Ziga Koritnik is multi-practical photographer, following and photographing musicians for 25 years.
by Mats Gustafsson, April 2017, Nickelsdorf ( text for book Cloud Arrangers)
The instant now. The moment.
We are all seeking it. Looking for it. Longing for it.
Doing all kinds of research to get it. To capture it. To “get it”. Research and re-search.
Whether it is about sounds, texts, theatre, dance or images -moving ones or stills -
when we find it, we know it! We realize it only the millimoment after it has happened. We can never foresee it. We
cannot plan for it to happen. But when we find it… we know that what we are doing is working. That it all makes
sense. That goes without saying.
With Improvised Music you try to empty yourself, try to disconnect your intellect -if you have any that is- and just go
with the flow… play – interact – listen …
And BAM! There it is! It all connects!
The moment is the hub. Everything comes together: dynamics, structure, density, phrasing, colors and detail. It is a
For all creative artists it is maybe about the same thing? The way I see it, it is.
The best writers can do that. They can make you just go with the flow without thinking. You are nailed to the
moment. It is a state of mind more than anything else. Paul Auster, Gunnar Ekelöf and Robert Creeley being three of
my all-time favorite capturers of the moment.
Dance is another art form where the moment has to be there in order to make you attentive and aware. During some
of the most amazing moments of watching dance I stopped breathing. I literally really had to fight to get oxygen into
my lungs, remembering how to breathe.
Watching Pina Bausch´s choreography of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of the Spring” was like that. I watched it three times in
a week. And every time it almost killed me!
My first meeting with Butoh maestro Kazuo Ohno was another one of those truly life changing moments. We met on-
stage during a free improvisation that involved Peter Kowald, Ohno and myself in Wuppertal during the Pina Bausch
festival. An extremely interactive and attentive sharing of the moment. Time just stopped; the moment stayed with us
for a long time. That is how I felt it. The moment just stayed there in the room with us and with the people watching
and hearing it. You could touch it.
It is all about the moment. It has to be.
So, bear with me. I want to take the chance to shine a spotlight at the moment.
The moment as a catalyst for artistic creativity.
Of course, we know what a beautiful and creative capturer of moments the subject of this essay is, so we can come
back to that a bit later.
The instant now. The moment.
How I love it. How I adore it.
But you have to fight for it. It doesn’t appear without effort.
If you are not aware… it passes by and it is gone. It can never be caught again, that particular moment.
We have to take care of them, the moments.
As an improvising musician, you capture it sometimes on stage. And a certain kind of magic is exposed and revealed.
Especially within the so-called free improvised music. When nothing is decided beforehand, and everything can
happen. Sometimes nothing happens. No matter how hard you look and try for that moment. The harder you look, the
harder it gets.
You need to just BE there. And trust it to appear. Meaning trusting the people you interact with.
And it will appear, the moment. BANG!
Some of the best improvisers have that special gift, just like Žiga Koritnik, to be able to capture the moment and
make something more out of it. Derek Bailey, Ken Vandermark, Barry Guy, Paul Lovens, Jim O´ Rourke, Günter
Christmann, Raymond Strid and a few others…
Another kind of magic can appear when you play for a very small audience. Like the marathon sessions of hardcore
free jazz blowouts I did early on with my comrade Kjell Nordeson – in our teens - in our hometown Umeå, on the
southern border to Sapmi, Lapland, in northern Sweden. We only had our great friend, Edward Jarvis, the painter,
listening to our high-energy outbursts. Hour long flows of energy and extreme density. How important those sessions
were! And how much in-the-moment we were when we did the research. When we were really exploring the shit.
And the magic that appears when you play with someone even without an audience, when something just happens
without warning. Such as that time when I was warming up backstage at the club Paradiso in Amsterdam before a
concert with the kickassfreepunkunit The EX. Closing my eyes and concentrating on controlling some percussive sax
techniques. In walks the Ethiopian legend Getatchew Mekurya with his tenor sax. He closes the door behind him, sits
down opposite me, looks into my eyes and just starts playing. Me making an intense flow of percussive sounds,
Getatchew playing some of his ancient beautiful melodies. No other people listening, time disappearing- the moment.
All there. I have no idea how long we played.
Suddenly, it was over. We smiled, stood up, bowed to each other and Getatchew left the room. I sat down, feeling the
moment still present in the room, enjoying it tremendously. Breathing and trying to understand what actually just has
And yes… it HAS to take time. The artistic research is a lifelong process. You will never be done with it. You NEED to
continue with it. You NEED to be willing to continuously take new risks and to learn to love the mistakes you make,
then deal with them. It’s the only way. It is.
