Paths of Encounter
The social aspect of human existence is made up of encounters, both intentional and unpredictable, that take place in the profane corners of a particular space. A public space is a space that is accessible to everyone and in which various social processes unfold. It is the inseparable whole of a two-way process between two components: the public, which is represented by people, and the space, which is a place. Our impression of a city and the quality of living in it is often a reflection of the quality of the public space that the city offers. The public space contributes to the city’s reputation for vibrancy and liveability, as well as to the well-being of its inhabitants. From an architectural point of view, it is created for the purpose of socialising. It is an environment in which interaction arises between people and where accidental and non-accidental communication takes place. A good public space is one that fosters diversity and creates conditions that attract people. It can be the large empty space of a city square, which fills with the colourful images of traders during a fair, or it can merely be the intersection of two paths, which, by a happy coincidence, gives rise to a spontaneous exchange between two people.
In the vast treasure trove of the photographic collections of the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, we have sought out the expressed genre motifs of encounters that, with their hidden symbolism, reveal the cultural climate of the circumstances of their creation. Through the chosen photographs, we take a stroll through Ljubljana’s squares and selected meeting places in the Slovenian capital. The encounters take place in public spaces and are woven into the historical period of the twentieth century. Although mainly showing the everyday life of unknown individuals in the urban landscape, some resounding events also find a place in the selection. Together, the photographs present an image of Ljubljana as it once was.
Curator of the exhibition: Domen Kaučič
The exhibition has been prepared in cooperation with: