On 23 March 2023, Galleria del Cembalo is glad to open in its rooms Sneg, an exhibition with photographs by Klavdij Sluban, French artist of Slovenian origin who is been dedicated to photography since his youth studying in Paris. He is a tireless traveller who often explores the routes traced by the railway lines that connect Europe and the East – such as the Transsiberian Railway – searching for his roots and the meaning of History. The show will be open until 13 May 2023.
The photographs on display are a selection taken from two series by the author: Autres rivages. La mer Baltique and Japan; the images are rigorously in black and white, more precisely in film, black, gray and white, a manual exposure meter at the bottom of a pocket, rarely used. What the two photographic projects have in common is a constant and consistent presence: the snow (sneg in Slovenian, the author’s mother tongue), silent subject of his shots.
The images of Autres rivages are the result of a journey along the Balkan peninsula and the countries bordering the Baltic Sea: never completely in focus, they show what appear to be glimpses casually shot in Poland, Kaliningrad, Finland, Russia, Sweden and other places in the Eastern Europe. On the other hand, the Japan that Sluban returns with his photographs is different from what we are used to seeing: neither well-kept gardens with flowering trees nor skyscrapers, but vast areas covered with snow that rather resemble remote areas of Eastern Europe, places seemingly inhospitable, inaccessible, lonely and isolated. In this background desolation, faces appear at times, motionless as the snow but full of composure and expressiveness.
For the photographer, the journey turns into a pilgrimage: the focus, placed on the life that surrounds him, intimately connects the journey to photography. His personal research is rigorous and coherent, often filled with literary references. In the words of Sluban: “I propose a journey in which the eye is guided between the reality of the present moment and the successive stratifications of History. A journey nourished by the richness of the past that has permeated the places that were crossed: St. Petersburg where Nabokov spent his childhood, Kaliningrad, ancient Köninsberg, the city where Kant and Copernico lived, making an impact on the philosophic thought of Europe”.