The project Gluttony has initially started as a book presentation. Swedish publisher The New Heroes and Pioneers has invited 7 young authors to prepare a book on 7 deadly sins in connection to the field of culture.
Uroš Abram has selected gluttony especially in connection with his own professional involvement in the last year. After studying photography at Faculty for Film and Photography (FAMU) in Prague, he returned to Slovenia, where he is very active in the field of contemporary photography, but existentially dependent on a different kind of photography. The work of the creative photographer and photojournalist for Mladina magazine, especially after the invitation of the Swedish publishing house, acted as a catalyst and focused him even more to question and evaluate his own photographic purposes and efficiency in the flood of visual.
How does he experience visual hyper production and where it is heading us is the central theme of the exhibition project Gluttony.
In the first few months of taking pictures for the Mladina magazine, Uroš Abram took approximately 20,000 photos. This number sounds immense, but it should not surprise us within the context of our everyday exposure to the endless stream of images. In his project and exhibition titled Gluttony, Abram explores the inflation of images whose origins could be traced to Kodak’s famous logo of 'You Press the Button, We Do the Rest'. The photographer who is divided between his artistic endeavours and his photojournalist job certainly feels more acutely the given situation and has a different perception of it. In this endless ocean of images, what is the true value of a single image, no matter how great its (artistic) value? What is the relationship between the constant, automatic and reflection-less 'clicking' and the well-thought and designed image? These are just some of the most prominent questions which the exhibition Gluttony poses to the viewer. However, to counteract this black-and-white situation, we have to acknowledge the fact that this very project is based on hyper-productivity. Thus the inflation of images becomes food for thought and a conceptualised approach to the problem, whilst the duality of the 'flood' of images and their depth play out on the material level of the project. Over a longer period of time, the author has completely covered his kitchen space with photographs taken during his earlier period of working for the Mladina magazine, almost as if creating a performance. By the way, nearly 5000 photographs that are exhibited in his kitchen are an approximate equivalent of images which occur on the Internet every second. Taking this into account, this volume does not seem exaggerated, merely an illustration. The gluttonous kitchen, flooded with photographs, is just as gluttonous as we are. To be more precise, the gluttony feeds our ego, whose insatiable desire for self-representation to a large extent feeds on publishing photos. Abram establishes the counterpoint to photographically, mentally and aesthetically facile collection of images by employing different approaches to portraying these collected images. The Internet kitchen, flooded with images, was photographed with a variety of techniques, including camera oralis (known from his previous works), i.e. camera obscura with a mouth. It is a unique paradox, when you think of it–a photography of photographs. During the height of a visual orgy, he created a simple camera obscura from all of the exhibited photographs, only to take a photo of all the other photographs with it. In this wonderfully scaled paradox, the photos have taken photos of themselves–just like the gluttonous ego observes its own reflection with great satisfaction. The above-mentioned contrast of quantity vs. quality unites glutinously in itself, as a mass of photographs enables a different view of themselves. To quote Vilem Flusser: 'a clicker' always photographs different motifs in the same manner, but a photographer always takes pictures of the same motif in different ways.
Text by Iza Pevec. Courtesy Galerija Fotografija.