The message of Soča is in its primal, aerial clarity. True treasure which surprises and inspires anew.
The video installation Secrets of Soča is a garland of songs of the river Soča (so:cha). Each song unveils in picture and sound one of the many life moods which source in the movements and phenomena of its waters:
Liquid Glass, Light Rays, Droplets of Snow, Summer Forest, Little Beach, Air Manes, Mysterious Source, Dance of Pebbles, Water Sky, Spaces, Stormy Stream, Guardian of the Deep, Leaves and Rain, Swarm of Light….
The author’s first underwater Soča filming experiments in 1987 led him to devise a special tool to capture the river Soča from unique, as yet unseen perspectives.
The installation Secrets of Soča is based on the Time Horizon image and sound orchestration concept, which the author first realized in the installation Water Waves (1993) for the San Francisco Exploratorium.
Milan Dekleva (newspaper Dnevnik) about the installation Secrets of Soča:
“Secrets of Soča, a permanent video installation by Andrej Zdravič, on view at the Triglav National Park Information Centre in Trenta (Slovenia), is the harbinger of something new on our art scene. In the lap of the mighty Julian Alps, in the air filled with the scent of the sea and the Mediterranean, a composition of mysterious pulsations of nature unfolds across an eight-monitor horizon. What is new is not the use of high technology, but the wonder of technology helping man regain a sense of scale. A scale of our destinies intertwined in the play of cosmic forces.
The Secrets of Soča (subtitled Time Horizon) hypnotically expands the space with images perpetually moving in the present, the past and the future. Before our eyes comes to life the Heraclitus' Pythian saying: You cannot step twice into the same river".
The installation Secrets of Soča’s home is at Dom Trenta (Triglav National Park Information Centre), where it has been a permanent exhibit since June 1995. Over 250,000 visitors have seen it.
It was also exhibited at the National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana (2006) and Cankarjev Dom Cultural Centre in Ljubljana as part of the author’s film retrospective (organized in collaboration with the Slovenian Cinematheque) in 1996.
Internationally, Secrets of Soča attracted over a million visitors as the main exhibit at the Slovenian Pavilion at World EXPO’98 in Lisbon. It was also shown at the Wasser.Reich Festival in Gmünd, Austria (2007).
In 1997, Andrej Zdravič made his 41-minute film Riverglass (V steklu reke), a companion work to the Secrets of Soča installation. The film contains new footage, especially the winter season.
Riverglass is not a documentary about the river Soča. It is a poetic river ballet in four seasons to the music of natural sounds, a reflection of the author's endless fascination with the forces of nature that contain universal principles of life and the seeds of a new kind of narrative cinema.
Through the liquid lens of crystalline water we perceive, perhaps for the first time, the magical underwater world of turquoise volumes, flying bubbles, dissolving snowflakes, pulsating sun membranes….
Riverglass received the Prešeren Fund national art Award (1999), Best Art Video Film award at 1st Festival of Slovene Film, Portorož (1998) and Grand Prix at 3rd International Festival of New Film & Video, Split (1998).
“Andrej Zdravič builds upon an extraordinary sensitivity for visual and sonic phenomena of the natural environment...
As his former films, Riverglass is characterized by a lyrical and dramatic consonance between the life pulse of an almost personified nature/river and our biorhythm, cleansed of noise and civilisation overload....
What Zdravič relates is in no way a story/document about the life of the river, but life itself, the endless, unfathomable flow of the river. What the film peels off the viewer layer by layer is in fact the weighty burden of the noisy, hysterical phenomena of the contemporary urban world where man is desperately searching for inner silence that would let the voice of his inner depths be heard.”
Ženja Leiler, newspaper Delo
Riverglass was shown in 20 countries in more than 70 one-man and group screenings, seminars, festivals and exhibitions, among others, at:
Intempéries - O Fim do Tempo show, OCA Pavilhão, Sao Paulo (one-screen installation /5 weeks), 2009
Artful Ecologies2 / Comprehending Nature, RANE Research Centre, University College Falmouth, 2008/2009
48°C Public Art Ecology Festival, New Delhi - as part of the author’s installation Earth-Consciousness-Revival (a simultaneous open-air projection of three films /10 days), 2008
The Films of Andrej Zdravič - Retrospective, Anthology Film Archives, New York, 2008
Arts & The Environment, CIWEM Global Environment Conference, London, 2007
Art, Ecology & the Politics of Change, Sharjah Biennial8, United Arab Emirates, 2007
‘Till your Well Runs Dry: An Appreciation of Water, Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, 2006
Arts & Ecology: Towards an Eco-Cinema, Royal Society for Arts, Bristol, 2005
H2O - FotoFest, International Biennial Exhibition, Houston (one-screen installation /8 weeks), 2004
The Adriatic Sea - Religion, Science and the Environment: Symposium IV, Koper/Ravenna/Venice, 2002
Wasser-Symposium, Luzern, 2002
47th Flaherty Film Seminar, Long Island University, New York, 2001
17th International Festival of Films on Art, Montreal, 1999
Artecinema - 3rd International Festival of Films on Art, Naples, 1999
U3 - 2nd Triennial of Contemporary Slovene Arts, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (one-screen installation /8 weeks), 1997
INPUT '98 - XXI International Public TV Screening Conference, Stuttgart, 1998
The Cinematheque, San Francisco, 1997
European Month of Culture, Ljubljana (Riverglass premiere - open-air screening, Ljubljana castle), 1997.
Riverglass was also broadcast on television:
ARTE - multiple terrestrial & satellite broadcasts, territory of Europe, Middle East and N. Africa, 1998-2001
DUNA TV - territory of Hungary and Western Balkans, 1998-1999
KCET-PBS, Los Angeles - multiple broadcasts, territory of Southern and Central California, 1999-2001
TV Slovenia, 1999
RAISAT ART - multiple satellite broadcasts, territory of Italy, Switzerland and North Africa, 2003-2005.
Secrets of Soča-Time Horizon
1995-98 33’ 8-channel Video Installation, Sound, Software Program, Laserdisc
Camera, Editing, Sound Recording & Composition, Installation Concept & Programming: Andrej Zdravič
Produced by ANTARA /e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secrets of Soča-Time Horizon©1995-98 Andrej Zdravič. All Rights Reserved.