The starting point of my work is the question of the reality behind identity-forming images in an ever changing society, the production and the conditions, its readability and reception. I ask for the mutual conditionality of photo- graphy and architecture, as well as the reciprocal dependency of both of these language systems. I am interested in their interplay and the relation of the image and illustratability. Based on the assumption that both photography as well as architecture can equally be utilized in a judgemental and manipulative way, I try to analyze the possibi- lities and problems of the constructing qualities of these two genres. Photography is by no means regarded as a medium producing pure reality any longer, but it is seen as an autonomous medium with judgemental, interpretative characteristics. The same can be said about architecture.

Turkish Empire was governing lands from Hungary to Georgia, from Algiers to Eritrea over half of millennium. Its collapse gave countries to the generations which lived under Turkish occupation. These terrains are still suffering from shakes which are echoes of the history. We can find traces of it in the landscape: ruined houses in Bosnia, empty terrains near Kars in eastern Anatolia where millions of Armenians used to live, removed faces of Saints from Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian monasteries, ruins of Trapezunt or Ani. We can read sub consciousness of former Ottoman Empire nations from their landscapes. The more we travel through former Empire of Turks the more we notice the impact of hundreds years of cultural, economical and religious occupation on landscape of todays Bulgaria, Albania or Greece. Genius landscape painter John Constable said: We see nothing truly till we understand it.

Metropolitan can refer to a citizen of a metropolis, especially one who has the sophistication, urbane attitudes and values. In the past, word ‘metropole’ have been used to describe metropolitan centre of the British Empire considering London as a cultural, financial and diplomatic heart of the empire. To these days London continued it’s position as en ever-growing global city and most important city in Europe.

The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw – less and less a symbol of Stalinist domination, more and more an icon of the city. It evokes strong emotions all the while remaining largely unexplored, and as such a tad alien. At the time of planning, in 1952, the monumental structure was intended to transform the scale of Warsaw cityscape. The skyscrapers that now cluster to the west of the Palace compete with the building. Nonetheless, due to vast and empty parade grounds surrounding it, the Palace towers over Warsaw thus far unthreatened. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the demolition of the Palace was repeatedly debated, although never seriously considered. In 2007 the building was finally listed.

Long Before” is an expression of longing for nature and its connection with our ancestors. Nature in Diana Lelonek’s works is extraordinary – tempting and disturbing at the same time. It evokes a stream of contrasting emotions: longing, fascination and anxiety.

The very first thing that I saw in Skopje was the construction of a 25-meter tall figure of a warrior on horseback which, from what I later found out, was the statue of Alexander the Great.

The motivation to begin the project entitled “Sparks” was a desire to create a multifaceted portrait of a contemporary war. In particular a portrait of the conflict in Ukraine, which seems to be forgotten even though it is happening in Europe.

“Push the Sky Away” is a triptych, with each part of the work the consequence of what has gone before, as well as leading on to the next. It is a creative path that has given me an interest in the primeval cultures from which our own cultural codes have grown. As a consequence I attempt to extract an underlying structure, which I believe is unchanging and unchanged. My feeling is that this lies within the tra­dition of the emotions, rituals, and behavior – elements which are shared in com­mon across all cultures, and to which photography has access.

cover-polish-monthIn december OSTLOOK celebrates the month of Polish photography. This time we won’t only show projects about postsoviet Poland, we’ve also selected outstanding works which reflect contemporary issues of the neighbouring countries and complex personal stories. The Polish photography scene is active and passionate. International photography events like Fotofestiwal in Lodz, TIFF Festival in Wroclaw and Photomonth in Krakow are exposing emerging talents from all over the world. Platforms like „Fresh From Poland“ explore new trends, publish and promote upcoming Polish photographers. Collectives like „Sputnik“ or „People You May Know“ are working on diverse projects around the globe. We will feature a selection of emerging Polish artists that represent diverse perspectives of contemporary storytelling, covering personal, subjective, poetic, analytic and conceptual approaches.

Curated by Jewgeni Roppel

This month, the eyes are not only looking to Paris, also in Slovakia a lot of photography events happens. For the 7th time the Off-Festival opened it’s doors in the beautiful old Pisztory Palace in Bratislava.

Katalin Száraz