Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Sort of good bye to Jure Breceljnik

with 10 comments

I can’t write any blog post before I don’t say goodbye to my dear friend Jure Breceljnik who has died last week. We studied together at Famu, Prague’s Academy and he was a great influence and great support for me. Oh, I borrowed his equipment zillion times and with his gear I’ve earned money for my own equipment. He was easily the brightest kid in the class, the kind of guy that sort things out. I remember at the age of 20 or so he started a festival World Young Photography and because he really pulled huge project together, a professor gave him an excellent mark 1, although he never saw any image from Jure that semester.

I remember our countless trips driving from Ljubljana to Prague and back, flickering of street lights, endless discussions about art and the plans that will we do for the eternity. The soundtrack was Nick Cave, Do you Love Me. I remember Austrian border control and our fears that this time they will not let us pass with very old and rusty car Zastava 101. Ja, ja bisschen rustig aber sehr kunstlig… I’m sure that still doesn’t make any sense, but it got that police officer smile and let us go our way with that dubious car.

In 1994-1998 when we studied photography, there was no college for photography in Slovenia and we needed to go abroad, so few of us coming from Slovenia, we bond firmly like brothers and sisters. We were helping each outer as much as we could.

I remember one anecdote. Jure asked us to make a group photo of us, but we had to be nude and he assured us that nobody will see this photographs, except teachers at the college. I didn’t care, but others were concerned. As it happened with this series of images Jure won Emzin’s award Photographer of the Year 1998 and the photo of us full monty was in every Slovenian newspaper, on TV and on the exhibition.

I drove first time to Prague with that car together with three friends, that I’ve just met. Jure was driving, Tina was in bad mood sitting in the front and with Blaž we were sitting at the back. As it turned out Blaž committed suicide in 2001, Tina committed a suicide few years later only Jure escaped the whirl of negative energy and became again creative and super productive, when he got married and became a father of half a year old daughter, his heart left him. The cause of his death is not yet established, since he died in Belgium and the autopsy wasn’t been performed yet, but from the circumstances it sound like the most logical conclusion.

Few years ago, Jure sold me his 4×5″ camera. The camera will remain focused, my friend, rest in peace. Let me finish this post with Nan Goldin‘s qute: “I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.”


Written by Borut Peterlin

23 July, 2015 at 23:47

Posted in personal thoughts

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10 Responses

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  1. Borut, I am deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. On the birthday of a dear friend I lost four years ago, I know what you feel. Inspirations like this are fleeting and we will never be able to fill that hole in our heart. Live on Brother and be your wonderful self.

    John Fink Jr.

    24 July, 2015 at 00:17

  2. Lovely sentiments, and I hold my hands up and admit I’m rubbish with death and what to say, but I’ll always admire those that know how to find just the right words, such as your good self. Respect .


    24 July, 2015 at 00:43

  3. respect

    Chris Bell

    24 July, 2015 at 00:47

  4. Dear Borut: I read your sentiment about your friend dying. I was very moved. It touched something in me. I offer the following quote to hopefully provide some solace:

    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with Night, and pay no worship to the garish Sun…”

    Juliet, in William Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, Act 3, Scene 2

    Thinking of you.

    Shel Izen

    Sheldon Izen

    24 July, 2015 at 02:24

  5. as someone who has lost many, I was told that the dead don’t die as they live on in our stories and memories:
    sending love & light to you and all your friends who loved this person who shined so brightly


    24 July, 2015 at 10:03

  6. Condolences, Borut, on the loss of your friend. Always a shame when they are taken so young.

    Robert Brazile

    24 July, 2015 at 13:14

  7. Beautiful tribute to your friend Borut, thanks for posting it.The Nan Goldin quote is so true.
    Best Wishes Gerry


    24 July, 2015 at 14:51

  8. A man dies twice. The first time when his body dies. The second time when no one remembers him any more. You will remember him so Jure is still alive.


    Jot Wu

    25 July, 2015 at 10:35

  9. The loss of a friend is always a tragedy and such a young one even more so. Condolences Borut.


    26 July, 2015 at 22:53

  10. Borut – I am so sorry to learn of your painful loss. Thank you for honoring Jure by remembering him in this way – I feel that this must be of benefit to not only yourself, but many of us who read this.

    It is a little ironic – I go to your blog not only because I too practice wet plate photography and learn things there, but because it always lifts my spirits and makes me smile or even laugh. Now I see that, of course you too, like everyone, have to face life’s great sad events.

    The enthusiasm and essential goodwill that is embodied in your blog always lifts my spirits and helps me cope with my own difficulties. You are a “friend” in a way, even though we have never met and don’t actually know each other, and that helps me keep going in a positive way after the death of my wife. You not only teach, but share your enthusiasm for life and work. That acts almost like a kind of therapy, at least for me.

    So I want to express sympathy for your loss and also to say that the positive effects of the things and the energy you share on your blog go way beyond what you probably think. Thank you.

    Fred Runkel

    27 July, 2015 at 00:57

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