Wayne: Can you talk about your work process for the Pronek Guide? For instance, did you identify passages that you wanted to illustrate, or did you take the mood from the novel and work from that vantage instead?
Velibor: No passages were identified before the photographs were taken; there were no pre-set guidelines or targets. All the photographs were taken while we (Aleksandar and myself) were walking around Chicago. We simply stepped into the space that defined Nowhere Man—we lived in that space, and all along I was taking pictures. I know where Nowhere Man comes from, and it is that understanding between us that made it easy to work together. The process didn’t require any “screenplay.” It was a dialogue between the photographs and the book mood, between the photographer and the writer; there was no requirement for the photographs to be descriptive. The passages and photographs were matched together only afterwards. Talking about it now makes me sad that we never got to complete the project, it was suppose to be an interactive guide, requiring the viewer / reader to participate.
Wayne: Can you talk about your photographic influences? Which photographers do you admire? In particular, are there any European photographers that might be unfamiliar to many Americans?
Velibor: There are so many it is really very hard to isolate a few. I admire all photographers for what they are trying to do, for making the art out of everyday reality, for stimulating us to imagine while looking at the ordinary.
But, should I need to mention some names, the first that come to mind is Richard Copeland Miller, who I believe was American. Sadly, he died prematurely, and there is not much trace [of him] anymore. When I was starting I saw his photographs from Passage: Europe, and it opened up a whole new world for me. It’s a coincidence that this work came out as I was starting out, and it really made me believe in photography.
There are so many great photographers in Europe at the moment. One that I’ll mention is Klavdij Sluban [see also the gallery from Sluban’s Aftermath], French, whose work I’m very, very fond of. Also, young Bosnian photographer Zijah Gafic, who created the beautiful story “The Last Bosnian Village”when he was only 20, and went on to photograph all over the world. But then there are hundreds of great photographers, who am I to pick? It is rather subjective. I live in North America too and I know nothing more about European photography today than anybody else interested in photography on this continent.