Curator: Vanja Babić
Opening: July 23, 2020 at 9 p.m.
With wind in our hair, to Goli we fare
Stating that photography is, first and foremost, the art of the moment could easily lead us in a direction of spent, banal, or even clichéd interpretations. However, observing this series by the doyen of Croatian photography Ivan Posavec as part of this year's edition of the Katamaran Art project, we simply cannot resist paraphrasing a well-known and worn-out saying, believing that God (perhaps the expression Goddess is more appropriate for this occasion) must be hiding in the moment. Or more precisely, in a dozen thematically and compositionally very similar, but at the same time very different moments. Posavec really does have an amazing ability to react creatively to those moments when the visual forces that form a concrete fragment of reality (i.e. a potential motive) harmonize into form-content constellations suitable for overcoming the aporia between transience and permanence, or simply put - for creating interesting photography. Because the act of truly conscious photography is an act of liberation or materialization of eternity from the fatal embrace of impermanence.
The very place of origin of Posavec's photographs in question was, in fact, in a continuous state of motion. The photographer and his basic motif, a renowned actress, performer and film theorist Tanja Vrvilo spent some time (during the photo shoot) on a small rubber boat that served as a means of transport, crossing a short distance between the small town of Sveti Juraj and the infamous and historically burdened island of Goli Otok. The movement of the entire mise-en-scène will not, however, be reflected in the relatively identical position of Tanja's head - all photos show her half-profile and with only minimal shifts - nor in the seemingly completely static, and therefore unchanging sea landscape in the background. So, why the earlier statement that it is possible, moreover necessary, to talk about the staged diversity? The reason is, of course, Tanja's hair, which flutters freely, uncontrollably and seductively in the wind, giving each of the photographs a certain individual exclusivity and, above all, impressive compositional dynamics. In some photographs, the hair completely or partially covers her face, while in others it will leave the face completely transparent, achieving an unrestrained play of forms that undoubtedly contributes to highlighting Tanja's beauty and charming charisma, as well as rhythmic persuasiveness or conditioning of the entire cycle. But in addition to introducing rhythmic, dynamic and compositional connotations into each of the scenes, Tanja’s playful and windswept hair in the context of this short journey will inevitably be experienced as an impressive symbol of freedom, or as a sort of counterpoint to all that Goli otok meant and represented during a period in the history of the last century.
Ivan Posavec, therefore, is truly an artist of the moment who, however, at that moment, for almost half a century, managed to unite the intuitiveness and rationality of perception. His photos are often created even before the camera can record and process them.
The artist dedicates this exhibition to his recently deceased friend and colleague, Josip Klarica.
Ivan Posavec was born in 1951 in Dužica near Sisak. In 1969, he enrolled at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. He stopped his studies in 1974 as a graduate student to dedicate himself to photography. He graduated from the The Academy of Dramatic Art, Zagreb in 1980 with a degree in filmmaking, in the class of prof. Nikola Tanhofer. The following year, he became a master of photography. He received his MA in photography in 1984 from prof. Dragoljub Kažić at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He has been working in newspaper photography for almost four decades. He won the "Tošo Dabac" award in 1992, the City of Zagreb Award in 2003 and about fifty other photographic awards. In 1979, together with Mio Vesović, he founded the group Meko okidanje (Soft Shooting). He is a member of the Fotoklub Zagreb and the Croatian Association of Artists of Applied Arts (ULUPUH).