Peter Koštrun

The author places his own decision to withdraw to the outskirts into his relationship with the world and keeps returning to his authorial treatment of various peripherals, physical or mental. Even though his works, because of their motifs, often pass into the realm of the sublime, they nevertheless very realistically discuss nature, which has, even after all the interventions during the anthropocene era, managed to withhold and survive.

Although the interpretations of Koštrun’s works and his entire opus are undeniably multifaceted and open to different interpretations and readings, the article suggests that all his word does share a common meditative stillness and sense of solitariness. Peter Koštrun’s opus lingers on the intersection of pristine nature and cultural landscape, on the intersection of the impact of humans on the environment and the insignificance of the individual in relation to nature. Even if Koštrun’s photographic motifs allude to archaism and romanticism, and are at first glance connected to the tradition of photographic pictorialism, they are in their essence distinctly modern, attached to the reality of the here and now. His expression is completely non-narrative in the classic sense of photographic representation, as the images do not tell a linear story, but are dedicated to visual language, which is (as opposed to the written word) always ambivalent and layered.

You can lose a photograph by overthinking about its source.

In August 2015, photographers Peter Rauch and Peter Koštrun took up the roles of curators at the Celje FOKUS Festival. At the exhibition, which they named Sondiranje (Probing), they compiled a collection of photographs of foreign, anonymous and unknown authors. The collection consists of artifacts collected by the authors in their archives over the years and was, upon receiving the invitation to participate, selected on the basis of their fascination with these artifacts. At one point in time, all the photos served their particular functions: advertising, family, propaganda, artistic expression, etc. The authors highlighted the alternative possibilities for interpreting such images, which may have, due to the time that has elapsed, been exempt from the first context because of  the past time, perhaps due to the lack of signatures or the manner of presentation. Their assumption was that engaging viewers would break up the long, uniquely justified ways of understanding photographic material. Visiting authors and collectors were also invited to participate.

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