Klavdij Sluban crosses abandoned Far Eastern towns on foot — what happened to their inhabitants? A few are still here, wrapped up in the fog, like fleeing animals or with their backs to the wall. Searching for people, the photographer travelled outside Europe, penetrating into Asia, Russia, Mongolia, China, on the Trans-Siberian railway, yet he never encountered a density of population. Everywhere, the physicality of the land has taken over and rendered negligible the human species.
The photographer was nostalgic for the snow of his childhood, which surrounded him in his corner of the world, but here the snow has become a white cancer: it doesn’t cover the ground, but consumes it. The silence is oppressive.
The photographer seldom uses a fast exposure to capture a movement or a journey. More often, he leaves the camera open for a long time, so that the silence impregnates the film. Stillness needs time to rise to the surface. Stillness is the state of grace of a messianic moment, not the exaltation of an arrival, but the end of a journey.
One of the recent photographs amounts to a portrait of our time, the face of a woman with lips parted as if to kiss nothingness, inverted in a reflection. She addresses herself to a point irredeemably separate from her. This is the East, looking to the West. It’s the most silent look of the whole series, offering and demanding salvation, and creating a silence in those who look at it.
— Extracted from a preface by Erri de Luca for the book Transsibériades. Read this in the original French here.
Book reviewTransibériadesKlavdij Sluban won the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, for his book Transsibériades.View Images
Klavdij Sluban won the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, for his book Transsibériades.View Images
Klavdij Sluban won the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, for his book Transsibériades.
Trans-Tibétain, 2007 © Klavdij Sluban
Chine, 2005 © Klavdij Sluban
Shanghaï, 2008 © Klavdij Sluban
Trans-Sibérien, Mongolie, 2005© Klavdij Sluban
Moscou, 2006 © Klavdij Sluban
Shanghaï, 2008 © Klavdij Sluban
Trending this Week
Inked: Why I Love Tattoos
“I got my first tattoo at home. Just like that, on the sofa. I keep on going because there are so many good tattooists out there. It’s like collecting art. It’s an honor to wear their work.” Shifting from trashy to trendy, tattoos make the...
Advice for Portrait Photographers
One of America’s leading photographers offers his insights about making great photographic portraits.
Fire of Hatred
In Iran, some vengeful lovers, spurned suitors or aggrieved family members turn to the awful, violent act of acid-throwing to exact revenge. This portrait series gives a platform for the victims to speak out.
In My Backyard: Iceland
Set against the grand, wild majesty of the eastern Icelandic landscape, these searching self-portraits are one woman’s attempts to connect with herself and forge a basic understanding with her environment.
Rolling Stone to Christopher Street: 30 Years of Portraits
Rolling Stone’s former chief photographer Mark Seliger discusses his current series, “On Christopher Street,” while offering invaluable advice for aspiring portrait photographers.
Genderqueer: Outside & In-Between the Binary
Portraits of San Francisco’s gender nonconforming community — this striking series of intimate images raises awareness of an often overlooked and misunderstood subject.