MUVI - Museu Virtual de Artes Plásticas
Primoz Bizjak
Sarajevo - Grahovo - Krajina
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Primoz Bizjak
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I was born in a country called Yugoslavia. When I was eight years old, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo. I remember the enthusiastic atmosphere in our school when Jure Franko, a sportsman from our city, won a silver medal. Not long after, the European geography changed completely. In our case it all started in 1991, the day I finished elementary school. Suddenly, we were not brothers anymore.

The most important events happened first in Slovenia, and then in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. We all have a certain idea about them. They were one of the main subjects of the media for several years, so my intention is not to explain or talk about them again. I just show works about what remains today of this "celeb" city that hosted the olympic games, and not only the city itsef, but also a huge area of destroyed towns in some ex-republics of former Yugoslavia.

Bosansko Grahovo, is a "ghost" city today, but it was an important center of the region in the past. Inside the city, which was burned completely, still remain the ruins of "Dom Kulture Gavrilov Princip" (Gavrilov Princip Cultural Centre). It was built in the natal city and in the honour of the man that on June 28th of 1914 killed Franzisch Joseph Archiduque (Austro-Hungarian Empire's Archduke), initiating the First World War.
Less than a century and three wars later, the city is mostly abandoned, but full of recent monuments, tributes to the new heroes. Many other towns followed the same destiny. There are entire empty regions. The young people did not return home, because there was nothing there, no schools, no factories... Only a few old people came back. International and national funds came from the same people that had caused the destruction. It first helped to repair the roofs of the damaged buildings. More often than not, buildings were only partially repaired, just enough to allow an old couple to keep living there.

My work doesn't have political or nationalist intentions. I just place the camera in front of the subjects, trying to take an "objetive" photograph, even though, I believe it is difficult for us who were not involved to understand its complexity.

An important role in my work is played by the use of a large format camera, whose operative characteristics strongly influence or modify the photographer's mental attitude. The location, framing and exposure are quietly chosen. Execution times are slow. There's always a meditation behind it, and everything reflected in these works is unavoidably "in order", although it represents chaos.

Some of my works are made at night, exploring one of the characteristics that gives photography an advantage over the human eye in the darkness. It is able to "ad up" light in large exposures, registering on the photosensitive film shapes and colours which are not noticed by our eyes, and therefore perceived in a differerent way (1).

1 - Guido Cecere about Venice, 2003

Dom kulture n1

Grahovo n1. 2006.

Grahovo n2

Grahovo n3.

Grajovo n4.



Sarajevo n1

Sarajevo n2

Sarajevo n3

Sarajevo n4

Sarajevo n5

Sarajevo n6

Sarajevo panorama


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