Roman Bezjak

Skopje, Mazedonien, 2008

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C-print in folder
Sheet size 40 x 50 cm
Image size 38 x 45 cm
Signed and numbered
Limited edition of 20 + 5 AP

In stock

Whereas the West encounters the now-fossilized witnesses of planned economies and socialist modernism with skepticism, Roman Bezjak (*1962 in Slovenia) takes a previously unseen view of communist architecture. After producing prize-winning photo essays for GEO and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for the past five years the artist has concentrated on traveling through eastern and southeastern Europe. Bezjak used a large-format camera to take photographs of residential buildings, institutions, hotels, and palaces of culture in familiar and foreign places—from Tallinn and Tirana to Dresden and Dnipropetrovsk. His series render a kind of archaeology of postwar modernism without nostalgically glorifying the former East Bloc, for he also makes the exploitation of utopia and its entry into everyday life visible.

The artist’s s Edition Hatje Cantz is of an historical building from the Socialist era in Skopje, the post office headquarters designed by Janko Konstantinov in 1982. Round, concave, and convex forms jut boldly into a milky, bleary sky, flanked by small cars whose glittering metal contrasts with the sandy beige of the monumental building. Seemingly photographed in passing, the framing reveals a forceful composition, which positions the character of the architecture in the scene in an exemplary manner—skillfully exaggerated so that grotesque features are visible, but not taken to the point of absurdity. The picture suspends things in a documentary-style way, so that they speak for themselves. Thus, the post office building becomes a messenger between the past and the future, as well as a witness to an epoch.