Exhibits: Rome, the inner world in Eugen Bavcar's photos

Photos of blind artist at Museo in Trastevere until 25/3

19 January, 12:35

Evgen Bavcar / Courtesy Esther Woerdehoff 2011 Evgen Bavcar / Courtesy Esther Woerdehoff 2011

(ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 19 - ''The man with the hammer, a famous Englishman once said, sees nails everywhere. I am only an artist who seeks to see images everywhere, even if I am not allowed to.'' This is the aphorism by the Slovenian writer, poet and conference speaker Eugen Bavcar in which one finds the key to understanding his photography, which was created despite the fact he suffers from blindness. Stepping into the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, where yesterday evening his personal show ''Darkness and the Light'' was inaugurated, the visitor has to leave outside all superimposed structures and preconceived notions. The 45 photos exhibited cannot be judged from a technical standpoint but must be considered as conceptual expressions. Born in Slovenia in 1946, Bavcar lost his sight entirely at age 12. However, this fact did not stop him from getting a degree in philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris - where he still lives, shuttling between the French capital and Slovenia - or from becoming one of the high-level figures on the European cultural scene. There is no use in asking him how he takes pictures. He has too often been forced to answering by way of another question: ''Rather, why do I photograph?'' He defines himself as a conceptual artist.

''My photos,'' he says, ''exist in a unique space: in my interior galleries that I often visit with the help of my third eye.'' The images he makes represent his interior world, which he manages to bring to the surface thanks to the imagination and help of a few people close to him. The latter include, especially, his niece - his muse in several shots - and his sister who, leaving all superimposed structures out of it, guide him in his work. Superimposing a series of negatives, Bavcar makes surreal images that make light the true protagonist of his works. Coarse photomontages, one might think. But, instead, this is not the case. Each and every one highlights the fact that looking and seeing are two extremely different concepts.

''The works,'' the curator of the exhibition, Enrica Vigano' remarks enthusiastically, ''take shape from his memories and the suggestions emerging from the surrounding world.'' His photographs contain within them the scent of Slovenia, and express his memory of the spaces, lights and shapes of his childhood. Among the series of shots exhibited -taken between the 1980s and 2010 - the most surprising, underscored Vigano', ''are 'A Caress of Light' and 'Fertile Sight'.'' There are self-portraits, nudes, and the play of light, all in black and white, while previously unpublished photos are instead in colour. ''These photos,'' writes Bavcar, ''exist for you, which you in turn describe to me. And in this way they can exist for me.'' The show, which opens to the public today, will run through March 25. (ANSAmed).

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