EXHIBITIONS

Here are some glimphs of my current/past exhibitions…

“Gozdne Vile / Wodland Villas” – 2022

samostojna razstava, galerija božena, fotohiša pelikan, celje, 8.12.2022 – 8.1.2023
solo exhibition in galerija božena, fotohiša pelikan, celje, 8.12.2022 – 8.1.2023

Klavdija Žitnik (1982) je delala in ustvarjala v Železnikih in Kranju, trenutno pa je stacionirana v Železnikih. Že več kot deset let dela kot profesionalna fotografinja, svoje znanje je izpilila tako v športni kot v korporativni digitalni fotografiji. Leta 2020 se je vrnila k analognim tehnikam, na sam začetek fotografije, v leto 1851, ko je Friedric Scott Archer izumil tehniko mokrega kolodija na steklu, kar približno sovpada s Puharjevim izumom fotografije na steklo. Prav tako dela in poučuje novejšo analogno eksperimentalno fotografsko tehniko »mordançage,« s katero se je predstavila na nedavni rastavi »Ženska – moč v senzibilnosti« na Festivalu fotografije Maribor 2022. Razstavlja tudi drugod po Sloveniji ter tujini, krasijo jo tako domače kot tuje fotografske nagrade in priznanja.
Je aktivna članica Fotografskega društva Janez Puharj Kranj, kjer vzpodbujajo njeno inovativnost pri neobičajnih pristopih. Sama fotografinja pravi, da uživa v čarobnosti počasnih, a nagrajujočih tehnik, ki jih nadgrajuje z eksperimentalnimi pristopi.
Razstavljena dela so nastala v letih 2020 in 2021 med  “covidno” zaporo in prikazujejo, kaj se lahko radovednemu in ustvarjalnemu človeku zgodi, ko pandemija profesionalno fotografsko kariero za nekaj časa popolnoma ustavi, ponudi pa čas za introspektivo, iz katere privre neskončna kreativnost.

“Gozdne Vile”
Na mokrokolodijskih fotografijah Klavdije Žitnik vidimo umetničin prikaz ženskega povezovanja z naravo, sinhronizacijo z naravnimi cikli in čiščenje procesov, ki jih ponotranjimo v življenjskem slogu, ki od nas zahteva hitrost, konstanten napredek in pogosto disociiranost od lastnega telesa in duše. Fotografije pozivajo k izstopu iz začaranega kroga materializma in vseh zahtev, ki jih le-ta polaga na nas, ter nakazujejo obrat k naravi in intuiciji. Njihova inspiracija izvira iz šamanizma in filozofije o stiku med človekom, naravo in spiritualnostjo, ki je z njim povezana.
Pri fotografijah dobimo asociacijo na pisanje Clarisse Pinkole Estes, ameriške psihoanalitičarke in feministke, preučevalke mitov in legend, ki vključujejo ženske, interpretiranih z jungovsko metodo. Njen cilj je razložiti opolnomočenje ženske, ki izhaja iz stika z njeno instinktivno naravo. V pravljici Vasilisa, ki je ruska, poljska, romunska in jugoslovanska pravljica, smo soočeni z interpretacijo simbola gozda, v povezavi z ženskostjo. Vasilisa je zgodba o dekletu, ki zapusti zlobno mačeho in sestri in je poslana v gozd, da bi pri Jagi Babi dobila žerjavico, s katero bi osvetlila dom. Gozd Pinkola Estes interpretira kot simbol globoke inciacije, s katero se dekle sooči, ko njeno prejšnje življenje umre in se mora soočati s senčno stranjo lastne psihe ter s svojo divjo in resnično naravo, ob tem pa uspešno prinesti iz gozda ogenj (opolnomočeno verzijo svoje osebnosti, ki je šla skozi individuacijo). Vasilisa pred odhodom v gozd od svoje matere dobi v dar tudi majhno punčko. Pinkola Estes jo interpretira kot simbolen homunculus, majhno življenje, simbol skritega v človeku, del izvirnega sebstva. Deluje kot simbol notranjega duha ženske, kot intuicija, ki jo moramo odnesti s sabo na potovanje samo-odkritja.
Pri motivih videnih v seriji Gozdne vile, ki vključujejo ženske različnih starostih, lahko homunculus interpretiramo tudi kot žensko, ki v sebi vedno nosi otroško dušo in ji ostaja zvesta. Zgodba v povezavi z deli Klavdije Žitnik vzpostavi jasno povezavo med arhetipom senzibilne, izpopolnjene ženske in gozdom, ki nosi pomen tako iz vidika spajanja z naravo, kot tudi kot izrazit pokazatelj podzavesti. Fotografije nagovarjajo k poglobitvi v lastno psiho, poslušanju lastnega telesa in k pogumu, da se odrečemo normam moderne družbe, ki jih dojemamo kot destruktivne.
Tehnika mokrega kolodija omogoči niansirano prelivanje tonov in izpostavitev struktur, kar pritiče konceptualni zasnovi fotografij, saj poudari surovo in primarno motiviko, ter doda mitično atmosfero k temi, ki je v naši zavesti prisotna že od nekdaj. Obenem tehnika, ki ne omogoča kasnejših posegov in katere nosilec je steklo, v povezavi s tematiko naglasi pozitivne vidike neprilagojenosti ter krhkosti človeškega obstoja. Premišljeno ustvarjeno je variiranje med prikazom dreves, rastlinja in prodornih portretov, ki nas nagovarjajo k stapljanju in enotnosti z izvirnim, obenem pa necenzurirano pripovedujejo o moči ženske, ki se vrača h globljemu stiku z lastnimi željami in potrebami. Rekviziti, ki opominjajo na šamanske obrede, nas opomnijo na magijo, ki izvira iz tihega upora proti površinskemu, zavoljo življenja, ki bo osebo izpopolnilo in varovalo njene korenine.

