solo-exhibition, Croatian Academy of Science and Art in Split, August 2008.

Suburbijski herbarij Duške Boban iliti Vizualna kronika jednog grada


Split. Kao i uvijek u tom gradu, vođena nekim kontroliranim, ali zaigranim slučajem, nađem se u poznatom prolazu, koji je nekad bio rimski hram, potom paleo-kršćanski baptisterij, prolazim tik uz muzej, pa stambeni i ugostiteljski dio, šetnicu, vrzmaju se ljudi, luk palače, zaustavljam pogled na morski opasač. Split, tranzitni grad, koji konstruira svoj prikaz i naš imaginarij kroz višestoljetno naslijeđe od antike nadalje, fizički je prostor transformativnog tlocrta koji istinski živi višeslojnost vremena. Jer, ovdje se, kao rijetko gdje, suočavamo s prošlošću, koja toliko lepršavo koegzistira s našom suvremenošću.
No, ja sam samo prolaznica vođena zasigurno jakim argumetnom pozornog šetača, ali ne i istinskog obitavatelja, te je moj uvid u grad, vezan uz centralne punktove od luke do centra, te Marjana, kratkog daha. Ipak, baš na takvom putu i shvaćam koliko su enigme prepoznatljive svakodnevnice možda i najveće, iako ih gotovo uvijek tražimo negdje drugdje. I pitam se ima li još u gradu kroničara, kao nekada. Onih, proizašlih iz tog podneblja, koji prate, zapisuju, raspliću enigmu svakodnevnice, strpljivo čekajući, ali i prejudicirajući zaključak. Jer moment je uglavnom rijetki pokazatelj promjene, te ga samo minuciozno praćenje u prostoru i vremenskom slijedu može retrospektivno sagledati. Osim u slučajevima «deus ex machina» vremenskih nepogoda, ratova i ekononomskih krahova, što pak ostavljam na praćenje uvijek revnim medijskim pokroviteljima istih.
U potrazi za svježim kroničarem/ovdašnjim flaneurom, negdje na putu presrela me Duška. U svom dosadašnjem umjetničkom radu, te djelatnostima u polju vizualnih komunikacija, Duška Boban svedoči o gradu i prostoru. Ponajprije se sustavno bavi gradom kojeg obitava. Prateći ga kako raste, konfrontirajući se s njim, ona zapisuje njegove razvojne promjene pozitivnog i negativnog predznaka, stanje prostora i odnos istog s ljudima koji ga dijele, svjedoči o grubom tranzicijskom momentu, zapuštenosti bliske prošlosti, ali i prenosi specifičan životopisni urbani okoliš. Na taj način, ona uočava nove urbane prostore, prisvajajući ono što više i ne zovemo javnim skoro pa nevidljivom narativnošću.
U svojim je istraživanjima do sada ponajviše bila vezana uz fotografski medij. Tako 2004. unutar kataloga 33. Splitskog salona, kojeg vizualno oblikuje u suradnji s partnerom Lukom Duplančićem, fotografira zaboravljenu urbanu svakodnevnicu, a 2005. g. unutar kustoske koncepcije Jasne Gruić, Split-New York za Splitgraphic, s ciljem prikazivanja onog što, van razgledničkih stereotipiziranih obrazaca, čini jedan grad karakterističnim, Duška se okreće rubnim dijelovima Splita, «estetizirajući» viđeno i vraćajući u posjed građanima.
Kao i svaki odnos, tako se i odnos s gradom mijenja i raste. Od 2006. g. Duška Boban, članica je Udruge za suvremenu umjetnost KVART, koja uz pomoć alata suvremene umjetnosti upućuje komentar na urbanu stvarnost u kojoj živimo, te manifestno objavljuje da je centar tamo gdje jesmo tj. kojeg živimo. Kroz redovite akcije-izložbe, ta skupina autora, stanovnika splitskog gradskog kotara Trstenik, stavlja naglasak na participativnost-susret kroz umjetnost. Susjed je tako kroz umjetnički jezik na trenutak sve bliže susjedu, što urbana svakodnevnica izbacuje iz svojih programa.
Suburbani herbarij, najrecentniji rad mlade autorice sastoji se od 11 digitalnih foto-crteža, dimenzija 120 x 120 cm. Sve su to impresije grada Splita, od Marjana preko Turske kule, Žnjana, gradske luke, gdje Duška Boban ide još korak dalje u svom odnosu s gradom i šetnja postaje samo podstrek, a nastala forma doživljaj.
