Jon Derganc: All That is Solid Melts into Air
7. 8. 2018 - 2. 9. 2018

The attempt here is to create photographs that, through their process of becoming – while remaining formally relatively traditional photographs with their corresponding photographic attributes (indexicality, etc.) – attempt to disconnect themselves from providing the viewer with an opening which he or she can latch onto. The photograph attempts to remain separate, become autonomous. This could be achieved, in the case of Landscapes (Kolkata, Varanasi, Goa), through a disconnect between expectation – upon seeing the image from a distance and reading the title – and what is there, between what is seen at first glance and what turns out to be there upon further, more thorough observation. Or through the framing of the subject/object of the photograph and its form of display. An example here are two corners of a bedroom, looked at every morning and evening for the best part of two years, that, once reformed as a photographic image, retain their connection to the real world through their organic marks, stains and dust-blackened cobwebs – counterbalanced by the images being digital prints – while their geometric, architectural form collapses into (or out of) itself. This is also the case with an image of the sky; backlit, illuminated, the illusion of depth flattened, blocked and pierced by black marks – burnt paper – on the surface, the image apparently contradicting its own logic and illumination and thereby, hopefully, resisting potential emotional investment by the viewer. Or, finally, this self-separation is attempted by way of a space illuminated by engineered light, designed to function as ambient illumination for studios using digital imaging equipment. (Jon Derganc)


The exhibition “All That Is Solid Melts into Air” presents the works by Jon Derganc, which were created from 2011 onwards. In Derganc’s works the material processes that characterize the emergence of photography and its visual effects and meaning are of equal importance and constantly confronted with one another. The title of the exhibition points to an interest in material transformations of the photographic object as it passes through analogue and digital transfers in photographic production and postproduction. In relation to Marx’s quote, which is today often used as a metaphor for describing the consequences of digitalization, the title refers also to the history of photography and the process of modernization in which photography was formed as a new technology of representation.

The works presented at the exhibition formulate the photographic practice as a process of persistent preclusion of possible entry points for the viewer, in which photography emerges in an indifferent silence of radical non-belonging. The elements of the photographic system are treated as the material for artistic practice, but chosen not because of the photograph’s specific (indexical, representational, etc.) capacities, but principally because of their limits. The photographic means and effects – through the process of negation of all inceptive anchorages before they can ossify into a solid foundation – are perpetually in the function of refusing the spectators investment. The structure of Derganc’s works, as writes Domen Ograjenšek in regard to Brezna (2011), enables the formation of “a view that does not expose certain visual elements to the detriment of others, but rejects them altogether in order to nullify vision.”


Curated by Tjaša Pogačar


Opening: Tuesday, 7.8.2018 at 8 pm

Accompanying events:

Thursday, 16.8. at 6 pm, Guided tour of the exhibition
Wednesday, 29.8. at 6 pm, Conversation with Jon Derganc, led by Domen Ograjenšek.


Jon Derganc (1986) completed his studies of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and graduated in 2011. In 2014 he received an MFA in graphics from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India. He has presented his work at exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, including at the exhibition Crises and New Beginnings, Art in Slovenia 2005-2015 (Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, 2015), Vidno nevidno (Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, 2014), Password: Printmaking (International Center of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka; CIEC Foundation Betanzos; MCG Krakow; Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, 2013), 16/16 (Equrna Gallery Ljubljana, 2011), We Want to be Free as the Fathers Were (MGLC, Ljubljana, 2010). He received an honorary mention at the international StartPoint: Prize for Emerging Artists in 2012.

Photos of the exhibition: Klemen Ilovar.