And you need to find the people to interact with. People that are willing to do the same research you do, the similar
mistakes. Sometimes it just works, sometimes you have to really fight for it.
Both alternatives are good.
And yes, this is how it works. With some people, it just clicks. Right away. What a privilege! What a gift!
The first meeting with Žiga Koritnik was like that. Big time!
The person Žiga. The artist Žiga. It clicked. And he clicked.
From the first photo shoot in the end of last century with AALY Trio and Ken Vandermark in Ljubljana via, I guess,
hundreds of concerts all around Europe, to photo shoots for various groups I have been active in and also photo
sessions for articles and special projects. We joined forces right away, understanding what it was all about. The
moment, the search, the sharing.
When I married the love of my life, Bärbel, in Austria in 2010, Žiga was documenting the wedding and the insane
party the days after in Nickelsdorf [(check the photo of Barry Guy – on page 116 - trying the best grappa ever
produced: Marolo – Grappa Dedicata al Padre from the Distillery of Santa Teresia in Alba)- OUT lp, Vid] like he always
does. Invisible, but always there. Capturing every moment.
Žiga, the artist. Žiga, the person. He means a hell of a lot to me.
I can use many superlatives about him and his photography. But it’s best to always leave that out and let the photos
speak for themselves. I think that is pretty obvious. When you actually share those moments. You know it, you can feel
Thanks to artists like Žiga we have a chance to remember those crucial moments that are valid to us- in our music, in
our art, in our life. Because he captured them. He was there.
And his sense of timing is so unbelievably musical. Pure music, that I can say.
Music in black and white. Black and white music.
I love the details, the compositions, the form, the density, the flow. the energy. It is all there. Inside the images.
And yes, I can also put it very simply: Žiga is definitely the most amazing, sensitive and creative photographer alive
when it comes to capturing the moment of MUSIC. In MUSIC- when it is done.
When it is being created. When the instant NOW appears.
BANG! Wam bam BANG – CLICK!
Mats Gustafsson, April 2017, Nickelsdorf ( text for book Cloud Arrangers)
Selected solo shows:
2017 Cankar centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2017 Black Box / Penang House Of Music, Malaysia
2017 Cerkno Museum, Cerkno, Slovenia
2016 Schillerstrasse 106, Berlin, Germany
2016 Casa Lai, Gavoi, Sardegna, Italy
2015 Isola Delle Storie, Gavoi, Sardegna, Italy
2015 Sa Domo’e Mazzone, Gavoi, Sardegna, Italy
2014 Museum St.Johann in Tirol, Austria
2014 Sa Domo ‘e Mazzone, Gavoi, Sardegna, Italy
2014 Klub Jedro, Medvode, Slovenia
2013 Udine, Italy
2013 Regional museum Maribor, Slovenia
2013 Kranj, Slovenia
2012 Hong Kong, China
2012 Zhuhai, China
2012 Krakovski nasip, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2012 Festival Kanal, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
2012 Centar savremene umjetnosti, Podgorica, Montenegro
2011 Penang jazz festival / Penang island / Malaysia
2011 Jakopicevo sprehajalisce / Park Tivoli, Ljubljana / Slovenia
2011 City Gallery, Nova Gorica / Slovenia
2011 Gallery Salsaverde, Izola / Slovenia
2011 Congress and cultural house Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana / Slovenia
2011 Gallery Jakopicevo sprehajalisce / Park Tivoli, Ljubljana / Slovenia
2011 Gallery Salsaverde, Izola / Slovenia
2011 Congress and cultural centre Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana / Slovenia
2011 City Gallery Nova Gorica / Slovenia
2010 Gallery Sokolski dom, Skofja Loka / Slovenia
2009 Su Palatu, Museum of photography, Vilanova Monteleone /
2009 Galerija Fotografija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2009 Dom Jozeta Azmana, Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia
2009 Ranč Mrcina, Studor, Bohinj, Slovenia
2009 Knjižnica Otona Zupancica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2008 Jazzbina, Pula, Croatia
2007 N.O. Jazz festival, Zagreb, Croatia
2007 Casa Lai, Gavoi, Sardegna, Italy
2006 Sava Center, Belgrade, Serbia
2005 Delavski dom, Hrastnik, Slovenia
2005 Gallery KUD France Preseren, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2005 Ring Ring festival, Belgrade, Serbia
2005 Kulturhaus, Dresden, Germany
2003 BOF, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2003 Jazz festival Izzven, Maribor, Slovenia
2003 Jazz festival Saalfelden , Austria
2003 Pavel Haus, Laafeld, Austria
2002 Pri Skofu, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2002 Galerija Plocnik, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2002 Stockwerk, Graz, Austria
