Text: Leonida Kovač

Exhibition set-up: Ana Opalić

"...In the Self-portrait series by Ana Opalić, functioning as an object of representation there is not a picture which is, according to its conventional meaning, that what is given to be seen (in this instance that would be the picture of the author herself), but the gaze which constitutes the distance between the same but not the identical one standing simultaneously behind and in front of the lens - the gaze which is hidden in the total of the frame which feigns the landscape description; the gaze which is stinted by the positioning of the figure and her awareness of beeing seen.

I would not be inclined to recognize a landscape in the function of texture, or rather, the postioning of one's own image in a place where it by no means dominates the scene, in the sense of the statement made from the position of the essentialisam; a metaphor which would place the self-representation of the photographer; that is, the definition of the meaning of the personal pronoun I, into a discursive space of myths where the binary opposition of natural versus culture is being produced. The series of photographs entitled Self-portraits indicates the very opposite. For it is clear that in a so-called space-off, a space which the edges of the frame makes invisible, there exists a camera whose lens and lenght of exposure will produce a photograph that addresses itself to some other gaze which is not of nature but of culture. It is in the cultural space, a non-neutral space, that definitions of social identities are produced, and the processes of representation are the ones which generate their meanings. Taking a self-portrait, self-representing oneself, means positioning oneself precisely against such existing meanings."

Leonida Kovač

Ana Opalić was born in Dubrovnik in 1972. She graduated as director of photography in 1997 at Academy of Theatre and Film in Zagreb. She was official photographer of Dubrovnik Summer festival from 1995 to 1999. She got an award "Croatian Photography 97" as a best young photographer. She participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Croatian and outside.