Bratislava's gritty side

THE PHOTOGRAPHY of Anton Sládek focuses not just on beautiful snapshots of popular sites, but also on the hidden corners, ugly scars and small details of the Slovak capital. An exhibition of Slá- dek’s work called Bratislava, mesto bez nehy (Bratislava, the City without Tenderness), can be seen at Galéria F7 in Františkánske Square Tuesday to Saturday afternoons until March 1.

THE PHOTOGRAPHY of Anton Sládek focuses not just on beautiful snapshots of popular sites, but also on the hidden corners, ugly scars and small details of the Slovak capital. An exhibition of Slá- dek’s work called Bratislava, mesto bez nehy (Bratislava, the City without Tenderness), can be seen at Galéria F7 in Františkánske Square Tuesday to Saturday afternoons until March 1.

Sládek, a Bratislava native, develops his photos in black and white.

“When I develop the film in the darkroom and make black-and-white photography on classical paper, it is more precious and beautiful than one from a digital camera,” he said at the exhibition’s opening.
As for the themes in his work, he explained: “On Sun-day walks, I take pictures of the city’s changes; not the romanticised ones for tourists, not only the beautiful ones, but the ones that provoke thought.”

Sládek is unsettled by aggressive or insensitive renovations in older industrial buildings, dilapidated premises, as well as the disappearance of the capital’s industrial heritage. Thus, his photos serve as a kind of documentation, and they always include the date on which they were taken.

“This exhibition is a selection of three cycles from the years 1991 to 2013,” curator Katarína Haberlandová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Sládek is our guide not just around Bratislava’s topographic space, but also in time. He shows us the radical changes the city undergoes, how its memory is vanishing.”

The photos show some of the capital’s well-known architectural structures as well as smaller details.

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