Time stands still in Dino Kužnik’s America

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The fifth installment of an ongoing collaboration between Open Doors Gallery and Setanta Books, in their latest zine, Kužnik travels America in search of its timeless iconography

Colour is very much alive in the work of Slovenian-born, New York-based Dino Kužnik’s photobook 005, published by Setanta Books in collaboration with Open Doors Gallery. Playful environments transcend reality, moving into a dreamy haze. The seven years Kužnik spent working in graphic design is evident in his compositions: each element of the images has its place, balanced within the picture. 

The America of Kužnik’s photographs is timeless. Drawing on the iconography of the mythic American West, the world found inside 005’s pages feels like an endless  summer; warm, cinematic, free. Composed of portraits nestled amid desert roads, industrial complexes, homes, swamps, motels, and vehicles, Kužnik hones in on the American West’s distinct shapes and colours. Solitude is an essential part of Kužnik’s process: isolation allows him to meditate on his surroundings fully. The book feels silent. The colours speak for themselves.

Kužnik’s depiction of America is rooted in his perception of the country from afar, via the westernisation of his home country Slovenia, a former Yugoslavian nation. Through this lens, and experiencing America first-hand, the work delves into the notion of this distinct American aesthetic, and what it reflects today. 

005 is part five in an ongoing, bi-monthly series of photo books showcasing emerging and unpublished talent. To date, the series has also covered work by Hollie Fernando, Michael McCluskey, Margaret Durow, and Luka Khabelashvili.

005 is available via Setanta Books. The other publications in the series can be found here.

Isaac Huxtable

Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography in October 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this, he studied a BA in History of Art at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.