LJUBLJANA                                           Stane Jeršič                                   Barbara Jakše JeršičThe...
Stane JeršičBarbara Jakše Jeršič
To Aleks with love.
LJUBLJANAThe Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramas                                                        Stane Jeršič...
If music with its abstraction andtime sequence is on one side of thescale, then photography, with itsseemingly strict real...
If music is caught in a moment, it     doesn’t exist, the same as a photograph       doesn’t exist if it abandons itself t...
REGARDING MASTERFUL, SPATIAL DESIGNAcad. Prof. Dr. Jože Trontelj                                       Space is a special ...
his creation: his or her feelings and thoughts.                The best of the best knew and were able to      and actions...
ABOUT LJUBLJANA, PLEČNIK AND PHOTOGRAPHYDr. Mojca Puncer        Upon entering. Ljubljana is becoming an       tail which o...
object was inseparably connected with religious        architect’s creations and also his architectural      of the photog...
IMAGO PERENNITATISProf. Dr. Fedja Košir        A photograph is (both as a technical prod-             Plečnik’s work has r...
when saying that these longitudinal gazes into                 The similarities mentioned above with         In the presen...
THE DEPTH OF THE SURFACE OF A MOMENTBarbara Jakše Jeršič         There are boundaries between the percep-      hooves on t...
fragments of time is appreciated, when life slowly             Ljubljana, The Music of Plečnik’s Archi-        mystery. “Y...
SPACE AND TIMEStane Jeršič                 24
I’m constantly returning to the same spac-      me to freeze in time the transience and passing      illusion which may di...
THE CHURCH OF MY CHILDHOODDr. Katarina Marinčič                                     We always used the side entrance. Duri...
mother combed our hair and braided firm plaits         writer, Chateaubriand had for example associat-         of images. I...
Plečnik’s work and details are no different from other ingenious works of architecture:                                   ...
as a rule, they enable a multitude of gazes and interpretations and it is up to the observer to notice and appreciate them...
PLEČNIK AND IBoštjan Vuga        A narrow white ramp is ascending in a        the façade and look like drops sliding down ...
section of the new and existing naves in the white     ture of both? Plečnik demolishes everything not       shock of the ...
THE PAST AND FUTURE WORLD OF PLEČNIK’S LJUBLJANAMarko Košan                                    Jože Plečnik wrote his arch...
and further on alongside the Ljubljanica River        bands, arcade arches and wreaths intertwine into       reach histori...
Only then a magical world of the suggestive                    40
non-verbal addresses suddenly opens up in front of us.                          41
A VIEW REVEALEDProf. Dr. Jure Mikuž                       42
For a long time, the style of Plečnik’s work   work. With their visual sensitivity, they uncoverwas difficult to define: its...
INTERVIEWStane Jeršič in Barbara Jakše Jeršič       Jože Osterman: What stimulated you to         work, to explore… That’s...
tions invites you to search for a unique new view,    “urban photography”. Even they don’t lack the         part of the Eu...
but the value of these moments (photographs)         ences have strong inner logic: nothing is coin-      photographing of...
AUTHORS BIOGRAPHIESMojca Puncer (1972) wasawarded her PhD in Philosophyat the University of Ljubljana(Slovenia) with her t...
Fedja Košir (1940) graduated in                                                                                           ...
CHRONOLOGYStane Jeršič and Barbara Jakše Jeršič                                BOOKS AND CATALOGUES FOR EXHIBITIONS SELECT...
2004 Blossomstreet Gallery, FotoFest,            Foto, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)                  Melkweeg Gallery, Amst...
LOCATIONS AND DATES OF IMAGESLjubljana 2003 - 2010                                2   Križanke Summer Theatre in          ...
68   Church of the Archangel Michael on the      85    Vzajemna Insurance Company, now the       106   Plečnik’s House, Tr...
PHOTOGRAPHY:Stane JeršičBarbara Jakše–JeršičTEXTS:Acad. Prof. Dr. Jože Trontelj, Prof. Dr. Fedja Košir, Marko Košan,Prof. ...
ISBN 978-961-269-288-9                25 Eur
Jože Plečnik
Jože Plečnik
Jože Plečnik
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Jože Plečnik


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For a long time, the style of Plečnik's work was difficult to define: its qualities were most transparently described by Post-modern theorists. They pointed out two things. The first one was Plečnik's interest in detail, which he was taking from various and diverse architectural styles and from his own inexhaustible imagination. As we can often see, this master of architecture finalised and placed a personally very important fragment only at the very end of a project and thus vested his own, very personal mark upon it. In other words, Plečnik chose the place for some architectural elements only in situ, where the possible views of them became actual and final. Therefore we could name the second, an even more elusive quality a different or other perspective. Plečnik's work and details are no different from other ingenious works of architecture: as a rule, they enable a multitude of gazes and interpretations and it is up to the observer to notice and appreciate them or not. But some are really special, excellent and exciting. The photographic tandem, Barbara Jakše Jeršič and Stane Jeršič used a Post-modern photographic concept to reveal and enrich the above mentioned qualities of Plečnik's work. With their visual sensitivity, they uncover selected details and less common views, which aren't known even to the admirers or connoisseurs of Plečnik's work. Their photographs reveal to us what is seems to be the artist's secret itself: the secret of the architect, who created these seemingly hidden and guarded details and views; and the secret of the two photographers who froze them in time. Architecture and photography are two very different visual art forms, where both can truly and fruitfully meet only at the crossroads of their difference, impressiveness and idiosyncrasy. Then we realise that numerous qualities of architecture can be perceived only through an artistic photography.
Jure Mikuž, PhD

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Jože Plečnik

  1. 1. LJUBLJANA Stane Jeršič Barbara Jakše JeršičThe Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramas
  2. 2. Stane JeršičBarbara Jakše Jeršič
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  5. 5. To Aleks with love.
  6. 6. LJUBLJANAThe Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramas Stane Jeršič Barbara Jakše Jeršič Bast
  7. 7. CONTENTS
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  11. 11. If music with its abstraction andtime sequence is on one side of thescale, then photography, with itsseemingly strict reality and frozentime frame is on the other. 10
  12. 12. If music is caught in a moment, it doesn’t exist, the same as a photograph doesn’t exist if it abandons itself to a time flow.11
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  15. 15. REGARDING MASTERFUL, SPATIAL DESIGNAcad. Prof. Dr. Jože Trontelj Space is a special commodity. It seems ples into rocks, the construction of the Egyptian almost inexhaustible. Nevertheless, this impres- and Mayan pyramids, erecting huge sculptures sion is wrong. With the growth of the global on Easter Island or centuries long building of population and also the world economy, space is magnificent medieval cathedrals. being used up and is shrinking at a very fast rate, The ingenious architects of Egyptian and while those areas, which haven’t been used by hu- Mayan pyramids or the builders of Stonehenge mans, are becoming more and more devalued due knew the importance of choosing, designing and to careless human interventions. Managers and consecrated a place and how to realise their ideas. guardians of space often don’t recognise its pre- They still had the luxury to freely use the chosen cious value enough. Great architectural masters part of a vast and untouched space. They could have always known how to place human work in orientate their buildings and their interiors by a natural or urbanised space and how to harmo- the celestial signs: by the Sun’s yearly movements niously and aesthetically arrange this individual or the paths of the constellations. The architects part from the interior to the exterior. If we want of secular medieval castles were choosing hilltops to learn their respectful attitude towards space, with strategic position and also with an eye to- we have to follow in their steps. ward the aesthetics of vistas. The artistic design- Humans have evolved and distinguished ers of sacral buildings – from medieval cathedrals themselves from other living beings by introduc- to modern churches and mosques – erected apart ing two completely new phenomena in their lives: from others or within cities, weren’t only masters by paying homage to their dead and by erecting of beautiful exteriors. Even after all these centu- temples. Since that time forth, man has been in- ries, they still evoke a feeling of a special gran- vesting huge amounts of energy and effort in this deur of a sacral and carefully designed space. pursuit. Now it is almost impossible to imagine An artist directs his sacral creation into a the humongous efforts that were invested in the supernatural timelessness, eternity: towards God. creation of Stonehenge, carving Egyptian tem- And there he also directs a person who achieves 14