Autorica će reći, «S obzirom na poluotočki oblik i poziciju, Split ima u odnosu na cjelokupnu kvadraturu širok suburbijski pojas, te s obzirom na tranzicijsko obilježje vremena i prostora, ovdje je suburbijom često moguće smatrati i dijelove grada koji su podjednako strogi centar.”
Raščlanimo pojam, te krenimo od suburbanog. Centar u periferiji, periferno u centru. Inflitracija i miješanje. Svjesnost o istom, kritička disekcija. Jačanje decentralnog. Autorica nas nadalje vodi radom sljedećim riječima; «Trajektna luka prvi je susjed Dioklecijanovoj palači, od koje se pak do najvećeg brodogradilišta u državi može izmjeriti distanca od 15 minuta hoda... cijela sjeverna, priobalna strana splitskog poluotoka, izuzev marjanskog dijela, industrijska je i vojna zona desetljećima potpuno odsječena od svakodnevnog života stanovnika…usprkos usnulom sjeveru, jug svjedoči da se grad naočigled mijenja…»
“Sve je protkano nekim drugim vremenom, prošlim i onim koje dolazi, a sadašnjosti je teško dodijeliti obrise”, reći će autorica i prionuti na strategiju herbarija. Prostornog herbarija. Ogoljavanja. Psihološke geografije zatečenih prostora. Nastaje tako kaotični, ekspanzivni Žnjan, čudnih arhitektonskih formi. Miran, prostran Žnjan, prostornih tipologija koje čekaju obuhvaćanje novim promjenama. Cirkularna (pitam se gdje vodi) Kopilica, meki pokrov Marjana u predvečerje, ikoničke Stinice koje moru ostavljaju u naslijeđe modernističke forme, kukcolike Stinice, velebna mašinerija-trajektna luka, put ka prostranstvima ljetnog odmora, te prostrana, kompaktna i izolirana Turska kula.
Svaka od tih fotografika tj. digitalnih foto-crteža, određena sadržajem, formom, slijedom, sjenom crno-bijelih fotografskih detalja, zapravo je komunikacijski–vizualni znak same autorice uperen prema promatraču, onom ovdašnjem, ali i onom daljem.
Njezino dijagnosticiranje sadašnjosti kroz prošireni fotografski medij, uskraćenih kolorita zapravo univerzalno komunicira o oku nađenom. I ukoliko poznajemo, ali i nedovoljno poznajemo Split, svejedno uzvraćamo komentarom.
Specifičnost Duškine tehnike je u samoj konfrontaciji digitalne forme kao primarne materije te konceptualnih motivacija tradicionalnijih grafičkih tehnika u stvaranju prikaza. S jedne strane radi se o novomedijskom postupku bilježenja okoliša i svijeta, a s druge strane o crtežu kao vodilji konceptualne artikulacije: primarnom sučeljavanju sa svijetom u nastajanju, koje razigrava hladnoću i distanciranost novih medija.
Također, ne treba izuzeti i jaku psihogeografsku nakanu same autorice. Po Guy Debordu, psihogeografija se definira kao uočavanje specifičnih zakona i utjecaja geografskog okruženja na emocije i ponašanja ljudi, te pronalaženje načina za mijenjanje uobičajenih shvaćanja o bliskom urbanom okolišu. Jer samo svijest o utjecajima bliskog okoliša može ohrabriti kritički stav prema uvjetima svakodnevnog življenja, te postati baza eksperimentiranju s potencijalima i mogućnostima istog. Kao npr. šetnja autorice, koja jednu zaboravljenu gradsku lokaciju, Tursku kulu, najedanput čini potencijalno impozantnom, dakle prisutnom.
Pišući ovaj tekst, nanovo sam nakon dugo vremena opet pogledala Angelopoulosov film, Vječnost i jedan dan, koji među retcima, govori i o pjesniku koji, boreći se protiv nedovršenosti, ali i suočavajući se s novim podnebljem, čiji jezik više nije poznavao, kupuje riječi kako bi završio njegovu pjesmu, sve do zadnje koju nikada ne završava. I tako u nedogled, dolaze neki novi pjesnici koji opet traže nove riječi za prisvojiti, tako prisvajajući prostor i otvarajući svjež i kritičan pogled na njega. Borba riječi, borba slike, borba s prostorom-dam ti prikaz, ti mi novom rječju uzvraćaš. Za držanje balansa s onima koji prostor kroje, da, baš zbog toga trebamo kroničare kao Duška Boban, razgranate u svoj svojoj suvremenosti, željne otkrivanja novih prostornih vitalnosti, one koji u nama prizivaju neke nove riječi.

