In the era of hyperproduction of images, the majority of them coming from the bosom of media kitsch governed by appetite for profit, it is becoming increasingly difficult to come across a segmented work that would - within the limits of individual sequence shots and their spontaneous combination - combine subtle aesthetics and an in-depth analysis of the meaning-sense - this often ignored, yet central element of the photographic medium. The series Sequences by Robert Hutinski, who has already stirred the Slovene world of expressive photography with his previous creations, uses dissection of the basic photographic elements, especially the central signifiers, woven from basic graphical elements, intervenes directly into the field of photographic grammar. Naturally, the author achieves this in a familiar, radical and suggestive manner, forcing the spectator to (re)animate his thinking and become suspicious towards the inherited semantic constellation, in particular the categorially ideological premises, i.e. those principles that (for the spectator) create or interpret the environment. Each gesture that injects unease into the field of virtual comfort and tyrannical imposition of apathy produced by flavour enhancers is nowadays considered a gesture of new humanism, exodus from the intellectually impotent postmodernist illusion of equality and the end of history that was able to understand the humanity of being only through the prism of imposed utilitarian values.

Throughout the entire Sequences series, Robert Hutinski offers a vivisection of the body, only this time it is not vivisection in the classical renaissance sense, but rather vivisection in the neohumanistic manner. The body in the series does not perform its direct biological function – it is subtly dissected in its signifying potency, revealing a series of ideological sub-connotations, which, like the photographs themselves, synthesise the Real into arbitrary bearers of meaning with social, even political dimensions. The exposure of the problematic arbitrariness of the categorial clenches of the body attests to the author’s in-depth, perhaps unconscious or not entirely articulated thematisation of the central tissue of our discursive reality – the signifier, i.e. the basic function that in the duality of binary matrix of opposites synthesises facelessness into an understandable and entirely undeserved certainty. In this series, the symbol of arbitrariness in its real function of imposing connotativeness of the visual is exposed in the functional image of clear lines or borders, which, with regard to the viewpoint, repeatedly give each element of the photographs, even if in reprise, a new, but at all times solid time-meaning-sense. The constellation of each sequence always displaces another view, exposing the pursuit of totalitarian primacy of arbitrariness of the current view, and revealingly also the blind faith of the postmodernism decomposing in front of our eyes.

Works of art more often than not remain half-way, meaning that they are only capable of detecting the symptom, and are far from being able to reach beyond. In this sense, too, the Sequences are superior; in their grand finale, they bring insight into the end of the postmodernist solidity of brackets, especially those surrounding bodies. Sequences series brings a suggestive enactment of modern crucifixion, i.e. symbolic crucifixion. If the era up to postmodernism was based on the Christianity of crucified God-Man, then the era foretold by Robert Hutinski will be based on the icon of the crucified body in the symbolic sense. Crucifixion of the body in the symbolic sense, which must happen in the medium of photography if it is to become eternal, communicates a reprise of the basic philosophical experience, conceived in the maieutical gesture of questioning, repeated in the suspicion towards the inherited certainties typical of enlightenment and rounded up in Derrida’s deconstructive ploughing through the landscape of reality. In the omnipresent expansion of photographic blindness brainlessly relying on the certainty of its own grammar and the security of the rules of the craft, meeting a photographer-thinker, a free nomad putting the meaning-sense to the test, is a rare and ecstatic experience. Robert Hutinski is one of the few photographers-thinkers who, overcoming his own vanity and shyly hiding behind his own images, opens the gates through which eternity slides into the moving images of our time called sequences.


Peter Kuralt