  16. 16. his creation: his or her feelings and thoughts. The best of the best knew and were able to and actions. And the third advice is to introduceSimilarly in respect to sacral music, this is one of use the most exquisite means of expression avail- him/her to the world of art. Good art evokesthe highest, if not even the highest pinnacle of able to them: they made them nobler and assem- good: even the best in both young, middle agedartistic creation. bled them in eternal and mysterious creations, and old people. With his monumental buildings, The artist rises above and distances him- which touches, overwhelms and makes speechless Plečnik affects even the passers-by, who are oftenself from everyday life, which we mostly spend in even those who are less perceptive. This certainly unaware of what it is they are passing across. Butthe shallows, on the surface or epidermis. At the can be said about the maestro Jože Plečnik. In the to a much greater degree, he affects those whosame time, he raises a visitor who opens his or her best spirit of the tradition of his trade, he didn’t accept his invitation, enter his space and openmind to a work of art above everything that is turn only to God with his creations; he turned their hearts and minds to the power of his art.perceived as mundane. toward man and even the mundane world around A temple is a place which quietens and his monumental structures. With them, Plečnikcovers the triviality of everyday life by its dig- still generously shares his noble works of art andnity and poise. A place, which by itself, with its his highly spiritual message with humanity. Withgenius loci, summons the visitors: sursum corda. his works of art, Plečnik enriched the environ- A place, which by its power of expres- ment also: nature and work of humans.sion, imposed upon it by an artist from his inner Art is one of the basic human needs! Inwealth, communicates that it is sacral. some higher spiritual level it is closely connected Every era had its own chosen ones who with all our values, which are the foundation ofwere able to breathe within this invitation to morals and ethics. Today, we often ask ourselvesspirituality toward the sacral space. Thousands the following question: how to raise our childrenof ingenious architects and visual artists have in order to become good colleagues, friends, par-done this throughout the history of sacral art. ents and citizens? We can use three forms of ad-They achieved their goal through different ways, vice. The first one is to tell the child what’s right,as every epoch has its own method, artistic lan- good and beautiful. The second one is to giveguage and style. him/her the example through our own behaviour 15
  17. 17. ABOUT LJUBLJANA, PLEČNIK AND PHOTOGRAPHYDr. Mojca Puncer Upon entering. Ljubljana is becoming an tail which opens different views onto the city- The modern urban space is a plethora ofincreasingly attractive tourist city. Plečnik’s ar- scape? images of imaginative consecrated, chaotic partschitecture gives the city its own unique identity, The style and symbolism of a public urban and rational, controlled areas. Numerous criti-which is based on the high European culture of space. The spatial style can be (with regard to the cal thinkers point out that a transparent, pureModernism. In the photographs from this cata- French philosopher Gaston Bachelard) viewed in and neutral space is simply an illusion. A spacelogue, we can only sense the wave of faces and the context of the psychological, existential and doesn’t have a social existence independentlycolourful attires and also the river of human fig- phenomenological reflections of space, which from visualisation, as architectural photographyures and voices, which washes away the even- influenced more contemporary studies of archi- ingeniously and subtle keeps in mind. The photo-tual first impression of coldness, raised by the tectural and spatial styles. The fundamental shift graphs of the city in this catalogue tackle variousmonumental architecture. The city embodies with important consequences for our perceptions subjects: spatial practices, architecture, urbancomplex spatial proportions, while the efforts of space happened in the middle of the 1980’s. planning, environment, representation, ideology,of the two photographers add an emotional and This was the shift from the phenomenological etc. At the same time, they focus upon myth, si-poetic dimension to the symbolic value of the interest of the past decades to modern identi- lence, solitude, peacefulness and even beauty.space itself, while at the same time blurring nu- ties and cultural policies. The latter have forced Architectural photography: photographsmerous links: amongst them the link with the cultural history to face evolutionary discontinui- of Plečnik’s architecture. In this kind of photog-social structures of power. Individual structures ties, gaps and deviations (here we could mention raphy, the space talks but doesn’t say everything.and spaces create a string of symbolic mean- the first confrontations of the profession with The documental value of photographic images isings and with them, the city’s “identity”. Nev- Plečnik’s architecture). When dealing with the tightly connected with expressive, interpretativeertheless, the photographers don’t celebrate the style and symbolism of a space, our thinking can and poetical views of the photographers them-colourful central city bazaar. Instead, they offer rest mainly on the imagination: claiming that a selves. These photographs of Plečnik’s architec-an ascetic dimension of Plečnik’s market. Is this space, permeated with imagination, can’t stay in- ture in Ljubljana subtly reveal the span of thean emblem of the city, a monument, a symbol different and left only to a rational calculation. architect’s projects, actions and visions for theof Modernism, a fragment of a creative idea to It’s experienced, not only in its reality, but with future with a hint of the past. While in the an-make Ljubljana the Athens of Slovenia with a all bias that the imagination can thrust upon an cient world, which inspired Plečnik immensely,“museum effect”, or a unique and meaningful de- individual or group. the aesthetic function of an “art” (architectural) 16
  18. 18. object was inseparably connected with religious architect’s creations and also his architectural of the photographed urban areas, where Plečnik’sand public functions, in the course of history the style. Its function hovers above the scene as that architecture left an indelible mark. His architec-individual functions prevailed. This tendency of a phantom, a harbinger of an elated, lumi- ture is a unique amalgam of the classical and thereduced the organic and symbiotic side of a city nous, even transcendental world. The front yard modern and thus locally participates in the uni-community as an existential and political collec- of Križanke, a popular open space theatre, rep- versal sphere. This style is now increasingly moretive. In the ancient world, public life of a munici- resents a colourful diptych, while the black and recognisable and appreciated on the internation-pal community was significantly defined by the white panoramic views are typical for the detail al scene. The photographs reflect the spatial con-architectural image of the city with its agora of a pillar in the market building with its antique texts surrounding the captured architectural cre-(popular political assembly), emporium (mar- qualities in the winter months, a view on the ations. The photographic images follow Plečnik’sketplace), theatre (public stage for municipal snowy promenade from Tivoli Castle, the walk- architecture in approaching the dimension of art,events) and necropolis (cemetery). With Plečnik, ing path by the funeral parlours of Ljubljana ne- which reaches far beyond the time frame of its or-Modernism in Slovenia completed the process of cropolis Žale, which emanate a sense of serenity igin. The architectural photography is always ancreating formal oppositions between the “clas- and stillness... interpretation of the intrinsically designed space,sic” and the “modern”. Plečnik achieved this by This unique photographic diary embraces which is a result of rich personal and social expe-inventing a new form of reviving and merging the fragile relationship between the architectural riences. The photographers took on a demandingdifferent functions. He thus embodied numerous stability and the ephemeral natural transforma- task to capture the fluidity of space against thespans of history in his architecture, especially in tions, where the natural space retracts to give impressive architectural frame and make it morehis urban and design planning for the Slovene room for the social, labelled one. familiar to the observer. These photographs arecapital. Plečnik’s inventiveness is shown in the The architectural photography of Barba- dedicated to the openness of different gazes. Themelodic linking of visual elements which invoke ra Jakše-Jeršič and Stane Jeršič is an articulated creative expression opens our eyes and subtlypleasure in the urban dweller. artistic statement regarding the image of the city implicates the dimension of the observer. Photographic documentation, the “read- of Ljubljana. The photographers used a moderning” of a space unpretentiously follows the ambi- panoramic technique to efficiently realise thetious production of the city space and Plečnik’s concept of perceiving the city space in a broadercreative impetus. It reveals the structure of the definition. They didn’t focus on the functionality 17
