Uroš Abram: Dialogical Portraits

03. 06. 2017 – 03. 09. 2017

Portrait conventions, developed through centuries, are today accessible to artists as a repertory of communication strategies that pervade our space and time. In his series of portraits of contemporary Slovenian artists Uroš Abram presents their images as collective creations, results of a precisely defined dialogical method. They reveal a new ethos of the contemporary “artist” who has left the studio as his sanctified place of creation in order to retrieve the social responsibility for artistic production and the lustre to the art’s dimming halo. Owing to a particular sort of cooperation of the portraitist and his model, Abram’s dialogical portraits are a sort of portraits parlants, speaking portraits, which reach beyond the established portrait genres. The latter are at hand for combination and manipulation towards capturing the essence of the model’s existence in the individual and public sense.

The pictures tell us what and who the artists of today are in the aftermath of postmodernism which has so drastically corroded the notion of the high art that artists started to shed the established image of a creative mind as a social subject – the inspired benefactor of mankind, offering himself/herself regardless of sacrifices for values that surpass himself/herself and his/her existence; they want to redefine the image of the Artist, isolated from the rest of the world within the walls of his/her studio, where he/she pursues a research on images of timeless truths. The condition of neoliberal capitalism forces contemporary artists to confront life by fighting for their existence in the overheated situation of ruthless exploitation, social marginalization as well as material and intellectual deprivation. In the imminent loss of the position of Art as the privileged social activity and its drop on the scale of social values the artist has no choice but to fight for the total refashioning of society. Thus art and life merge as intensely as ever because they are motivated by common goals. Uroš Abram documents this chaotic process of remaking the basic conditions of the artistic creation today through the images of its protagonists.

Text: dr. Andrej Smrekar

Photo: Maruša Lapuh, GBJ archive

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