Traces of the Reality: Between Iowa and Slovenia

The Photography of Hanno Hardt

9. February – 24. March 2019

Far out, on the horizon, there is an old cabin, its decaying wooden planks tell a story of serenity, of familiarity, and of Sunday clothes. The solitude of people’s absence speaks loudly. The long-neglected fence that once divided the land speaks of ranchers’ devotion, about their, and our own, mortality. Another snapshot follows. A mighty female figure holding a camera stands in front of a crowd of tourists. To the side, there is a woman. She is walking, bent as if she wished to remain unnoticed – is she lonely?, she sneaks into the photograph. With the delicate depiction of solitude, the photograph speaks volumes. It speaks to us. It was taken in another time, yet it is eternal.

Today, I believe that Hanno’s photographic projects are mostly about time. About the passage of time and our own mortality, Ilija T. Tomanić wrote in memoriam of his teacher and fellow photographer Hanno Hardt.

The exhibition includes photographs of hamlets in Iowa and a small district of Ljubljana. It weaves together intimate imagery, perhaps of the photographer’s nostalgia, and snapshots of Ljubljana, in which the author withdrew to bring to the forefront the temperament and the character of the city.

Hanno Hardt (1934 – 2011), lecturer and publicist, taught at the University of Iowa for more than 30 years, after his retirement in 2002, he continued his academic career at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. His teachings, theoretical work, and, of course, photographic projects encouraged us to consider street photography a part of visual discourse about society. Street photography is a strong and uncompromising expression of a photographer’s creative freedom, wrote Hardt, which makes showcasing original, vintage photographs, just as the author wanted us to see them, of utmost importance.

Meta Krese

The producer of the exhibition is the VIST Photography Department in partnership with the National Museum of Contemporary History. The curator of the exhibition is Meta Krese, Head of the Department of Photography, the exhibition is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia.

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