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  21. 21. IMAGO PERENNITATISProf. Dr. Fedja Košir A photograph is (both as a technical prod- Plečnik’s work has recently been docu- where photographers, who are in the first caseuct and as an art form) according to a simple, if mented on an enormous scale. These files can be completely powerless, can enjoy all their masterynot even a populist definition; a reflection of a in principle classified into two groups: one literary of composition expressed more or less in a person-moment. Nevertheless, since it can reflect entire and the other one as visual. Written points of view al manner. But what is composition? Somethingstrings of moments and thus reveal not only dy- can be very diverse, while the visual ones are as a completely coincidental or an idea, premeditatednamic but also static elements or scenes, we can rule similar and thus are almost stereotyped. The to the last detail? Probably both! But!concur with the paradoxical antithesis that a pho- latter ones can of course always focus only on built The same visual motif can be executed intograph can also embrace that almost incompre- structures. As a rule, they are photographed from many ways: from pure realism, completely faith-hensible duration we call eternity. Since Plečnik’s the same points and angles, in the time of the year ful to nature, to pure and sometimes chaotic ab-architecture is in a way “eternal” or “perennial”, when capturing images with a camera is the sim- stractness, as a drawing or a colourful sfumato orwe can call its images, captured through the lens plest and in many cases at the same hour when the even in with stark contrasts. The same melody,of a camera, “imago perennitatis”. shadows provide the proper contrasts. We have performed with a harp or flute can sound differ- A camera is a tool which enables us to such feeling about all things created in the last de- ently but in both cases harmonious, and with anreflect reality. Since I don’t have experiences as cades of the 20th century. What is architecture? A attention to every detail. Can we then be sur-a critic of photographic services and creations, magnificent interplay of volumes assembled under prised by the fact that the combination of bothI can only comment on what stirs my emotions light, as Le Courbusier put it. musical instruments is even more efficient (be-upon observing these photographs (which cer- Allow me to digress a tad. In regard with cause it widens the field of perception)? Never-tainly aren’t services, they are creations). I might Plečnik’s work – at least for a handful of erudite theless, inventiveness doesn’t suffice if we wanteven see or imagine more than their authors – is more interesting to study those structures to step outside the sacrosanct frame of estab-wanted to display or say. This task is far from that weren’t built and exist only as sketches or lished approaches. We need a good measure ofsimple, because a comment of elemental things blueprints. Nevertheless, the majority of observ- healthy courage as well.requires at least the same amount of imagination ers quite happily form their evaluation and lavish The panoramic format of the photographsas was invested into their photographs, which praise upon the basis of plethora of created arte- is the most obvious but not the only audacity weare excellent both by their quality of content and facts of all dimensions and sizes: from chalices and notice immediately and which sets them aparttheir unconventional form. chairs to portals and cityscapes. This is the sphere from the standard formulas. Am I exaggerating 20
  22. 22. when saying that these longitudinal gazes into The similarities mentioned above with In the present case it is especially important tospace are for me familiar to those sections and fa- regard to the composition of photographs are in shake them off completely. Only then a magicalçades published in the books Napori and Architec- both cases probably coincidental but neverthe- world of the suggestive, direct or discreet and of-tura Perennis? Architect’s drawings, seemingly so less obvious. The differences are equally impor- ten paradoxically sharpened non-verbal addressesvery technical, are in reality so extensive that our tant. Where Picasso fills his vision of the Apoca- suddenly opens up in front of us.gaze has to travel from one detail to another before lypse with a multitude of figures, in Plečnik’s There is a multitude of examples: in lesswe comprehend them as an entirety of rhythmic world-class architecture we notice his deliberate provoking dimensions of sections, the compositionparts that follow each other in a closed sequence, idiosyncrasy or even whims for the absence or technique redirects itself into a deliberate contrast,where the intensified monotony (which could be even redundancy of human beings. Nevertheless, achieved by the combination of built structureeven seen as boring) becomes the main attraction, when we think about the bizarre advice of John and lush vegetation and as a rule in the first plane.the same as with the panoramic format. Ruskin to architects to design all their buildings The crystal-like exactness of solid matter is hiding The second thought which springs to by bearing in mind how they would look like in behind the curtain of coincidentally branched-offmind and cannot be stifled by any means is the ruins, we realise that a man might not be the only treetops. We can avoid human beings but can’t es-comparison to Picasso’s Guernica. The unusual measure of all things (the existing and non-exist- cape from objects. This is what the photographsdimensions of the painting are one of the reasons ing things which are and which are not, if I finish are telling us. In a way, they are binomes, depic-for its magnificent compositional framework the quotation of this ancient wisdom). tions of the same space in two separate moments.where the zigzagging breaking line – a determi- It’s true: photographs capture reality. But In the first one, the architecture lives next to itselfnant of a classical triptych – crosses the edges of the reality can have more than one meaning (or as an autonomous ensemble of walls, roofs and col-the image only to return to the frame again and even no meaning at all). That what seems to us onnades. In the second one, it becomes a container,thus maximally heightens the orderliness and in a normal format for the undoubtedly recognis- filled with an enormous pile of things.dramatic feeling of the design. The fusion of the able, becomes through this method unusual, mys- In this way, the fourth dimension, time,traditional topic and original variation is surpris- terious and almost unrecognisable. Which proba- steals into these images. Thus they deliberatelying, but not completely unexpected. This is the bly proves that we perceive our environment and integrate into time with such sovereignty thatway of the majority of good artists. And with this the people in it like clichés, based on innate or they will always stay precious documents ofthesis I return straight back to Plečnik again. imparted patterns, probably even on prejudices. architecture. 21
  23. 23. THE DEPTH OF THE SURFACE OF A MOMENTBarbara Jakše Jeršič There are boundaries between the percep- hooves on the cobbled Parisian roads. We admire about the panorama. It is about the view from ation and feeling of the world. Some are simple the beauty of Goirot’s daughters and cry because distance, from the other side.and obvious, others are invisible. The world is of the suffering father... We feel. It would be easy to say from the othermade of images, described through an abstract- Words are of course wrapped in a multi- side of the road, window, plane or elevator... It’sness of the word and projected in the knowledge layered veil of mystery and the images are cov- about a gaze “somewhere”, about the discoveryof that what is seen within us. I discovered the ered with the blanket of a seemingly naïve charm. of a moment which is eternal, extended into in-mystery and magic of uncovering the layers of They surround us with the aim to seduce us. The finity in the same way the panoramic format isimages through reading “holiday” books which I beauty is in the innocence of the communication thrust unto the relationship to the usual formattook on my summer holidays this year. and the purity of forms; in order and with re- of single-lens reflex cameras. That moment rep- Old Goirot by Honoré de Balzac, On Pho- spect to the relationship with the outside world. resents a narrow, short slice of time, which is sup-tography by Susan Sontag and Man and His Sym- Beauty is in a simple embrace of love: towards posed to capture its significance by the fact thatbols by Carl Jung. I read Old Goirot very quickly. I the world, ourselves and others. it is eternalised by a photograph and exposed tostill haven’t finished On Photography, while I had To try and get a sense of the spirit of his- the observer. But it can also represent a mirroredto put Man and His Symbols back on my book- torical masters through their work is a very en- timelessness, where it projects itself on its screenshelf in order to read it later. What do these books chanting challenge. You ascend the mountain top to eternity so we can see it in the reality of thehave in common? They are connected by a simple as a climber across the rocks. Rung upon rung, present time.coincidence, in the same way as coincidences unite step by step, you uncover the contents of the How important is this moment to recordus in life and as we choose images by pure chance. spirit of the past. The taste of the past, captured the spirit of master Plečnik, which has embodiedWe see the tenants in Madame Vaquer’s boarding in the photographic framework is charmingly itself in Plečnik’s works and in the urban archi-house as beings made from flesh and blood, liv- empty. If the moment of a decisive action – as an tectural harmonies he has created? How decisiveing their own lives. We see images that weave the inimitable gesture or expression – is captured on is this moment for the heritage and the messagestory in a seemingly familiar place and time. We one side, is the moment, which becomes that only of history, which funnels into our present wherecan smell the mutton, dressed with butter, a room by pressing the camera button, on the other. One we now live, exist and (co) create? Hugely? Notpermeated with the stink of burnt milk and a sul- long moment that records space. Panoramically! much? We become aware of the significance of atry reception room. We can hear the soft move- This isn’t about the movement of the lens on the moment, when we slip on an icy road: its valuements of the landlady’s cat and the heavy feet of perimeter of a circle, or the capturing and fixing is explained to us by the consequences broughta certain dubious Mr. Vautrin; the stomp of horse of perspectives in a 360 degrees angle: it’s simply upon us by this incident. The importance of the 22
