‘His talent lies in the perception of objects not just within their own context, but in dissecting them in their visual appearance, dividing the semantic framework from any kind of formal perception and viewing it in isolation instead.’
(editor-in-chief of Die Gestalten Verlag in Berlin, DE)
MARKO MODIC (born in 1958) is one of the most established Slovenian art photographers with an international reputation. His artistic quest has early become inseparably linked with photography, extensive travels around the world as well as with extreme sport exploits
What makes him so very special among contemporary photographers is his technique of photomontage which, even today when up-to-date digital photographic equipment is used, has remained outstandingly individual and original, which is also due to his refusal to apply computer manipulation or postproduction to his photographs. That is why Modic’s claim that photomontage is for him neither a matter of manipulation nor an experiment but a vision born before he presses the shutter release survives as the fundamental paradigm of his photomontage process.
Modic has been creating and exhibiting both in Slovenia and abroad (Ecuador, Patagonia, Canada, USA…). He has put on over 40 solo exhibitions, starting with a show in Ljubljana’s Museum of Modern Art in 1988 and continuing in many notable galleries in Slovenia and around the world. His photo-monographs were published by renowned publishing houses (i. e. Gestalten from Berlin (DE), Logos from Modena (IT) and others). In 2014, Susan Zadeh, the founder of the Eyemazing magazine, included two of Modic’s photographs in her selection of world photography in the Eyemazing Annual, labelling it “Contemporary Surrealism”.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT overview photographic exhibition is Modic’s mid-career retrospective, bringing a refined and conceptual curatorial selection of photographs and photomontages, taken from his vast oeuvre which has been accumulating over the last three decades.
The fifth element is present in all of the series grouped around the four elements (with the structure of these series being largely based on ‘pure’ photographs). It is apparently invisible, seamlessly integrated, yet it calls into question their identity: as a result of both intense abstracting and the previewed photomontages, the line between pure photography and photomontage is sometimes completely blurred. It might be said that this is the aim of the exhibition: to invite viewers to enter the artist’s widely imaginative and, quite often, surrealist world which originates in his ability to find magic in the most obscure details of everyday phenomena.
The exhibition has been curated by Marija Skočir, the curator and art gallery director of Jakopič Gallery in Ljubljana, where the exhibition is on display and which has lately become a focal point of quality photographic exhibitions in Slovenia’s capital - on national and world scale: in the past few years the exhibitions of Roger Ballen, Lee Miller, Magnum’s First, Josef Koudelka and others have been presented there.
The producer of the exhibition, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, has also published an extended photo-monograph with the same title, The Fifth Element (192 pages, printed on GardaPat paper, hardback, 105 reproductions of photographs), which is yet another luxurious publication in a long line of other artists’ high-quality photo monographs.