Martin Kollar spent a few months travelling around Europe and searching through his own artistic archives in order to present “the transience”. Thanks to it, he finds surprising and poetic details in everyday images. What attracted us is the way the author “winks” at the viewer. Provisional Arrangements is a cognizant and precisely edited set of documentary photographs. Still, even if you are aware of this, at some point you begin to wonder about the probability of the situations presented.
The Slovakian photographer Martin Kollar has became interested in the notion of “provisional” in recent years, frequently confronting it, until it became part of his way of perceiving the world, providing him with a new perception of his environment. Through this prism, ordinary, everyday scenes thus revealed the little detail that made them unique. Whether it be the landscapes through which he traveled during his journey over European roads these past months or the rediscovery of photographs taken for no apparent reason several years earlier, this unique way of seeing the world rapidly progressed in an almost organic way and, at the same time, began to reflect the artist’s own itinerary. Some 30 images are brought together here in a rich body of work under the title Provisional Arrangement, where each one, in its own way, explores the notion of temporary and – together – the much bigger question of a memory in the process of (de)construction.
Growing up in Czechoslovakia during the Communist era, Martin Kollar was fascinated by the collusion between the unchanging aspects of our society and the fleeting ones that come to its aid to compensate for its ups and downs. It is his way of illustrating the backdrop of a generation of which he is the echo and for which, following the rejection of old dogmas, the temporary governs the day-to-day, when it is more a question of adapting oneself to endless variations than to being an integral part of a particular period and place. It is a world where the sensation of permanence does not exist, poetically rendered by this photographic journey that captures the disintegration of the permanent towards the temporary and the provisional. It is a bric-a-brac poetry that, in the end, traces the outline of a tribute to man and to his ability to deal with change and to adapt to situations with a glorified resilience.
The photographs were taken between 2010 and 2016
Curator: Lydia Dorner
Martin Kollar was born in Zilina, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1971. He studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and has worked as a freelance photographer and cinematographer since he graduated. He has contributed to the making of several documentaries and films, as director of photography, cameraman and producer, notably for Koza (2015), Velvet Terrorists (2013), Cooking History (2009), 66 Seasons (2003), and the animated film In the Box (1999). He made his directorial debut with the short autobiographical portrait, Autoportrait (2012), and a first medium-length film, 5 October (2016). He has received numerous grants and awards for his photography, including the Backlight Photography Award in Finland (2002, 2008) and the Oskar Barnack Award in Germany (2014), as well as the first Prix Elysée (2014-2016). His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum (2016), the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava (2015), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2015), the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris (2006) and the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin (2004), to name a few. Provisional Arrangement was published by MACK/Musée de l’Elysée in 2016.
Provisional Arrangement is the denouement of the project submitted by Martin Kollar to the competition for the first Prix Elysée (2014-2016), of which he was the winner. The fruit of a partnership between the Musée de l’Elysée and Parmigiani Fleurier, the prize provides financial aid and museum support to artists specializing in photography and photography books, enabling them to take a decisive step in their career. Martin Kollar received a contribution, half to be used for the completion of the proposed project and the other half for the publication of the book with MACK, the London publisher chosen by the winner.
Opening: 19:00, 01.06.2017
Place: Art_Inkubator / Fabryka Sztuki Gallery / Tymienieckiego 3
Exhibition open: 1.06: 19.00-22.00; 2-11.06: 12.00-20.00