Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Daniela Djukic

Oct 26, 2013 - Andrea Grützner

Looking at Daniela's work provokes curiosity to look closer to different themes of nature and science and invites to question the apparent proof of authentic (pseudo-)scientific photography. Daniela's focus lies on topics related to a presence of absence, like non-places in the former exclusion zone at the GDR's border (project “Freitag bis Mittwoch”), Cryptozoology (Study of hidden animals. Search for animals whose existence has not been proven, related project: “Herr Vogel und ich kommen zu keinem Ergebnis”) or Pluto, which used to be a planet.The concepts of her work are oscillating between pseudo scientific interpretations in form of pictures and factual, 'objective', scientific material including media-archives. I like to present her project '(134340) Pluto'. The last three pictures give you some insights in the exhibition 'In a Nutshell' with Barbara Proschak and Daniela Djukic curated by Johanna Saxen in Zürich this summer (please see further information in the text below). You can have a look on different projects here: Upcoming exhibition with her work '(134340) Pluto': Subbacultcha! gallery, opening 01.11.2013 at 17:30, Monday till Thursday from 11.00 till 17.00; Da Costakade 150, Amsterdam (Entrance is free), '(134340) Pluto' Daniela is orbiting the former dwarf planet Pluto in her work '(134340) Pluto' in three different chapters. It includes archive material, text and her pictures made under the premise not to point the camera towards the sky. She explains her work with the words: "In '(134340) Pluto' I'm dealing with the finding and vanishing of the dwarf- and at the same time 'ex-planet' Pluto. As the International Astronomic Union reconsidered the definition of planets, Pluto was reclassified to a new category of 'dwarf planets'. As far as one can feel empathy for non-living things, I felt a kind of compassion for the rejected planet and decided him to be the focus in my upcoming project. Since I was doing my research, I've noticed that I started to see and think in an associative way when it comes to space and planets. I recognized the crater landscape of the moon on the working space of my desk or a star chart on a friends back. I was enjoying seeking for the big in the ordinary. This phenomenon became a significant part in '(134340) Pluto'. Ultimately the work was split in three parts which differ in their form (presentation) and content, still putting together a frame around Pluto: 1. Actual scientific 2. The Experiment 3. The Association 1: The Actual scientific part shows pictures that give direct hints to astronomical studies. Vintage footage and my photographs are mixed in this chapter as it comprises for example a portrait of Pluto explorer Clyde William Tombaugh, a blink microscope (scientific device that helped exploring Pluto) or a screen-shot of Clyde W. Tombaugh pointing at Pluto on a star chart. 2: Based on an anecdote of astronomers in which the imagination about Pluto’s size and distance constantly changed (Pluto became smaller and smaller and the distance larger) a joke came up in which Pluto might just disappear all of a sudden. Referring to this joke I started an pseudo-scientific experiment and recorded the melting process of a miniature Pluto. 3: The third part consists of images that should act as mental links and should awake an association or pretend authenticity. By using aesthetic characteristic known from astro-photography I try to achieve an authentic effect. All images were taken under the premise not to point the camera towards the sky."   I like to recommend the theory book 'Der irritierte Blick. Kunstrezeption und Aufmerksamkeit' written by Nina Zschocke with a chapter about Joan Fontcuberta who realized for example his legendary project 'Fauna' (1985-1989) together with Pere Formiguera, exhibiting a fictional 'rediscovered' archive of a natural scientist who documented in a broad scientific way the discovering of different animals. There was a collaboration between Barbara Proschak and Daniela Djukic in an exhibition called 'In a Nutshell' this summer in Zürich curated by my former flat mate Johanna Saxen. Both of them are questioning the apparent objectivity of photography being researchers in their own visual worlds. In preparation of the exhibition, showing the work to each other, they have realized that there are even more formal aesthetic resemblances than expected. So, their photographic positions have been set in a curational concept, where the authorship is not clear in the beginning in order to concentrate on finding associative intersections in content and formal topics. "This exhibition was part of 'i shine - you shine' which is an experimental platform and playground for young curators to arise questions in the field of practical work as a curator. In the subject of learning by doing, each participant is curating one show as a basis for discussion on curatorial approaches, process and theory. 'I shine – you shine' is based in a new temporary offspace belonging to the area of shyn postproduction in Zürich.