Airport terminal enlivened by the photography exhibition Fly’s Eye View
The atmosphere of the passenger terminal of the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is being enlivened these days by a collage of 30 photographs adorning the entrance and exit of the passenger hall.
The author and driving force behind the project is Nino Mihalek (Muha), an aircraft photographer and enthusiast who inspiringly captures everything aviation-related in his camera’s lens. This he does successfully and preferably from a bird’s eye view. Thus his nickname “Muha” (The Fly) is no coincidence. During his decade’s long study of Slovenia’s main airport, Nino has focused the renowned mastery of his art on aircraft photography, and thus created a rich record that details a major part of the recent history of aviation. This legacy surpasses documented imagery, and is seen in masterpieces and unconventional details that would remain hidden forever if not discovered through his lens.
The aforementioned exhibition extends beyond the borders of the airport, and yet is inextricably linked to it. Although the airport is the essence of the exhibition, greater emphasis is placed on the “sideways” glances unveiled to visitors when they come to Slovenia. Natural beauty and motifs, which are far from postcard cliché and at first glance may seem mundane, reveal well-known corners of Slovenia in a unique way.
The author combines his own view with the views of two other photographers. While Nino’s view is from the air to the ground, the camera of Jure Mežnaršič captures ground-to-ground images. Mežnaršič’s camera is surrounded by air, as his photographs were taken from the straight and climbing paths of Slovenia’s exquisite mountains. These are not pictures taken on photographic journeys into the mountains, but in passing, as records of time spent in the mountains, as records of the joy of fellow climbers, romantic moments, danger in the mountains, difficult conditions for survival, and last but not least, as a tribute to those who first walked in the mountains of Slovenia. A view from the water and below its surface, contributed by Franc Goltez, represents the third dimension of the exhibition. A dimension that largely remains unknown to us and thus immediately captures the viewer’s attention. Who hides in the “dusty” deeps? An unusual view of Bled Castle. Mutual surprise at a chance meeting. And once again air; bubbles around aquatic plants as they make their way to the surface and beyond into the element that permeates the entire exhibition.
A collection of photographs, which at first glance may not appear to have a great deal in common, reveal to the viewer things that they have seen countless times; only this time they are presented from a different perspective, in different combinations. They are linked by the authors, who spent a great deal of their lives intertwined, each in his own way, with the idea of aviation, and who are known for their exploration of the world through the camera lens. The academic painter Gregor Nartnik (Nagi) has provided a hand-painted background for their work, setting the photographs among stylised mountains and clouds, between the real and the abstract. The nearly 100 meter-long hand-painted backdrop is certainly one of the largest works of its kind, both far and wide.
Aerodrom Ljubljana’s aim as sponsor of the project was to draw the attention of travellers and visitors, and to enliven the atmosphere of the airport. The exhibition is one of numerous projects honouring and marking the airport’s 50th anniversary.
Zg. Brnik, 22 December 2014