Risographer printed by We Make It
Edition of 100. Berlin 2017
"In the last several years, photographer Sergej Vutuc has published a large number of small zines often to be found in subcultural contexts such as the skating scene – simple style, fast, roughly produced and often used as an item to share among friends. Like the scene itself, the focus ranges between urbanity, streets, shapes, bodies and occupancy of public spaces. Photography seems to be an accompanying, or even a fraternizing medium, following up the fast skating flow.
In his latest publications, Vutuc uses the possibilities of book-making in a more object-wise style. The way the books (they don’t really fit to the genre of zines anymore) are bound and printed is playing a more important role. Building opens up with a risograph-printed cover, which makes your fingers dirty the minute you hold it in your hands for the very first time. Uncovering it is not easy, as the cover is locked up with a masking tape which will surely disturb the surface of the cover once you try to unveil it. Looking at the book is an experience in itself; each person approaches the book-object in their own unique way to finally reveal the spreads that Vutuc has composed. You will still find the blurry, strongly treated black and white compositions with words scratched on them that are – if at all readable – not necessarily understandable, because they are written in several different languages. At this point, Vutuc couldn’t be more far away from photography as a medium of documentation, and even the words describe almost nothing but appear more like signs and symbols. “Building” as a title for the book holds of course its simple meaning of any kind of a house, but also refers to the act of building – and one should leave it in that richness of associations as it is – whether it’s physical, natural, or in any figurative sense.
On a pictorial level, Building represents a purely analog photographic and artistic approach, shifting from recognizable details like (recurring) stairs or the hand of the photographer himself to abstract forms made out of shadows or edges of the film negatives. In this way, Vutuc remains true to himself in translating the physical experience on of the street into a visual language on paper, opening up general and social questions alongside the personal (skate-)experience: questions about order in public space and the use of public space in front of interchangeable urban surfaces."
Rebecca Wilton, 2017
"In his latest book "BUILDING", Sergej's selection of works pinpoints and highlights a confusion inherent to the relationship between, on one hand, modern individuals and, on the other hand, the environment of the industrialized world their fragile existences are confined to - like a fish bowl overflowing with constructions, instructions, and regulations ; a monstrous establishment of steel-solid standards which only further and further predates the struggles of the people, overwhelming and overpowering them, leaving more and more way to the negation of free thought.
The characters portrayed, skateboarders, are caught on film resorting to that tool of dwindling choice to claim their natural right to explore, see, feel. A brutal experience only really making for a desperately hopefully equal fight back against an aggressive, oppressive and intrusive opponent.
The materials used (film, paper) are as rough, tough and tangible as not just said war, but also as the both physical and cultural limitations really trapping the represented individuals within one specific dimension of reality complete with haunting urban references (and just as many incitations) to consumerism. The textures are as rigid as those of the constructions being reclaimed through the skateboarding, and each page makes for a stand for the right to fresh air."
Aymeric Nocus, 2017