Umetnostna zgodovinarka in kustosinja,
Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

Viri: Clarisa PINKOLA ESTES, Ženske, ki tečejo z volkovi, Ljubljana, 2002


Klavdija Žitnik (1982) worked and created in Železniki and Kranj, but is currently stationed in Železniki. She has been working as a professional photographer for more than ten years, honing her skills in both sports and corporate digital photography. In 2020, she returned to analog techniques, to the very beginning of photography, in 1851, when Friedric Scott Archer invented the technique of wet collodion on glass, which roughly coincides with Puhar’s invention of photography on glass. She also works and teaches the newer analog experimental photography technique “mordançage,” which she presented at the recent exhibition “Women – power in sensibility” at the Maribor Photography Festival 2022. She also exhibits elsewhere in Slovenia and abroad, and is decorated with both domestic and foreign photographs awards and recognitions.
She is an active member of the Janez Puhar Kranj Photography Society, where they encourage her innovation in unusual approaches. The photographer herself says that she enjoys the magic of slow but rewarding techniques, which she builds on with experimental approaches.
The exhibited works were created in 2020 and 2021 during the “covid” lockdown and show what can happen to a curious and creative person when the pandemic completely stops the professional photography career for a while, but offers time for introspection, from which endless creativity springs.

“Woodland Villas”
In the wet collodion photographs of Klavdija Žitnik, we see the artist’s depiction of a woman’s connection with nature, synchronization with natural cycles and the purification of processes that we internalize in a lifestyle that requires us to speed, constant progress and often dissociate from our own body and soul. The photographs call for an exit from the vicious circle of materialism and all the demands it places on us, and indicate a turn to nature and intuition. Their inspiration comes from shamanism and the philosophy of contact between man, nature and the spirituality associated with it.
With the photographs, we get an association with the writing of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, an American psychoanalyst and feminist, a study of myths and legends involving women, interpreted with the Jungian method. Her goal is to explain the empowerment of a woman that comes from contact with her instinctive nature. In the fairy tale of Vasilisa, which is a Russian, Polish, Romanian and Yugoslav fairy tale, we are faced with the interpretation of the symbol of the forest, in connection with femininity. Vasilisa is the story of a girl who leaves her evil stepmother and sister and is sent to the forest to get embers from Yaga Baba to light her home. Pinkola Estes interprets the forest as a symbol of the deep initiation that a girl faces when her previous life dies and she must face the shadow side of her own psyche and her wild and true nature while successfully bringing fire (an empowered version of her personality) out of the forest, which went through individuation. Before going to the forest, Vasilisa also receives a small doll as a gift from her mother. Pinkola Estes interprets it as a symbolic homunculus, a small life, a symbol of what is hidden in man, a part of the original self. It acts as a symbol of the inner spirit of a woman, as an intuition that we must take with us on a journey of self-discovery.

In the motifs seen in the Woodland Villas series, which include women of various ages, the homunculus can also be interpreted as a woman who always carries a child’s soul within her and remains loyal to her. The story, in connection with the works of Klavdija Žitnik, establishes a clear connection between the archetype of a sensitive, sophisticated woman and the forest, which carries meaning both from the point of view of merging with nature, and also as a distinct indicator of the subconscious. The photographs encourage us to delve into our own psyche, listen to our own body and to have the courage to renounce the norms of modern society, which we perceive as destructive.
The wet collodion technique allows for a nuanced blending of tones and the highlighting of structures, which lends itself to the conceptual design of photographs, as it emphasizes raw and primary motifs, and adds a mythical atmosphere to the darkness that has been present in our consciousness since time immemorial. At the same time, the technique, which does not allow for later interventions and whose carrier is glass, emphasizes the positive aspects of maladjustment and the fragility of human existence in connection with the subject matter. Thoughtfully created, there is a variation between the display of trees, vegetation and penetrating portraits, which urge us to merge and become one with the original, while at the same time telling an uncensored story about the power of a woman who returns to a deeper contact with her own desires and needs. The props, reminiscent of shamanic rituals, remind us of the magic that comes from a silent rebellion against the superficial, for the sake of life, which will perfect a person and protect his roots.

Art historian and curator,
Sara Nuša Golob Grabner

Sources:
Clarisa PINKOLA ESTES, Women who run with wolves, Ljubljana, 2002

“Woman – Power in sensibility” – 2022

solo exhibition in galerija media nox, maribor – festival fotografije maribor 2022

You can already take a visit in Galerija Media Nox in Maribor but the official opening will be at Saturday, 17.9.2022 at 18. pm, just before the grand opening of Festival fotografije Maribor 2022 of which my exhibition is also a part.⁠

Welcome! ⁠

“Woodland Villas” – 2021

solo exhibition in Municipality of Kranj, Kranj

“Trapped in my dreams” – 2021

solo exhibition in Galerija Šolt, Ljubljana

My first solo exhibition was kind of a retrospective of the Covid-19 year when I started to explore the uniqness of hystoric photographic processes.