Winner of the Niépce Prize (2000) and of the Leica Prize (2004), Klavdij Sluban is a French photographer of Slovenian origin based in Paris. Now aged 42, he continues the development of his rigorous and coherent body of work. Sluban learnt the subtleties of black & white printing under the guidance of Georges Fèvre. Although he held a Masters’ degree in Anglo-American literature, little by little, he gave up teaching to commit wholly to photography. Never inspired by immediate and sensational current affairs, Sluban’s numerous photography trips are permeated with literary references for example, Beckett, Milton. The Black Sea, the Caribbean, the Balkans, and Russia can be read as many successive steps of an in-depth study of a patient proximity to the encountered real. His deep blacks and backlit silhouettes convey to his photographic style uprightness and accuracy free of didacticism or exoticism. In 1997, his work Balkans Transits, which he published with François Maspero, was awarded the RFI (International French Radio) prize. Since 1995, when not abroad, Sluban has run photography workshops with young offenders in prison. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis with support from Henri Cartier Bresson, Marc Riboud and William Klein, this commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps and prisons of Eastern Europe – Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, and Latvia and in the disciplinary centres of Moscow and St Petersburg. By offering us pictures of those places he is familiar with and of their inhabitants to whom he is a true partner, Sluban unveils the problems of closed spaces and constrained horizons. And by doing so, he brings to both our consciousness and senses the fractures of a confinement enhanced by the internalization of perceptions.
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