Ivana Meštrov




Dugu povijest Splita možemo čitati kroz jasni kontinuitet urbaniziranja predgrađa, sve do urbane eksplozije 20. stoljeća. Ukupnost procesa urbanog planiranja za zadatak ima usmjeravanje zarobljene energije rubnih prostora, koji se sastoje od nabacanih ostataka prirodnog i izgrađenog.
Urbani dizajner teži njihovoj transformaciji u urbane kulturne krajolike, dok umjetnik u neodređenom i neizvjesnom nalazi likovnost.
Ciklusom kolaža Suburbani herbarij Duška Boban spaja slike splitskih nedorečenih prostora u novi kontekst, uvodeći nas u okruženje koje prepoznajemo, i ne poznajemo.
Nadahnuta zapuštenim i još neotkrivenim autorica gradi strukture prostora fragmentima povezanim temom i recikliranim formama. Sporedne događaje uobličava mrežom s gustim spojevima koji nisu zarezi niti zagrade, već linije unutar protežnosti prostora u kojima jedno prelazi u drugo, po kojima se nastavljaju oblici, a nakupljaju misli, zvukovi i mirisi, preobraženi po mjeri duha.
Tragove estetike ružnog koje slijedi, Duška nam daje crnim na bijelom, ali s nijansom i dubinom, tišinom i polifonijom, udaljavanjem i približavanjem. U njenoj vizualizaciji izgubljeni prostor je privlačan, iako se sastoji od iste vizualne tvari kao i stvarnost.
Oblici, misli i pojave koje autorica crpi iz urbanih rupa povezuje strujanjem mašte predstavljajući rubno s nježnošću.
Njezin cilj nije zaključak niti vizija promjene prostora koji se tek treba razviti, već prividi satkani od realija, koji čine kompozicije dostojne samodostatnosti.
No unutar mnogostrukosti koja približava promjeni, ne vodi li i umjetnička vizualna predodžba do prosvjetljujućih ideja? Prepoznavanjem vrijednosti u labilnim i odsutnim sadržajima, do spoznaje njihove potencijalne ljepote.

