START POINT PRIZE – Prize for emerging artists

Ján Kekeli

Kekeli’s Pictures of the Landscape are a series of large-scale analogue photographs whose subject is the Slovak landscape and the context of its transformation as viewed through the photographer’s lens. Subjectively it captures interesting fragments of the landscape while emphasising the testimonial value of the detail and quality of the documentary-like snapshot of reality. The almost painterly impression of individual scenes suggests that the photographer selects his scenes and carefully seeks out sections of the landscape that, when photographed, would evoke the realistic landscape paintings of the 19th century. In the landscapes he records, Kekeli, who originally started with documentary films and continues to remain faithful to the principle of documentary production (just as his subjects and inspiration are almost exclusively found in the real world), is fascinated by the detail, the nexus between the individual motifs, fragments of architecture, figures in the outdoors, animals – as a part of the scenery in their original, authentic connotation. The monumental formats are not autotelic; the aim is to evoke in the viewer the feeling that they are a part of the place and events on the photograph. The photographs do not feature any traces of alteration or digital retouching. With their simplicity and quiet monumentality, the final impression is one of calm, candour and clarity. (Lucia Gavulová)