Inhabiting Exile

Inhabiting Exile by Klavdij Sluban 

Klavdij Sluban presents an exhibition concerning Hauteville House, Victor Hugo’s home in Guernsey. It doesn’t surprise us that Sluban fell under the spell of this residence inhabited by the writer’s spirit and haunting genius. It is almost inevitable that the mysterious nature of Klavdij Sluban’s work over the last twenty years has led him to this dark labyrinth of a house. It is ruled by the writer’s presence and it is where Hugo wrote his greatest works while overlooking the Atlantic currents.


Sluban works within the haze of the sanctuary full of tapestries, woodwork and paneling. He goes beyond the opaqueness of the screen and beyond the partitions. The spirits and secrets of the place are found within the chest, a cupboard, the curve of a narrow staircase or convex mirrors which reflects, like a deforming photographic eye, the mystery of séance tables and Chinese shadows.

One would need the insight of a photographer such as Sluban to be able to read between the lines of a house which contains many layers of impressions and dialogue, some of which are still impossible to decipher. The house consists of both shadows and rays of light which Sluban sometimes can turn into either a black or light box.

If Sluban’s deeply sepulchral images are guided, as he himself says, by “gloomy darkness and “Chiaroscuro”, it’s because, at the borders of the visible, there is still more to discover.


Natasha Wolinski