Blut und Boden
4 June – 20 September 2020
You are kindly invited to attend a talk with the artist on Saturday, 20 June 2020 at 7 p.m. outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova.
Jošt Franko’s artistic and photographic practice is based on interdisciplinary research projects exploring the topics of migration, workers’ rights, and the ignored parallel histories of communities and individuals in the territories of the former Yugoslavia.
Blut und Boden focuses on migrations, belonging, and exclusion as essentially political. The project stems from understanding the position of humanity robbed of even “bare life” as defined by Giorgio Agamben in his Homo sacer, and the related perception of the (refugee) camp as the bio-political paradigm of the modern world. Building up since 2017, the project’s archive is an attempt to give recognition to people who have become, in their absence, robbed of their lives, torn from their histories, and cursed to repeatedly migrate, targets of political violence within the system of nation states in view of the crisis of the fiction of modern sovereignty. In centers of forced containment their ragged continuities between human and citizen, between birth and nationality – between blood and soil – represent the impossibility of the future.
Through his photographs, video installations, collages, and texts, Franko investigates the normalization of the “state of emergency” on European borders, represented by wires, walls, drones, militarization, and repression. The project thus inspects the places and conditions in refugee camps on the periphery of Europe, where they emerged after the closing down of the so-called Balkan route.
Jošt Franko completed his postgraduate studies at Goldsmiths University. He has exhibited at home and internationally, also at the Finnish Museum of Photography (2017), the New York Photo Festival (2010), the Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti (2019), and the Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten (2020). Franko has won several Pulitzer grants and been short-listed for the prestigious Lange-Taylor Prize, awarded by Duke University, several times. His work has been presented in the Slovene and international press, among others in Time magazine, The New Yorker, New York Times, La Repubblica and Washington Post.
The exhibition is curated by Igor Španjol.