  24. 24. fragments of time is appreciated, when life slowly Ljubljana, The Music of Plečnik’s Archi- mystery. “You are mortal, only your works areassembles into days, years, decades... tecture Panoramas, is a book of images, a book of your memory,” reads the sign carved into a stone The Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Pan- words, a book of a city, a book of architecture. A in Plečnik’s Križanke and cover the uncoveredoramas is a book of photographs and words; it is a book of music? secret. Moment by moment we abandon our-book about Ljubljana and for Ljubljana. The Mu- The music plays to the heart, even though selves to eternity and leave behind us objects,sic of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramas is a book this statement feels simple and familiar. The im- thin sheets of paper, stones, sand, ashes...of images, of images of Ljubljana and a book of ages play under the baton of a creator of the vis- The depth of the surface of a moment isreflections regarding Ljubljana. It is a book about ible and invisible: they play the music of harmo- lost in eternity. The depth of the surface is visiblythe architectural value bestowed to us. It is a book nies, immanent to the eyes. The inaudible music invisible. It is a timeless beauty that enchants us.about the importance of the treasures which we of deliberate visual rhythms, sequences of light, It is love for life; a respect for the past and a be-intimately notice as current strollers upon the shadows, lines and colours. The coincidence of lief into the future. The depth of the surface of astage of life in the city of Ljubljana. sounds creates noise; the coincidence of images moment is a photograph. It is a moment, in which A photograph, an image of the world chaos; the coincidence of words nonsense. the photographer’s hand pressed the trigger andthrough the viewfinder of a camera, printed on Photographs record. “Cameras began du- captured a transient existence. The depth of thea thin sheet of paper, reflects time. Time, which plicating the world at that moment when the hu- surface of the moment is The Music of Plečnik’sremains somewhere else and creates a new place man landscape started to undergo a vertiginous Architecture Panoramas. The inaudible music ofin a photographic image held by the observer! It rate of change: while an untold number of forms harmonies, played to our hearts by these images.produces new, subjective narratives in the lan- of biological and social life are being destroyed in The Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramasguage of images. The magic and the mysterious! a brief span of time, a device is available to record is a mysterious anthology of images of Plečnik’s How does a photographer perceive and see what is disappearing. The moody, intricately tex- Ljubljana.a certain space, how does he/she defines an appro- tured Paris of Atget and Brassaï is mostly gone,”priate image? Each moment has at least two sides: says Susan Sontag in her collection of essays Ona moment when everything happens and a moment Photography (1977).when nothing happens at all. A moment, which Plečnik’s Ljubljana exists and persists.changes life! A moment, which takes life slowly but Plečnik’s Ljubljana is a city for all who feel, trustpersistently! A timeless moment becomes the pan- and believe.orama of our gaze, directed into infinity. The essence of a message is wrapped in 23
  25. 25. SPACE AND TIMEStane Jeršič 24
  26. 26. I’m constantly returning to the same spac- me to freeze in time the transience and passing illusion which may display Plečnik in all his di-es. Spring is the youngest of all the seasons. Win- moments of life, which enrich our lives. It allows mensions: masterful, serious, thoughtful, elated,ter directs me towards the past, when Plečnik’s me to create images that interface with each oth- noble and humble.ambiences become filled with subtle intimacy. er in their own way, sensibly complementing each Spring, summer, autumn, winter… and other and also to create a rhythm, which bringsspring. Different seasons – something else, then? positive emotions to the surface. Only then can Gazes transparently and mysteriously I begin to take pictures and connect momentsrecognise the spaces. In a large ambience created (photographs) reflecting space and time into con-by Plečnik, the voice sounds differently than in text and thus enable the viewer to perceive thea small one: in an open space it has a completely emotion, which symbolises the meaning of ourdifferent tone than in a closed space. existence. The infinite number of perfect composi- Then I come upon »l’instant décisif« (Thetions uncovering various cultures and time! Decisive Moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson). When 2000 years ago, in his great masterpiece of does this decisive moment happen for me? WhenLatin literature, a narrative poem based on the I’m choosing the image to be taken and press theGreek mythology Metamorphoses, Ovid wrote: shutter release button or when I sit in front of“All things change, nothing is extinguished. […] my computer and decide which one of numerousEverything flows onward; all things are brought photographs shall I choose and which might be-into being with a changing nature…” come lost forever? Life goes on to reveal to us certain secrets, I wish that the photographic story inwhich come to light when the past invites us to The Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panoramasrevive memories. I set out to take photographs would give the impression that all photographsin order to understand in which way to express were taken in the same moment, despite the factwhat I’ve seen and experienced through the poet- that some of them were taken in the rain, othersics of photographic images. Photography allows in the snow, mist, sun, wind, in the evening… An 25
  27. 27. THE CHURCH OF MY CHILDHOODDr. Katarina Marinčič We always used the side entrance. During side door, although they now have a windbreak my childhood in Šiška (part of Ljubljana) I felt which emanates a certain desire for luxury. The as if the church didn’t have any other entrance front façade, which I saw only a few times as a at all. You push the narrow, unpretentious-look- child and which filled me with awe every single ing and weather-beaten door and then you find time, doesn’t look any less surprising after 30 yourself in a big solemn space. I don’t know if years. What are those solemn grey and white col- I ever thought as a child how illogical the ratio umns doing in the backwater next to the railway, really is between this humble little door and the amongst the vegetable gardens, clothes lines, out- monumental interior. There were too many other houses, extensions, porches and sheds? Plečnik’s things which seemed strange to a child: in rela- church in Šiška isn’t one of those marvels which tion to churches as a whole and particularly in open up to us in medieval towns; it is not grown relation to this church. into the world which surrounds it. The look on its Thirty years ago, when my grandparents façade – not in my childhood, now, thirty years lived in Šiška, the roads were still paved gravel later, when I check the accuracy of my memories and they poured a brown liquid with the smell – makes me think that the building looks like a of chicory to prevent the dust from rising up- foreign object due to its uncompromising hones- wards. Street lamps that reminded of coffee pots ty. It expresses its immodesty through the mod- dangled from frayed wires as if some squalid est materials from which it is built: this contra- tight rope walkers put them on. But not much diction doesn’t give an expression of homeliness has really changed since then. The atmosphere but of anger, at least to me. has remained the same: it’s not completely ur- As a child I was of course convinced that ban and not completely rural. The gravel roads this anger was directed towards me. My grand- are gone but when the air pressure is low you can parents used to send me and my sister to the still smell the aroma of mealy food. And finally, church in Šiška during the holidays, especially at we still humbly enter the church through the Easter for the food blessing ceremony. Our grand- 26
