Matej Peljhan

Self-disclosures (2015 - 2016)

Relations (2011)

The Little Prince (2013)

Metamorphoses (2012 - 2015)

War and Peace (2014 - 2015)

Stories I (2009 - )

Stories II (2009 - )

Views I (2009 - )

Views II (2009 - )

COVID-19 (2020)


My personal experience of physical disability and my professional practice in clinical psychology with people with special needs are probably the reason that I base an important part of my photographic creativity on people who have the experience of being different. I am thankful to each and every one of them for the opportunity and trust, which enable me to enter their private world and with the help of their life stories gain inspiration for creating images that try to unveil many mysteries, stereotypes and prejudices in the area which is still marginalized in our society.

The series of auto portraits represents a debt that at one point I felt towards these people and also the proof that I am extremely serious when dealing with this theme. I believe that I would have a hard time being a credible narrator and interpreter if I only exposed others, while hiding as a coward on the safe side of the camera lens when I am in the same position.

This is why this series is my most intimate and uncompromising of all the series I have made. I have to admit that it took quite a lot of courage to reveal intimate secrets and overcome the feelings of shame. But I can also say that I felt great liberation and catharsis after the process. This approach offered a different opportunity for self-declaration and in the psychoanalytical sense helped me to become aware of repressed traumatic issues and to demolish taboos of personal handicap.

The surrealistic approach is often used in the series. On one hand, it helps the images to express personal vulnerability and disability more clearly, and on the other hand it promotes creativity and courage in overcoming the pain and difficulties.