Vanja Vukovic

Vanja Vukovic


Schöppingen, Germany

Project Description:

the people & the place:
Refugees out of the “central accommodation facilities for applicants for political asylum” in the streets of the small town Schöppingen, Germany.

A refugee does not have any solid place, only a way and his hopes. Germany is the paradise. They are “kept safe” and ordered bureaucratically in portakabins there. Secreted by the German small town idyll. Waiting. For the time being. Life in the transit. Gives the small town hardly contacts to the people. The staged photos bring the “refugees” on the other side of the invisible walls of her accommodation facilities to outside. The way to the open. Her longing lies there. Perhaps one new home. You want to take it for yourself into possession. Finding native country. But it happens only at night. In growing dark if other views rest. It is a game with an illusion. As in the dream. If the day comes, the natives busily follow her life again, the refugees disappear in the turning loop again. Transit.

About the white space on the photo written from curator Matthias Ulrich:
The area known as surrounding space, which has been integrated discursively into the object of art since Minimal Art and has rendered any kind of neutrality impossible ever since, occurs in the series of photographs with the title Safe Heaven. Below several nightshots made on location in Schöppingen, North Rhine-Westfalia, Vukovic added an almost equally large white space whose brightness clearly underlines the contrast between both parts of the picutre. While the photography shows a human being who seems to shy away from the day, having uneasily come out of his hiding place into this sleepy place to practice the normality of ordinary people beyond any self-conception, the empty sheet is reminiscent of the missing commentary or of the protagonists’ story erased by the night. Despite their dominance, the traces of their origins, their displaced presence, the people in Vukovic’s photographs remain nameless and meet the lense merely like ghosts, trying to flee from the artificially illuminated space. Whether they will ever reach the safe heaven, and be able to continue telling their tale in a new home country, is written on a different sheet of paper.


Back to D18 Documentation