  28. 28. mother combed our hair and braided firm plaits writer, Chateaubriand had for example associat- of images. In a way, Plečnik’s church in Šiška ison us, while our grandfather gave us ten grand ed the grandeur of the Catholic religion with the connected with my discovery of the meaning ofto put them into the collection plate (the holiday architecture of Gothic cathedrals. The antique the word “panorama”. I was eight years old whenzealousness of a not too regular an attendant of temples are beautiful as palm groves, he wrote, my parents took me to see our new apartment onchurch ceremonies). Their neighbour accompa- but our cathedrals are as ancient Gallic woods. the ninth floor of the apartment building on thenied us and telling us on our way on how to draw According to this, a church is not only a meet- northern edge of Ljubljana. All windows lookedback the cloth to allow the blessing to reach the ing place and a temple, but also and above all a towards the south: I could see immensely farEaster eggs. “Now!” she whispered sharply, after sanctuary, a hiding place, a labyrinth with dark away, above the flood of houses straight to thesitting in the pew which seemed like infinity. It corners and caverns. Ljubljana Castle and the faint outline of moun-seemed to me as everyone was watching us. Even I try to extend Chateaubriand’s metaphor tain Krim behind it. On the right side of the viewmore: that everyone was watching me and that on a sunny June afternoon to Plečnik’s church were a few fields, a railway track, a strangelythey all noticed how I get up and sat back down of St. Francis of Assisi. In this building, I say to threatening gasworks and a blue building of awith a certain time lag, because (oh, how embar- myself, you can’t become lost nor can you hide medical drugs’ factory. And there, at the rightrassing) I don’t know when and why you stood up in it: even a small child can’t do that. But to be side of the panorama, the rocket-like tower ofand sat down in church. honest: palm groves are distant too, and so is the Plečnik’s church suddenly sprang forth in front When I walked around the empty interior blossoming land of the first Christians, so poeti- of my eyes. I recognised it, but at the same timeof Plečnik’s church a few days ago, I felt that the cally described by another French Romantic and felt as if I saw it for the first time.soul of my childhood back then would be easier biographer of Jesus, Ernest Renan. The afternoonto reconcile itself with superstition and fraud if sun seeps through the smooth windows; the lightwe took our food to be blessed to some other, dif- bounces off the brick columns and light wood. It’sferent building. In a building which would look strange that an orange light feels so firm. If I hadless like an antique temple (or a very beautiful to compare, I’d say that the interior of this specificgymnasium) and more akin to those things which church of Plečnik reminds me of a wheat field.were expected from Christian temples by later The book for which I write this short textgenerations, closer to us. The French Romantic tells the story of the panoramas in the language 27
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  31. 31. Plečnik’s work and details are no different from other ingenious works of architecture: 30
  32. 32. as a rule, they enable a multitude of gazes and interpretations and it is up to the observer to notice and appreciate them or not. 31
  33. 33. PLEČNIK AND IBoštjan Vuga A narrow white ramp is ascending in a the façade and look like drops sliding down the taught in school, the dismissal of the typologicalspiral fashion within a white rectangular verti- top part of the sloping façade. The composition hierarchy of spaces, the non-rigorous and eclec-cal space of the church tower. The light comes and the material wealth of the church are not tic use of materials, the egocentric and at thethrough two large circular windows at the top of connected with its interior at all. If the square same time creative approach toward renovation,the tower. The glass itself is divided by a mesh- ground plan of the nave is of unusual design for completion, upgrading or removal of the existinglike structure. The hour hands are fitted on the a Christian church, the technologically utilitar- building structures in Plečnik’s work actually in-outside section of the glass and encompass the ian tower with its ramp represents somewhat of a stigate a form of alienation between the objectrim of the circle. While ascending this white “glitch” in Plečnik’s architectural work. It is too and us, subjects, observers or users of a certainspace, you hear the echo of the hour hands in mo- fat, insufficiently decorated; we notice a lack of object in the same manner as the identification oftion. From the inside and through the clock you classical architectural elements on the one side, audiences towards actors in the plays of Brechtgaze at the two parts of the city, at two images. and too many Modernistic elements on the other. become alienated.In the vertiginous white space of the Holy Heart It simply doesn’t emanate enough of Plečnik’s I don’t even try to understand Plečnik.of Jesus church tower in Prague, you’re listening spirit. What attracts me the most in his works is ex-to time. The feeling is both surreal and basic at I have never completely understood actly that what seems to be the most “wrong”the same time: the sound of moving hour hands, Plečnik. I have never reflected upon his work in and the least familiar: an experiment, somethingthe static of the cityscape and the dizzy white- a way a person can learn from the work of his which we can’t see anywhere else. I’m drawn byness of this non-tectonic space. The experience contemporaries or the great architects of the 20th spatial sequences outside the cannons of classicalwe would expect more from one of Hitchcock’s Century. Plečnik isn’t Le Courbusier or Mies or and modern architecture. Besides in the tower offilms rather than a work of Plečnik. It is more Gropius or Asplund. You can’t learn him, he isn’t Plečnik’s church in Prague, I discover these al-akin to a sequence from the black and white film didactic. Whenever I thought I finally grasped most Daliesque and lobotomy-like sequences in aThe 39 Steps than from any church interior from the essence of his work and I was able to fol- unified grid of light, which cover different outerPlečnik. low it so far to take some of Plečnik’s principles walls of the Devil’s Courtyard of the Križanke From the outside, the tower and the church and use them in my own projects, I discovered complex in Ljubljana; in the wooden transept initself are clad into a brick-wall, which lean out- they were elusive and fluid. Playing with clas- the upper floor of the church of the Archangelwards near the top. Stone squares protrude from sical rules, that is to say with everything I was Michael on the Marsh; or in the strange cross- 32
  34. 34. section of the new and existing naves in the white ture of both? Plečnik demolishes everything not shock of the white vertical tower space is evenchurch in Bogojina. valuable enough by his standards and builds his greater. With regard to Plečnik’s work, I’m the own formula of the new Ljubljana. Pure cinematography: interplay betweenmost attracted by those things I don’t under- What is Ljubljana today, after 85 years perception and movement. This is close to mystand: in the things that are the least didactic from the beginnings of its transformation with heart.and the most difficult to explain. The associative Plečnik’s architectural works? Is its substanceflow in my brain is stimulated by these spatial se- of a metropolis established or does it need a newquences, in which I seek links outside the archi- helping hand to develop it further?tectural matter itself. I try to discover the wild- No, it doesn’t! Today, Ljubljana is a Euro-ness of these sequences, the reason why they have pean metropolis which should enable a pluralismsuch a profound effect on me, and what are their of spatial concepts, a city where everyone seeksbasic elements. This is always a digression from for his/her own space and is able to find it. Thisthe familiar, the already seen. These experiences is exactly the driving force which enriches theare always tests, experiments, searches, which are image of the city and encourages its dynamic de-sometimes more, sometimes less interesting. velopment. This is the formula “New Ljubljana”, Let’s move to a bigger scale: from spatial a dynamic city at the beginning of the 21st Cen-sequences to the city scale. Plečnik’s Ljubljana tury.as a Slovenian Athens, his formula to establish a I’m very attracted by the church of themetropolis within the scale of a provincial city, as Holy Heart of Jesus in Prague. It is a mental iconLjubljana was in the first half of the 20th Centu- of the entire city district, a centre of identity.ry. A city without sufficient historical substance When you suddenly see its ornamental buildingor critical mass, which needed a hand and a vision mass and reach the end of the street leading to it;and which gradually started to weave the urban when you notice its axial placement in space andfabric and actually transformed Ljubljana into a on the top where it even makes it more horizon-metropolis. Pure ego trip, pure altruism or a mix- tal, almost flattened out and immense in size, the 33
  35. 35. THE PAST AND FUTURE WORLD OF PLEČNIK’S LJUBLJANAMarko Košan Jože Plečnik wrote his architectural tes- tails. The city silhouette gradually spreads from tament to Ljubljana. The cosmopolitan Vienna the Ljubljanica riverbanks to nearby and more and the golden Prague might have inspired some distant neighbourhoods, where the medieval of his best and the most original works, but it enclave of Ljubljana, hugged against the castle was his hometown – the emerging capital of a hill, flirts with its mirror image, built upon the young European nation, who were at the time sunken network of the Roman insulae. The only only a few steps away from achieving their cen- visible remnant of the ancient town of Emona turies long aspiration for an independent state is now its southern wall. The wall itself was – where Plečnik has created a monumental pic- preserved and subtly transformed by the great ture of European dimensions in which he weaved master himself, who passed it on his daily walks the architectural ideas of the past and a future from his spiritual home and workshop in Trnovo world into a fantastic urban fabric with subtle to the bustling city centre. That part of the city threads of a unique creative pattern. Although echoes the ideas and spiritual power of the an- Plečnik couldn’t realise all his ideas the way he cient world. Nowadays, when a modern traveller intended, he nevertheless pleated a noble wreath follows Plečnik’s steps into the city centre, he/ of panoramic views upon the provincial sleeping she imprints those ideas in the intricately placed beauty. In the middle of the 20th century, he gave cobblestones found on streets and squares. He/ the city its identity, which distinctively contin- She then crosses the river on one of the monu- ues to underline the sentiment of its popula- mental three bridges and continues his/her tion in the 21st century as well. He was subtle way under the colonnade of the city market, enough to recognise the genius-loci of this old- where the hustle and bustle of life is caught in world city, measured in the shy proportions of the echo of the heavy columns and lintels of the the mentality of a nation devoid of their own new-age agora. The route continues its way up princes and kings. Plečnik gave Ljubljana an to the loggia of the slim triangular structure of urban skyline and focused upon picturesque de- Peglezn, which is raised above the noisy traffic, 34
