We can hardly classify Peter Laančarič´s photographic diptychs as typical portrait genres which paraphrase the classical methods of historical portrait painting and photography. The author seeks to grasp the inside of man through the current concept of imaging an identity of an individual and a group. The exhibited diptych represents an own interconnecting of multiple meanings. Partnerships, relationships and the individual scenes differ in colour, poses of the displayed characters, the symbolism of the gesture and the character of stereotypes. The author composes his stories in a specific family environment.

The series of diptychs called “They create the world and happiness in their own kitchens” represents the author´s intent to study individual members of the families, mothers and daughters, mothers with a child, a mother and her son etc. In the context of the concept, the famous Descartes´ assertion “I think, therefore I am” comes to my mind and Peter Lančarič transforms this sentence in his photographs into “I love, therefore I am”. Peter Lančarič loves women…, he loves his mother…, and he loves photography…, through which he observes himself but also looks into the souls of his friends and people close to him.

Peter Lančarič´s photographic images seem to transcend the real world. To capture something beyond the visible, the author uses an austere realism of visual sociology which respects the reality even though it also calculates with the inversion of the thought and the message for the audience. Lančarič is a precise observer, an “outsider” as well as an “insider”, who breaks the personal space of family secrets through the poetics of a simple (indexed) report. His direct photography penetrates into deeper levels and it metaphorically talks about a “human nudity”, about relationships, wounds, joyful and uneasy private intimacy.

In his photographs, the author does not avoid the aesthetics typical for similar sociological concepts. The diptychs remind me of the known concept of portraits by August Sander. Like Sander, Lančarič uses the comparative analytical method which is close to the approaches of the cultural anthropology. He deprives the portrait subjects of an undue idealization. Unlike Sander, who arranges his portraits with an emphasis on their social role in the environment typical for them, Lančarič emphasizes family relationships and family environment. By his way of interpretation, he asks pressing questions about the importance and status of a family and family bonds. He asks questions like who is my family, my neighbour, why he is close to me and who bears the responsibility for whom.

Current portrait dramatically changes the rules of the historical principles of interpreting the human face and imaging the man in their home environment. They are strategies challenging the ontological essence and anchor of being in a society. Peter Lančarič´s portraits represent a protest against this affiliation. Peter Lančarič believes in photography and he is patiently finding his way, truth and identity.

Jozef Sedlák