Atavism (Family Album or Seminar on Youth)
– text by Borut Batagelj
Saying that Robert Hutinski lives and works in Celje sounds like a worn-out biographical phrase. Nevertheless, this is an important fact. Just like most of his other projects, the Family Album series stems from the city and the stories of its inhabitants, turning them into a photographic narrative.
Perhaps the best way to define the Family Album series is by calling it ‘the culture of memories’.
In the confusion that reigns between the author’s perception of the collective memories of the environment carefully preserved in the archives of the Central Library of Celje and the assortment of personal tales of those who entrusted him with their pictures, a new tale and a new family album are being created. Interwoven fates, finding themselves in the grip of dynamic modern history, create a mosaic of the new historical memory, where the author’s subtle manipulation of the diptychs shows the individual trapped between personal and collective identities.
Memories, of course, are essential to establishing an identity. Hutinski pays equal attention to forgetting, the intentional destruction of memories. It is in our nature, both collective and individual, to sweep under the rug that which bothers us in certain situations.
The Family Album series is thus a confrontation between memory and the loss of it, and the author’s reflection on this confrontation. The carefully picked memories, as well as their destruction, are in fact the black and white world that remains in our consciousness. It is said that memories fade, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that memories slowly turn black and white, causing us, both as individuals and as a society, to only remember the whitest and the blackest events.
Robert Hutinski (1969) lives and works in Celje, Slovenia. He has held several solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, and received awards from PX3, International Photography Awards, Kontinental Award, Photographic association of Slovenia – Photography of the year.