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5 questions for Olja Triaška Stefanovič and Juraj Blaško

We asked Olja Triaška Stefanovič and Juraj Blaško, lecturers at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, 5 questions to know them better. They will hold workshop at this year’s Organ Vida festival edition, called How to Make a Photo Zine. You can apply HERE.


What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Olja: The most important thing for me is the transfer of emotion from my work to the viewer. Emotion and interest to come back to my following show.

Juraj: I am a graphic designer, so I will answer these questions from the perspective of graphic design. Satisfaction from the graphic image, comfort of reading, clearness of information.


Which photographers have influenced your interest in photography?

Olja: The biggest influence was that of the German school of photography and of the great Bernd and Hilla Becher and their students.

Juraj: Old school classic graphic designers such as Adrian Frutiger, Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Erik Spiekereman, Ladislav Sutnar and the Polish School of Posters. And of photopgraphers, for example Czech photographers Josef Sudek and Jaromir Funke.


What is the last exhibition that surprised you? Why?

Olja: The last show that inspired me and surprised me was in Paris at the Centre Pompidou. The exhibition with the title UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS was dedicated to art and photography from the 1980s of the 20th century. A clear curatorial concept and a great selection of works drew me back into the atmosphere, decadence, postmodernism and the aesthetics of popular iconography of that time and that world.

Juraj: It was an exhibition which I designed with my colleagues; it contained more than 300 photographs by the famous Bratislava studio photographer Eduard Kozics. I was surprised by the perfection of the photos more than 100 years old.


Do you have a gallery/museum-going routine?

Olja: For me is a routine is to go and visit galleries and museums in every city that I visit. But I most often visit the galleries in Prague (Rudolfinum) and in Vienna (Albertina Museum or Museumsquartier Wien).

Juraj: When I travel, I always try to visit galleries or museums in the city I visit. The Venice Bienalle (both art and architecture) I visit almost regularly.


How did you get into photography?

Olja: As a teenager I just had the need to talk more and show my inner vision of world to my friends. Then I started to film and take photos. I stayed with photography and can’t imagine my life without it.


How would you explain what contemporary graphic design is?

Juraj: It is difficult to tell, because graphic design has many different specialist fields, such as type, editorial, corporate or user interface design. I think that what is common to all the specialist fields is that the graphic designer becomes a problem solver, not just an aesthetics creator.