  36. 36. and further on alongside the Ljubljanica River bands, arcade arches and wreaths intertwine into reach historical membrane. He imprinted pat-to the Ambrož Square where the river is crossed a magnificent whole. terns of the past in an eternal form, which alwaysby floodgates with their intricately designed an- Equally suggestive are the frozen gazes pays attention to the consciousness of the pres-tique elements. of the photographer’s eye – motionless and re- ent and keeps as much of the past as is possible to The panoramic aerial views of the camera fined reflections of loquacious details, which feel in the present. As the Romantic philosopherare very convincing and silently beautiful. They reveal to the attentive observer of ambiences Friedrich Shlegel would say, Plečnik’s work seemscapture the subtle urban carpet, woven for Lju- expected and more often unexpected master’s to be permeated with “inverse prophesy”; it con-bljana by Plečnik, who was always aware of the stamp, captured in numerous views that call for tains an equal measure of dedicated seriousnesstransience of reality itself, but nevertheless used a dialogue. Although they have been completed and humorous wit which can be observed boththe eternal glow of higher ideals, embraced in the in a self-evident material and spiritual face of the in monumental projects in the symbolic centreidea of the “architectura perennis”. This force, city panorama, they never congest in an unrec- of Ljubljana and in the seemingly less importantdriven by the invisible Creator and tailored by ognisable, crammed and non-definable heap of projects outside the city edges: a beautiful ex-the imponderable logic of absolute harmony and moments at the intersection of historical periods. ample of the latter is St. Michael church in Črnaproportions is symbolised by the fierce gesture Plečnik’s interventions into space always retain vas, which emerges from the sticky mists of theof Moses, the Messenger of God. This sculptural an aloof sense of independence; they dominate moist laden Ljubljana marshes like a mirage, andmasterpiece by Dolinar adorns the façade of the the environment in a stylised manner and demand is with its simple interior a lyrical homage to theNational and University Library, which is prob- attention. Only a careful reading of their multi- tradition of folk architecture and design. A hom-ably the most eminent palace built by Plečnik for layered message reveals the wit of the architect’s age to a set of values which don’t die with Plečnikhis hometown. With its picturesque red brick fa- spiritual charge. and which begin anew, an almost eternal life byçade and a structure using renaissance tectonics Plečnik’s architecture merges both the passing under a commemorative arc of triumph:and proportions, Plečnik achieved the final and past and the present: it enables the past world to they persevere for much longer than a fabulousthe most refined stage in his attentive design of enter the time we live in now and stirs the noble photograph, which after awhile inevitably turnsfaçades, always entangled in the infinitive inter- sediments of the past into the blossoming pres- into a yellowed image on a decayed sheet of pa-play of the classicistic style and at the same time ent. Plečnik cloaked modern forms with a clas- per inside a book cover.modern elements, where pilasters and vertical sical severity and covered them with an out of 35
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  42. 42. non-verbal addresses suddenly opens up in front of us. 41
  43. 43. A VIEW REVEALEDProf. Dr. Jure Mikuž 42
  44. 44. For a long time, the style of Plečnik’s work work. With their visual sensitivity, they uncoverwas difficult to define: its qualities were most selected details and less common views, whichtransparently described by Post-modern theo- aren’t known even to the admirers or connois-rists. They pointed out two things. The first one seurs of Plečnik’s work. Their photographs re-was Plečnik’s interest in detail, which he was tak- veal to us what is seems to be the artist’s secreting from various and diverse architectural styles itself: the secret of the architect, who createdand from his own inexhaustible imagination. As these seemingly hidden and guarded details andwe can often see, this master of architecture views; and the secret of the two photographersfinalised and placed a personally very important who froze them in time. Architecture and photo-fragment only at the very end of a project and graphy are two very different visual art forms,thus vested his own, very personal mark upon it. where both can truly and fruitfully meet only atIn other words, Plečnik chose the place for some the crossroads of their difference, impressivenessarchitectural elements only in situ, where the and idiosyncrasy. Then we realise that numerouspossible views of them became actual and final. qualities of architecture can be perceived onlyTherefore we could name the second, an even through an artistic photography.more elusive quality a different or other perspec-tive. Plečnik’s work and details are no differentfrom other ingenious works of architecture: as arule, they enable a multitude of gazes and inter-pretations and it is up to the observer to noticeand appreciate them or not. But some are reallyspecial, excellent and exciting. The photographictandem, Barbara Jakše-Jeršič and Stane Jeršič useda Post-modern photographic concept to reveal andenrich the above mentioned qualities of Plečnik’s 43
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  109. 109. INTERVIEWStane Jeršič in Barbara Jakše Jeršič Jože Osterman: What stimulated you to work, to explore… That’s how I discovered pho- erately performed. It takes longer to get the fi-become professionally involved in photography? tography. The camera became the instrument of nal product, but the process brings experiences Stane Jeršič: I became involved in pho- my expression and photography became my pas- in the form of exciting and unexpected surprises.tography more seriously when I was awarded a sion, regardless of any motif. Your contemplation is connected with the dis-Yashica camera and a few film rolls in a photo- Barbara Jakše-Jeršič: Life is a beautiful covery of images, hidden on film. This is excel-graphic competition. I had to think very carefully stage of photographic recordings. lently depicted in the film Blow-Up by Michelan-before I took a shot, since the film rolls had only Jože Osterman: How does modern digital gelo Antonioni (1966). While digital technology12 exposures each. It was intense and full of ex- technology have an influence upon photogra- on the other hand enables you to an immediatepectations. I developed the films in my own home phy? review of all the material and editing, since thedark room, made contact sheets and enlarged the Stane Jeršič: When I started taking pho- photographs aren’t thin sheets of paper anymore:photographs. In that moment, I became a pho- tographs, we didn’t think: let’s press the button – they become recorded moments in the form of antographer. something useful will surely come up, if we take almost unlimited number of files. Digital technol- Barbara Jakše-Jeršič: When I was 21 and enough shots. This idea has become dominant ogy demands a very disciplined and professionalI held the book entitled Iluzija besed (Illusion now, when photography is now available and af- attitude. Such experiences enrich me and bestowof Words) in my hands, I also had an individu- fordable to each and every one of us. There is a upon me surprising discoveries.al photographic exhibition in the Museum of huge flow of photographs: they flood us and are Jože Osterman: What about photographicModern Art in Ljubljana and a group exhibition lost in time. But I can’t say that the quantity of technology, cameras and lenses? Are they really soof photographs in Amsterdam, I knew that the good photographs has truly increased. important as the manufacturers try to convincephotography is the field I wanted to work in pro- Barbara Jakše–Jeršič: Digital and ana- us that they are?fessionally. logue technologies are part of the learning pro- Stane Jeršič: The most important thing for Jože Osterman: What about the motif, cess regarding photography. Both technologies me is an idea or a concept that develops throughthe field of your interest? Was that clear from have their strong and weak points. The advan- the creative process. Nevertheless, the controlthe beginning? tage of analogue technology is the actual process over perspective is of key importance when deal- Stane Jeršič: I’ve always tried to say some itself and the sense of anticipation, connected ing with the so-called “urban photography”. Thethings, to express feelings and views with my with it. The work has to be planned and delib- use of lenses, which allows for perspective correc- 110
