Ana Zibelnik (b. 1995) is a photographer currently living and working in Leiden, Netherlands. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, she decided to further pursue her studies in film and photographic theory at Leiden University. During the period between 2015 and 2018, she was part of the If Slovenia Were project, an intense mentorship program led by a renowned French-Slovenian photographer Klavdij Sluban. In May 2018, she was selected as an emerging artist to participate in the second cycle of PARALLEL – European Photo Based Platform. She has been dealing extensively with the topic of time consciousness in photography, often incorporating literary works into her practice. For her recent series “We are the ones turning,” she received the Verzasca Nera prize, awarded by Verzasca Foto Festival. Aside from the artistic work, she has been exploring and documenting Blue zones (longevity hotspots) in a long-term collaboration with the writer and philosopher Jaka Gerčar.
We are the ones turning
We are the ones turning (ongoing, 2019 – )
The series is the result of something we all grapple with in life: dying. To make sense of what is constantly there – somewhere, sometimes latent, sometimes not so much –, to better understand and bear the “possibility of impossibility” we tend to listen to those more experienced, similarly or more troubled than us. We read books and watch films and lend an ear to the occasional wise man speaking. My own grappling with how we encounter the constant presence of death is greatly indebted to some of those who examined the infinitely compelling and defining nature of mortality in detail and put it down in ink. One of those who marks the conceptual backbone of my series is Martin Heidegger, who accurately noted that the paramount difference between man and everything else that lives, lies not in the ratio, but in mortality: “mortals are those who experience death as death”. In this sense, human beings are identified by the great absence. Not necessarily by fear of it or permanent anticipation, but by mere awareness of the fact – an awareness we are born with and is reinforced and revisited simply by living. My series is an exploration into the subtle encounters with death during lifetime. I wish to construe a vast and intense fictional narrative that zooms in on what it means to be running out of time. The project is being produced in the scope of PARALLEL – European Photo Based Platform.
To view more of Ana Zibelnik’s work please visit her website.