Contact Through a Contact Print

Peter Fabo

07.02. – 02.03.14

Peter Fabo (1983) conceived his exhibition “Contact Through a Contact Print” as an installation connecting several different approaches and media into a complex whole. His intention was to implant a set of photographs into exhibition premises so that spatial and light aspects of the exhibition area and composition of photographic image are in mutual contact and merge with each other. He achieved this by accepting and taking advantage of the current situational conditions on the premises which are projected in the way how the pictorial material is presented.

The Entrance Gallery is situated in a renovated Baroque orangery – a simple building facing south with all its length and thus “opening” to the sun. Especially when the sun is low above the horizon, the windows framing is projected on the opposite wall, which influences how the visual atmosphere of the premises is perceived. Peter Fabo (who works at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague as an assistant at the Studio of Photography) could not have ignored this naturally photographic situation. What is important is the fact that he chose to take a proactive approach and used it for constructing another visually significant level that changes and contextualises the fundamental level of his exhibition – a set of photographs dividing the main wall into smaller sections.

The way how the pictorial material is arranged on the wall forms an independent visual installation. Photographs – as its separate parts – thematise the photographic procedures employed, i.e. traditional as well as experimental techniques of photography. Attempts at exploring this media are not, however, mere technical exercises, but serve as a basis for developing thoughts about the nature of a photographic image. Particularly with regard to the possibilities how “realistic” photographic depiction could be conceptualized. Photographs of objects and artistic compositions are at the same time their visual interpretations. Visually interpretative procedures then go on working with light conditions on the premises. Natural light penetrating through the windows is used as another active component. Window panes are covered in different ways or modified by stencils so that they have the function of a specific projector projecting on the exhibited works another geometric structure that complements in a changing way (depending on the position of the sun) and at the same time breaks the primal pictorial composition.

Peter Fabo has a double role in this installation – as a photographer and conceptually minimalistic artist, while he promotes the conceptual, yet very sensual, aspect of his work to a higher level, as the whole installation including “projection of natural light” is – in a way – a spatial metaphographical situation.

Text by Kamil Nábělek