  110. 110. tions invites you to search for a unique new view, “urban photography”. Even they don’t lack the part of the European Days of Cultural Heritagewhich is from the physical point of view closer to presence of people completely. Nevertheless, I in 2007. Plečnik’s architecture calls for observa-the gaze of our eyes. Therefore the knowledge of try to show human presence even when there are tion and the attention of a camera. The projectsthe classic Sinar-Linhof technique is often help- no people in the shot or they are completely in Sky above Ljubljana and The History of Futureful to me. the background. Portraying ambiences for me is (Zgodovina prihodnosti) are the anthologies of Jože Osterman: Your artistic career is very close to portraying a person. photographs which show a microcosm within asurprising in many respects. Your early work, es- Barbara Jakše-Jeršič: Developing films macrocosm: fragments sought by an eye and apecially the photographs from your monograph by hand, working in a dark-room, the organisa- camera within the integrity of a chosen space.Slike iz življenja (1991) is very much based on tion of photographic productions, arranging set- Jože Osterman: Is the thought, writtenthe studio environment. Every detail is premedi- designs and shots are all typical for the period at your exhibition “If music with its abstractiontated, and the photographs are so full that they of studio photography. I continued with docu- and time sequence is on one side of the scale, thenare almost Baroque. After 2000 you shifted your mentary photography of urban spaces. Identiteta photography with its seemingly strict reality andinterest to the milieu, which tells you its stories prostora (Identity of Space) project or Congress frozen moment is on the other” a sort of a mottoin real time: for example Congress Square in Lju- Square deals with the panoramic recording of of your present project? In music, we assumebljana, upon joining Slovenia to the EU in 2004. space and continues through portraits of the harmony as a key ingredient, which weaves theYour third phase is devoted to panoramas, cre- central figure of a girl. Panorama is attractive fabric of music. How can a person do this in yourated by space (as we could see at the exhibition also due to the elongated format which evokes a field of work, in photography? Have you looked“Sky above Ljubljana”) and now onto Plečnik’s feeling of peace, which is a link to the next proj- for it and found it?panoramas. Your artistic development is un- ect, entitled The Discreet Charm of Peace, where Stane Jeršič: Music, the same as films,doubtedly very interesting. What was the logic analogue and digital, black and white and colour, needs a longer time period, while a photographbehind it? uniform and composed, panoramic and standard is a moment, a place in time. With connecting Stane Jeršič: At the beginning, I invested format photography is confronted. The project photographic moments, we create a story, whichmy interest and efforts in ecology and later to “The Music of Plečnik’s Architecture Panora- can be told in a language typical to a book ofportraits. This was followed by a period of studio mas” began in 2004 and was presented for the photographs. We can always find moments (pho-photography. Now, I’m returning to the so-called first time in Jakopič Avenue in Ljubljana as a tographs), which are reflections of our world, 111
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  112. 112. but the value of these moments (photographs) ences have strong inner logic: nothing is coin- photographing of Plečnik’s panoramas is a con-depends of their placement and their contextual cidental; everything is based on a concept. And stant discovery of unknown details – detailspositioning. photography reveals this too. which may be affirmed only through photogra- Barbara Jakše-Jeršič: Music is a sequence Jože Osterman: You often use views which phy.of optimally placed sounds which together cre- are unusual, even for the connoisseurs of Plečnik. Jože Osterman: Does your attachment toate a completely new sound image and some form Through the decades we have become used to the Plečnik end with this find or discovery? Can thisof musical body, while Plečnik’s architecture can, same observational points and angles... subject still reveal some more? Where will yourthrough photography – through a multitude of Stane Jeršič: Plečnik worked in a time creative path take you now?images, represented by individual photographs which was quite different from the present. Un- Stane Jeršič: A photograph is a snapshot,and positioned in a right or optimal sequence – like the majority of modern architects, he used while I’m interested in space as a habitat, as abecome a unique and a completely individual models, which means that he perfected his cre- sociological concept which represents a livingartistic story about architecture and space. ations from all sides and angles and together environment, a home. Everything changes in time, Jože Osterman: You say that portraying with them created a new urban space. Now, this is a fact. Is it possible that something that doesn’tambiences for you is very similar to portraying many architects and investors don’t pay much exist anymore come into existence one more time?people. Your photographic opus is essentially a attention to the details which won’t be viewed Life constantly demands new relationships andpure intertwine of space, of ambiences and peo- or observed too often. Plečnik was different. this is where I see the power and the opportunity ofple. It seems that you reached a new intensity This is the reason why some of the photographs photography, also in the relation to Plečnik.with your increased focus on architecture. are taken from the ground, others from the top Barbara Jakše-Jeršič: Maybe I’m returning Stane Jeršič: Architecture is undoubtedly of the buildings, from an airplane, elevator or a to the original depiction of The Illusion of Wordsone of the most complex forms of art. It must balcony. Some photographs are black and white, project. A flood of images, unlimited opportunitiesprovoke emotional reactions, but at the same since they express my own personal experience of of technologies, communication and creativetime we have to feel pleasant in those rooms and certain spaces. challenges beckon me to start the project, Thespaces. The habitat has to work for the good of For me it is important to preserve a real- Illusion of Images in the light of present time.the people. These are the criteria where Plečnik’s istic look even when I explore the spaces fromwork achieves the highest standards. His ambi- another perspective. This is the reason why the Ljubljana, July, 2010 113
  113. 113. AUTHORS BIOGRAPHIESMojca Puncer (1972) wasawarded her PhD in Philosophyat the University of Ljubljana(Slovenia) with her thesis onaesthetical strategies of visualart in Slovenia after 1990 (2008). Barbara Jakše–Jeršič (1967) has Boštjan Vuga (1966) graduatedShe is an Assistant for Aesthet- been a professional photogra- at the Ljubljana Faculty of Ar-ics, the Philosophy of Art and pher since 1989. Together with chitecture in 1992 and contin-Culture at the University of Katarina Marinčič (1968) is Stane Jeršič, she entered the Eu- ued his studies between 1993Maribor (Slovenia) (2004–). the author of three novels (Ter- ropean scene in 1990 and since and 1995 at the AA School ofPuncer works as an independent eza, Rožni vrt (Rose Garden), then have had both individual Architecture in London, wheretheorist, critic and curator in the Prikrita harmonija (Sublimi- and group exhibitions in numer- he was awarded with a master’sfield of the contemporary arts, as nal Harmony) and a collection ous important museums and art degree. Together with Jurij Marko Košan (1961) studied thea teacher of culture and writer of short stories O treh (About galleries in Slovenia and abroad. Sadar, Vuga founded an archi- history of art at the University(self-employed cultural worker, Three). For her novel Prikrita Barbara Jakše-Jeršič’s photo- tectural studio Sadar Vuga Ar- of Ljubljana. Since 1987 he has2008–). Mojca Puncer is a mem- harmonija, she was awarded graphs have been presented in hitekti (SVA) in Ljubljana. In collaborated as a curator withber of Publicistično društvo the Delo’s Kresnik Award in many books and magazines and less than 10 years, the SVA has many galleries and museum inZAK (2002–), Maska magazine 2002 and the Dnevnik’s Fabula are part of important public become one of the most promi- Slovenia and abroad. A membereditorial board (2007–2009), Award in 2006 for her collec- and private collections, includ- nent European architectural of the Slovene Association ofSlovensko društvo za estetiko tion O treh. Katarina Marinčič ing the photography collection studios with its production and Art Critics and the AICA. He(2001–), International Associa- was awarded her PhD through in the Bibliothèque nationale communication based on open, also works as publicist, essayist,tion for Aestethics (2001–) and studying the works of Honoré de France. Barbara Jakše-Jeršič integral and innovative con- columnist and writes reviewsDruštvo Asociacija (2009–). de Balzac. For the past 15 years, has been running a non-profit cepts. Boštjan Vuga is a writer for many Slovenian and interna-She has been published in nu- she has been a lecturer of 18th organisation ArtKontakt since of numerous articles on modern tional newspapers and art mag-merous publications at home and 19th Century French Liter- 2009. Together with her hus- architecture and urban plan- azines. From 2008 he was ap-and abroad. Mojca Puncer lives ature at the Ljubljana Faculty band Stane and their son Aleks ning for both domestic and in- pointed as the Director of Fineand works in Ljubljana. of Arts. she lives and works in Ljubljana. ternational publications. Art Gallery Slovenj Gradec. 114
