Valjevo upside down

The art installation Valjevo upside down aims to interpret visual identity of Valjevo by using camera obscura. By the refraction of light rays through a small hole in the structure’s wall, it creates the image of the outside landscapes in its interior. The resulting reflection differs from the “original” one only in one detail – it’s rotated by 180 degrees. Camera obscura is an invention that dates back to the ancient world. It is a simple device which offers a completely different view of reality. It raises the question: which of the optical illusions is the first, the original, the real one? The images, which we are able to perceive through the senses of sight, owe their visuality to refraction of light rays in our eyes. Therefore, what we think is real, is actually an illusion just like an inverted image in the camera obscura. One apparently trivial change in the point of view raises questions about entities which are taken as such. This installation allows framing specific spots in the city that are interesting to the author and which she wishes to point out. It was first set up in Belgrade, entitled: Can you see around the corner? criticizing the attitude towards heritage of Savamala, one of the oldest parts of the city. This time, the inside of the camera obscura be filled with images of Valjevo, especially parts of the town that can say a lot about itselfe. Entering the dark room, every viewer has the opportunity to re-examine their beliefs; to experience this neighborhood as aesthetically rich core; to ask themselves about many contradictions this place carries. The image inside the camera obscura raises many questions: What went wrong in this town? What bothers us as we walk through its streets? What we have done in terms of revitalizing places that are important to us? Did we use the full potential of this town? Are we responsible or we are just playing a game of responsibility? Take a break; spend a few moments in a dark room with the reflection of Valjevo and its problems. Maybe rotated image bring a solution or at least recognition. Perhaps it would show where we’re wrong. In the intimacy of the camera obscura, you will notice that there are some other forms of Valjevo that are not readily apparent, for which is necessary to allocate some time for the eyes to adjust and for the picture becomes clear.

Kristina Grebenar