For The Eye of Photography, photographic books are as important as an exhibition or a portfolio. They make the history and the actuality of the medium. Our correspondent Zoé Isle de Beauchaine takes a tirelessly curious and informed look at the latest releases.
Transmettre, the latest production of prolific photographer and publisher Sergej Vutuc, is a mysterious and hybrid artwork inviting us to an abstract dive into the dilemma of being alive in our contemporary world.
Sergej Vutuc is an observer of the modernization and increasing privatization of our public space. He explores the boundary between society and landscape, between body and nature. Two concurrent events — the pandemic and the pregnancy of his wife, Maycec — have radically shifted his focus to notions of generation and transmission : “To the more established reality of existing as an individual was added the specific — and paradoxically, less familiar — dilemma of giving birth amidst a toxic, corrupted, manipulative system; the idea of naturally feeding the globally orchestrated doom, and of one’s share of personal responsibility for the next generations.”
Lack of confidence in the future and eco-anxiety play an increasingly important role in the decision of younger generations to not have children. Sergej Vutuc echoes their concern in this nebulous series made from Super 8 and 35 mm film and brought together in an intriguing and beautifully made book.
Transmettre contains pages in multiple formats and weight. Thanks to the two bindings on either side of the book, they intertwine and converge towards the centre, leaving the reader free to choose the order of the images. Peeling off each page one after the other, the reader gradually discovers mysterious shapes: a building, a fence, a landscape of trees… They bear the mark of Sergej Vutuc’s distinctive visual language, whose black and white images defy any rule of composition or exposure while the films, altered by various interventions, are as much a field of experimentation as a means of questioning the notion of photographic truth.
Many pages offer an almost abstract experience, with pictures evoking human tissue obtained by medical imaging. At the heart of the book, a vinyl containing two pieces arranged by Maycec mirrors this abstraction. Sound waves resonate while a heartbeat is heard through medical monitors : the life pulses of this family to be, captured by Vutuc up until the birth.
A true photographic poem, Transmettre is the visceral expression of an apprehension, that of becoming a parent, and this in a world where all hope seems to be lost. A unique photobook, of which only Sergej Vutuc has the secret.
Sergej Vutuc – Transmettre — Putovanje Prolaziti, Slike
Published by alamaison printing, 2022
56 pages, 27 x 35 cm
Available in all good bookshops and online