  114. 114. Fedja Košir (1940) graduated in the field of architecture in 1964 and was awarded his PhD in 1982. As an architect, he was awardedStane Jeršič (1957) entered with more than sixty awards andthe professional field of pho- buy-ins for his projects at Slovenetography in 1989. Besides por- and Yugoslav tenders. Since 1985,trait and eco-photography, with Košir works as a lecturer at FAULwhich he became one of the top (the Faculty of Architecture at thephotographers in the former University of Ljubljana, Slove-Yugoslavia, Stane Jeršič con- nia). He was awarded the Prešerencentrated mainly on the studio Award in 1978 (for his numerousphotography at the beginning. Jure Mikuž (1949) has held the suggestions regarding urban plan-Together with Barbara Jakše- positions of curator and later di- ning). Košir published the monog- Jože Trontelj (1939) is a medi-Jeršič, he entered the European rector of the Museum of Modern raphies Zamisel mesta (1993), cal doctor and a full professorscene in 1990 and since then has Art in Ljubljana for many years. Edvard Ravnikar kot arhitekturni for neurology at the Faculty ofhad both individual and group He is now a fulltime professor teoretik (2006), K arhitekturi I / Medicine at the University ofexhibitions in numerous impor- at the Institutum studiorum III (2006 and 2007) and the trans- Ljubljana. Internationally, Jožetant museums and art galleries humanitatis and the Faculty for lation with comments of the first Trontelj is known mainly forin Slovenia and abroad. Stane postgraduate humanities, and tractate on architecture by the his research in the field of neu-Jeršič’s photographs have been head of the Historical Anthro- Roman architect Vitruvius en- romuscular transmission diseasepresented in many books and pology Programme. Mikuž is titled O arhitekturi & O antičnem diagnostics. In recent years,magazines and are part of im- Jože Osterman (1947) is the also a professor at the Academy inženirstvu (2009). Since 2009, Trontelj has dedicated his timeportant public and private Secretary of the Government of Fine Arts and Design in Lju- Fedja Košir is a consultant of ar- on biomedical ethics as well. Hecollections, including the pho- Communication Office and the bljana. His bibliography consists chitecture and urban-planning is a member of the Sloveniantography collection in the Bib- editor of the Sinfo magazine, of approximately 800 publica- at the Slovenian Academy of Sci- Academy of Sciences and Artsliothèque nationale de France. which is published in English. tions, 15 of these are books. ences and Arts. and its chairman since 2008. 115
  115. 115. CHRONOLOGYStane Jeršič and Barbara Jakše Jeršič BOOKS AND CATALOGUES FOR EXHIBITIONS SELECTION 2004 Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljana, Ljubljana (Slovenia) 2010 Glasba panoram Plečnikove arhitekture (Publisher: ArtKontakt, Bast) 1997 Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljana, Evropski mesec kulture (Slovenia) 2009 Zgodovina prihodnosti (Publisher: Center urbane kulture Kino Šiška) 1997 Mincovna Statniho Hradu a zamka, Češki Krumlov (Czech Republic) 2005 Diskretni šarm miru (Publisher: Koroški pokrajinski muzej) 1995 Galerija likovnih umetnosti, Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia) 2004 Identiteta prostora – Slovenija Nova Zvezda Evrope (Publisher: ArtKontakt) 1993 Prinz Gallery, Kyoto (Japan) 1995 Fotografija (Publisher: Galerija likovnih 1992 Museo Ken Damy – Gallery Milano umetnosti Slovenj Gradec) (Italy) 1991 Glasovi (Publisher: Fotogalerie Wien) 1991 Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna (Austria) 1991 Slike iz življenja (Publisher: Barbara 1990 Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (Slovenia) Jakše Jeršič in Stane Jeršič) 1989 Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam – 1990 Iluzija besed (Publisher: Papirografika) Rotterdam (The Netherlands) 1989 Galerie K61, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) SOLO EXHIBITIONS SELECTION GROUP EXHIBITIONS SELECTION 2009 Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana (Slovenia) 2006 Łódź Art Center – International Festival 2006 Galerie Tresor, Kunstforum Wien (Austria) of Photography, Łódź (Poland) 2006 Crossover, Kunstverein Karnten 2005 Koroški pokrajinski muzej, Slovenj (Austria) Gradec (Slovenia) 2006 Images Against War, Galerie Lichtblick 2004 Umetnostna galerija Maribor, Maribor Köln, Peace Museum Chicago (Illinois, (Slovenia) USA) 116
  116. 116. 2004 Blossomstreet Gallery, FotoFest, Foto, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Melkweeg Gallery, Amsterdam Houston (Texas, USA) Fotomagazin, Frankfurt (Germany) (The Netherlands)2004 The Centre for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Graphis Annual, Zürich (Switzerland) Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (Slovenia) Collins (Colorado, USA) Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljana (Slovenia) Il Fotografo Professionalista, Milan (Italy)2002 Die Sammlung, Melkweg, Amsterdam Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje, Ljubljana Likovne besede, Ljubljana (Slovenia) (The Netherlands) (Slovenia) Mʼars, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (Slovenia)2001 Eulogy to Beauty, Photofusion Museo Ken Damy, Brescia (Italy) Photography Centre, London (England) Progresso Fotografico, Milan (Italy) Prinz, Kyoto (Japan)2001 Akt na Slovenskem, Jakopičeva galerija, Vis A Vis International, Paris (France) Stedelijk museum Schiedam, Schiedam Ljubljana (Slovenia) Shukan Shincho, Tokyo (Japan) (The Netherlands)1997 Maestri Contemporanei, Museo Ken Slovenska kronika XX. stoletja, Ljubljana Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, Bert Hartkamp Damy, Brescia (Italy) (Slovenia) collection (The Netherlands)1997 Angels, Melkweg, Amsterdam (The Umetnostna galerija Maribor (Slovenia) Netherlands) PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS SELECTION1994 Melkweg Collection, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Artotheek Holland, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)1990 Recontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles (France) Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (France) Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna (Austria)PRESENTATIONS IN BOOKS AND MAGAZINES SELECTION Galerija likovnih umetnosti, Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia)Anthology nude, Asahi Press, Tokyo (Japan) Galerie Lichtblick, Köln (Germany)Camera Austria, Graz (Austria) GIP, Goro International Press, Tokyo (Japan)Fotopratica, Milan (Italy) Łódź Art Center, Łódź (Poland) 117
  117. 117. LOCATIONS AND DATES OF IMAGESLjubljana 2003 - 2010 2 Križanke Summer Theatre in 50 Market Halls in Ljubljana and the Three Ljubljana, 2007 Bridges, 2004 9 Faculty of Architecture, 2010 53 Tivoli Municipal Park in Ljubljana, 2010 12 Zois Street in Ljubljana, Faculty of 54 Tivoli Municipal Park in Ljubljana, 2005 Architecture, 2006 56 The Ursuline Gymnasium, now Jože 18 Šentjakob Square, now Levstik Square in Plečnik High School in Ljubljana, 2010 Ljubljana, 2004 57 The Ursuline Gymnasium, now Jože 28 Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Šiška, Plečnik High School in Ljubljana, 2010 Ljubljana, 2008 59 St. Bartholomew’s Church in Ljubljana, 2010 36 Market Halls in Ljubljana, 2004 61 Zois Pyramid in Ljubljana, 2009 38 Cobblers Bridge in Ljubljana, 2004 63 French Revolution Square and the 45 The National and University Library in monument to the Napoleon’s Illyrian Ljubljana, 2009 Provinces in Ljubljana, 2010 46 The National and University Library 64 Business and Residential in Ljubljana, the sculpture of Moses by Building Peglezen (the Flatiron) on Lojze Dolinar, 2010 Poljanska Street in Ljubljana, 2010 47 The National and University Library in 65 Business and Residential Ljubljana, Slovenian Academy of Science Building Peglezen (the Flatiron) on and Arts, 2010 Poljanska Street in Ljubljana, 2009 48 The National and University Library in 66 Church of the Archangel Michael on the Ljubljana, 2004 Marsh in Črna vas near Ljubljana, 2010 118
  118. 118. 68 Church of the Archangel Michael on the 85 Vzajemna Insurance Company, now the 106 Plečnik’s House, Trnovo, Ljubljana, 2010 Marsh in Črna vas near Ljubljana, 2008 Triglav Insurance Company, 2010 109 Plečnik’s House, Trnovo, Ljubljana, 200771 Chamber of Commerce, Works 86 Bežigrad Stadion in Ljubljana, 2007 112 Funeral Parlours at Žale Cemetary in and Industry, now the Constitutional 89 The protective ditch at the Ljubljana Ljubljana, 2007 Court in Ljubljana, 2006 Castle, 2009 Cover image: Cobblers Bridge in Ljubljana, 201073 Vegova Street in Ljubljana, 2010 91 The Navje Cemetery in Ljubljana, 200675 News-Stands and Market Pavilion in 93 The Roman Wall in Ljubljana, 2010 Ljubljana, 2010 94 Funeral Parlours at Žale Cemetery in76 Market Halls in Ljubljana, the new Ljubljana, 2009 Butcher’s bridge and the Three Bridges, 2010 95 Funeral Parlours at Žale Cemetary in Ljubljana, 200678 The Ljubljanica River Embankment at the mouth of the Gradaščica River in 96 St. Andrew’s Chapel at Funeral Parlours Ljubljana, 2005 at Žale Cemetary in Ljubljana, 2003 99 Križanke Summer Theatre in81 The Floodgate at the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana, 2009 Ljubljana, 2006 100 Križanke in Ljubljana, The Devil’s82 The Floodgate at the Ljubljanica River Courtyard, 2007 and the capital with a statuary by Božo Pengov, 2006 102 Križanke Summer Theatre in Ljubljana, 200584 Vzajemna Insurance Company, now the Triglav Insurance Company, 2010 105 Trnovo Bridge in Ljubljana, 2009 119
  119. 119. PHOTOGRAPHY:Stane JeršičBarbara Jakše–JeršičTEXTS:Acad. Prof. Dr. Jože Trontelj, Prof. Dr. Fedja Košir, Marko Košan,Prof. Dr. Jure Mikuž, Jože Osterman, Stane Jeršič, Boštjan Vuga,Barbara Jakše Jeršič, Dr. Katarina Marinčič, Dr. Mojca Puncer This book was published within the project Ljubljana: World Book Capital 2010DESIGN:Barbara Jakše-JeršičENGLISH TRANSLATION:Polona MerteljPRINTED BY:Tiskarna HrenNUMBER OF COPIES:200 copiesDTP:CameraPhotography © ArtKontakt, BastCopyright © 2010; all rights reservedPUBLISHERS:ArtKontaktViška cesta 251000 LjubljanaSlovenijatel. +386 (0) 5 994 71 10, gsm: +386 (0) 41 334 034artkontakt@rocketmail.com, www.artkontakt.si CIP - Kataložni zapis o publikaciji Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, LjubljanaBast Visual Art Management, Stane Jeršič s.p.gsm: + 386 (0) 41 627 123 , stane.jersic@guest.arnes.si, 72(497.4):929Plečnik J.(084.12)http://stane-jersic.si/ 77.041(497.4)www.facebook.com/plecnik.siwww.plecnik.com/ The MUSIC of Plečnik’s architecture panoramas : Ljubljana / [texts Jože Trontelj ... et al.] ; [photography] Stane Jeršič, Barbara Jakše Jeršič ; [English translation Polona Mertelj]. - Ljubljana : ArtKontakt : Bast Visual Art Management, 2010Ljubljana, 2010 ISBN 978-961-269-288-9 1. Trontelj, Jože 252257792
  120. 120. ISBN 978-961-269-288-9 25 Eur