2007 – , color photographs, 40×40 cm
Within the interspace of the usual distancing and overlapping between the notions of documentary and art photography, the exhibition “Garden houses” by Goran Micevski articulates specific procedures that photographers undertake within the deletion of defined boundaries between the standard classifications of understanding photographs as either objective records or subjective intentions.This vague properties of Documentation are manifested in the context of the narratives, which, outside the direct reflection of the past, photo works as an instrument of alienation of personal memories and as a background/cause to the sociological insight into the phenomenon immanent to the artist’s growing up.“Garden houses”, as part of the urbanization of the cities, are built on the outskirts of Belgrade, in the places where the planned urban settlements from seventies and eighties of the 20th century face a no man’s land, disordered parts of the city, within oases or remains of natural vegetation.
from text by Mara Prohaska Marković
At the end of their first book entitled “Anonyme skulpturen – Eine typologie technischer bauten” (1970), Bernd and Hilla Becher wrote:
“…In this book we are showing objects which are primarily instrumental in their character, whose forms are direct result of calculations and which are visible result of that process of development. These are buildings whose anonymity is accepted as their style. Their peculiarity derives from the lack of design.”
First set of photographs shown in the series entitled “Garden houses” were made in june and july of 2007., in a part of Belgradecalled Miljakovac. Later, I broadened my research to other parts of Belgrade (Novi Beograd, Zeleznik,..)
The series was inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, but, more directly, by the wish to document a very uncertain situation – due to accelerated process of urbanization, each of these enclavas is in danger. In the interview given in 1989., Becher’s say: “These industrial landscapes won’t be here for ever, and even if they last for fifty years, they are still changing all the time. These are nomadic forms of architecture; they come and go just as the nature does.”
As I was planning my future work, I started from the idea to quote the Becher’s as directly as possible. As time passed, first cracks started to emerge: I decided to use color film because I realized that black and white would take away the viewer half of the joy. After that, it was quite logical to get rid of the monotonous light and allow the shadow to be a constitutive part of the photograph. While thinking about the relationship between the object and the total area of the frame, I came to conclusion that it should be around 60%; as soon as I started to take pictures, it all fell apart – these structures are so interwoven with their surroundings that each had to be approached in its own way. I even allowed myself couple of times to fall to lyrical mood – totally unacceptable to any serious documentary study.
The architecture of these houses is quite charming, but, at the same time, quite disturbing.
Are they just a product of unskillful hands and good intentions, or are they to be read in the post industrial context?