the questions concerning their identity to themselves, just like the artist reflects – through them – about his position in the world, questioning himself about his own image and identity.
An independent presentation of a multimedia artist Tomaž Tomažin (1971) represents his most recent works and points to a continuous engagement with photography as a medium, since he introduced himself with his first landscape photographs already in 2007. He has exhibited his photographic works at several group as well as individual exhibitions at home and abroad, amongst which is also the Moscow Biennial in 2009. Tomaž Tomažin studied the History of Art at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana (1991 - 1997). In 2000 he graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and, in 2004 he attained his MA in Sculpture and the New Media. In 1999 he received the Student Prešeren Award for Sculpture.
Photo: Sunčan P. Stone