“The primal plant is going to be the strangest creature in the world, which nature herself shall envy me. With this model and the key to it, it will be possible to go on forever inventing plants and know that their existence is logical; that is to say, if they do not actually exist, they could, for they are not the shadowy phantoms of a vain imagination, but possess an inner necessity and truth. The same law will be applicable to all other living organisms.” – Goethe von J.W., Italian Journey (1817).
In Sequences of Truth and Deception, Vanja Bučan explores humanity’s juxtaposing relationship with nature – teetering between ambivalence, control and, paradoxically, romanticisation. The compositions are filled with layers, abstraction and metaphor. Isolated body parts – bursting through paper forests and grasping artificial vases – are representative of the Anthropocene era. For the viewer, it’s difficult to discern whether each image is a depiction of love, appreciation and intimacy or domination.
Bučan is a Slovenian photographer who lives and works in Berlin. She graduated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague at the department of Documentary Photography. After her studies, she distanced herself from the straight documentary genre and focused on staged compositions, before studying sociology and becoming involved in environmental activism.
Bucan’s work has exhibited at several major exhibitions, biennials and solo shows. Amongst them are Kunsthaus Wien, Circulations(s) Festival, Photo London, Photo Basel, European Month of Photography Bratislava and Leica Gallery Wetzlar.
Credits: All images from the Sequences of Truth and Deception (2015–2019) series. Courtesy of the artist.