2002 Kavehaz, New York, U.S.A.
2001 City museum Skopje, Macedonia
2000 Gallery Meduza, Koper, Slovenia
2000 Congress and cultural centre Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1999 Museum Loka, Skofja loka, Slovenia
1999 Gallery Kud France Preseren, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1999 Gallery Kibela, Maribor, Slovenia
1998 Technical university, Dresden, Germany
1998 City Library, Ludwigshafen, Germany
1998 Slovenian film fund, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1998 Likovni salon, Celje, Slovenija
1998 Gallery Avla NLB, Slovenia
1996 Jazz Festival Saalfelden, Austria
1996 Ganglova gallery, Metlika, Slovenia
1995 Photo gallery Stolp, Maribor, Slovenia
1993 Cultural and congress centre Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1991 Galery Kud France Preseren, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1990 Gallery Lerota, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Selected Group shows:
2018: Zlatko Kaucic: 40 years of playing – group exhibition at City Library, Kranj, Slovenia
2018 “Intro”, z Fakulteta za Arhitekturo, Nabrežje Ljubljanice, Ljubljana, Slovenija
2018 Galerija Rika Debenjaka, Kanal ob Soči, Slovenija
2017 Gateshead Jazz Festival, Gateshead, England
2017 “Obala Idej”, z Fakulteta za Arhitekturo, Nabrežje Ljubljanice, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2016 “Gremo naprej!” Slovenska fotografija 1990 -2015, Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2016 Caffe Savoia, Festival Di Letterature Applicate, Cagliari, Sardinia
2016 Jakopičevo sprehajališče / Park Tivoli, Ljubljana / Slovenia
2015 Jazzclub Mahogany Hall, Edam, Holland
2015 Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Holland
2015 One water, one planet; City Museum / Park Tivoli, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2013 “This is our music”, Cultural and congress centre Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2013 Jazzinec, Czech republic
2011 The Powerhouse Arena / New York Photo festival / NYC, U.S.A.
2010 Photo Museum Su Palatu, Villanova Monteleone / Sardinia / Italy
2010 Gallery Kresija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2009 Galerie Remixx, Graz, Austria
2006 Vision jazz festival, Angel Orensanz Center, New York, U.S.A.
2006 Musica sulle bocche, Sardegna, Italy
2005 OVSE conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2005 Musica sulle bocche, Sardegna, Italy
2005 Vision Art center, European cultural capital, Cork, Ireland
2005 Galleries Lafayette, Nice, France
2004 European comission, Strasbourg, France
2004 European parlament, Brussels, Belgium
2004 Gallery Kibela, Maribor, Slovenia
2004 Congress and cultural centre Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2003 TV Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2003 Jazz festival Cerkno, Slovenia
2003 Salon sodobne Slovenske fotografije, GR, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2002 Galerija Zula, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2002 Congress and cultural centre Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1998 Galerija Kapelica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1996 Gallery KUD France Preseren, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1994 DruStvo oblikovalcev Slovenije, MGLC, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1993 Gallery Kud France Preseren, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1993 Moderna galerija, Rijeka, Croatia
1993 Galerija SKUC, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1991 Olympus, Tokio, Japan
2019 Cloud Arrangers, Ziga Koritnik; Society PEGA, Slovenia
2009 Jezero / The Lake, Ziga Koritnik; Klopotec, Slovenia
2009 Ziga Koritnik, Un punto di luce, Archivi del sud, Alghero, Sardinija /
1996 Jazzy-ga, Ziga Koritnik; selfpublished
Slovensko Mladinsko gledalisce, Gledalisce Ane Monro, Drama,
Published photographies in magazines and newspapers:
The New York Times, USA,
Santa Fe New Mexican, USA
Il Manifesto, Italy
Mladina, Delo, Dnevnik, M'ZIN, Likovne besede, Revija GM, Muska,
Fotobilten, ARS Vivendi,
Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, Germany
Ballett Internationale, Germany
Time Out, Great Britain
Jazz Times, USA
European Design Annual 1998
Signal To Noise, USA
Village voice, USA
All about Jazz, Italy, USA
Prize winners of Olympus 70th Anniversary International Photo contest,