Ana Šverko




Suburban Herbarium by Duška Boban, or a Visual Chronicle of a Town


Split. As always in this town, I let my journey be controlled by playful chance, and so happen upon a familiar passage-way leading to a paleo-Christian baptistry transformed from the Roman temple it once was. Then I am passing close by a museum, strolling through a residential area cluttered with restaurants before emerging onto the promenade. The place is teeming with people. An arch of the palace. I gaze at the sea. Split, a transit town that has been developing its image and our imagination through the centuries-long heritage rooted in its antiquity. A physical space of an ever changing street-plan genuinely reflecting the multi-layered reality of time. Because here, as rarely else where, we are faced with the past which so happily co-exists with our present.
However, I am just a passer-by drawn by the strong intentions of an attentive stroller and not of a real resident, which makes my insight into the town, linked to the central points between the port and the centre including Marjan hill, a limited one.
Still, it is this very route which makes me realize that the deepest mysteries are those in our recognizable everyday existence, although we always look for them elsewhere. And I ask myself if there are still chroniclers in this town as there used to be. Those who, emerging from this climate, observe, record and untwist the mystery of everyday life, waiting patiently yet prejudging the conclusions. Because a moment is usually a rare indicator of change which can only be retrospectively examined by a meticulous observation in space and time. (Except in snapshots of natural disasters, wars and economic collapses, which I leave to the observation of the ever eager mass-media).
Looking for a fresh chronicler/local flaneur, somewhere along my way I bumped into Duška. In her artistic work so far and in her activities in the visual comunications field, Duška Boban testifies about the town and space. First of all, she systematically deals with the town of her residence. Observing its growth and confronting it, she records its both positive and negative developments, the state of the area and the relationship between the town and the people who share it. She testifies about the rough transitional moment and the neglected recent past, but she also conveys the specific biographic urban environment. In doing so, she notices new urban areas, capturing those which we do not call public anymore almost by an invisible narration.
In her past explorations, she mostly specialized in photography. So, in 2004, in 33rd Split showroom catalogue which she shaped the visual identity of with her partner Luka Duplančić, she photographed forgotten urban everyday life. In 2005, within the custodian conception of Jasna Gruić, Split-New York for Splitgraphic, which aimed at demonstrating what, beyond picture-postcard stereotypical forms, makes a town’s character, Duška turned to the outskirts of Split, ‘’aesthetizing’’ what she sees and giving it back to its inhabitants.
As in every relationship, one’s relationship with the town changes and grows. Since 2006, Duška Boban has been a member of the Association of contemporary art KVART (Quarter), which, by means of the contemporary art tools, comments on urban reality we live in, proclaiming in a manifesto that the centre is where we are, the one we live in. Through their regular actions-exhibitions, this group of artists, all residing in the same district of Split, emphasizes participation-encounter through art. A neighbour thus, through an art form, becomes for a moment closer to his or her neighbour, something which urban everyday life is deleting from its programmes.
Suburban herbarium, the most recent work of this young artist, consists of 11 digital photo-pictures, 120 x 120 cm each. They are all impressions of Split, from Marjan along Turkish tower and Žnjan to the city port, with Duška Boban going a step further in her relationship with the town so that her walk becomes but a stimulus and what comes out of it becomes an experience.
The artist will say: “In relation to its peninsular shape, position and its total area, Split has a wide suburban zone, whereas with regard to the transitional feature of time and space, the suburb here usually refers to the parts of the town equally considered strictly central.”
Let us analyze the notion starting from the suburb. The centre in the urban fringe, the urban fringe in the centre. Infiltration and mixing. Awareness of the same and the critical dissection. Decentralization build-up. The artist guides us through her work by saying: “The ferry port is in close vicinity to Diocletian’s palace, which in turn is 15 min walk from the biggest shipyard in the country… The whole northern, coastal part of the peninsula, except for Marjan hill, is an industrial and military zone completely cut away from the everyday life of its inhabitants for decades… Despite the lethargic north, the south attests that the town has been undergoing visual changes...”
“Everything is interwoven with some other times, the past and the oncoming ones, but it is hard to outline the present”, the artist will say and take up the herbarium strategy. The spatial herbarium. The psychological geography of the spaces she comes upon. Thus we get the chaotic, expanding Žnjan with its weird architectural forms. The peaceful, spacious Žnjan with its spatial typologies awaiting some new modifications. The circular (I wonder where it’s leading to) Kopilica, Marjan hill’s soft cover in the twilight, the iconic and insect-like Stinice handing down its modernistic forms to the sea, the majestic machinery of the ferry port transporting us to summer pleasures and finally the spacious yet compact and isolated Turkish tower.
Each of these photo-graphics or digital photo-drawings defined by the content, form, sequence, shade of black and white photographic details, is really a communicational-visual sign of the artist herself, pointed at the observer, this one here but also the one to come.
Her diagnosing of the present through an extended photographic medium of stinted colorism is indeed universally communicating about what the eye has discovered. Whether we know or do not know Split enough, we return a comment nevertheless.
The specific feature of Duška’s technique lies in the very confrontation of the digital form as the primary medium and the conceptual motivations of more traditional graphic techniques, in creating the presentation. There is a new-media process of registering the environment and the world on one hand and drawing as the guiding thought of conceptual articulation on the other: it is the primary confrontation with an emerging world, which animates the coldness and aloofness of the new media.
Moreover, there is a strong psycho-geographic intention of the artist which should not be ignored. According to Guy Debord, psycho-geography is defined as the noticing of specific signs and impacts of the geographic environment on people’s emotions and behaviour. It is also about discovering the ways of modifying the usual perceptions of the close urban environment. It is only the awareness of the impact of the close environment which can encourage a critical attitude to the conditions of the everyday way of life, and which can become a basis to experiment with the potentials and opportunities of the same. As, for example, the artist’s walk which makes a forgotten city site, Turkish tower, suddenly seem potentially grandiose and thus present.
While writing this text, I saw again “Eternity and a day” by Angelopoulos after a long time. Among other things, it talks about a poet who, fighting against incompleteness and facing a new climate whose language he can no longer understand, buys words in order to finish his poems, with the last one, however, remaining incomplete. And indefinitely so, there are some new poets arriving and seeking words they will appropriate, thus appropriating the space and leaving a fresh and critical attitude towards it. The battle of the word, the battle of the image, the battle with the space – I’ll give you an image, you’ll give me a new word. In order to keep the balance with those who tailor the space, yes, that is why we need chroniclers such as Duška Boban, rich in all their contemporariness and eager to discover new spatial vitalities to invoke some new words inside us.

Ivana Meštrov



The long history of Split can be traced through the clear continuity of the urbanisation of its suburbs to the urban explosion of 20th century. The goal for the entire urban planning process is the direction of the captured energy of the outskirts made of the scattered remnants of the natural and the constructed.
Whereas the urban designer aspires to their transformation into urban cultural landscapes, the artist in the indefinite and the uncertain discovers visual art.
With the collection of collages named Suburban herbarium, Duška Boban combines the images of Split’s unelaborate areas into a new context, drawing us into environments that we recognize, and do not know.
Inspired by the neglected and still undiscovered, Duška builds space structures with the fragments linked by the topic and recycled forms. Secondary events/elements are shaped by a net of dense junctions which are neither commas nor brackets but lines within the stretch of space where one thing transcends into another, where the forms keep on shaping and thoughts, sounds and scents accumulate, metamorphosed as to fit the mind.
The trails of the aesthetics of ugliness which Duška is following here are presented to us in black and white yet combined with shade and depth, silence and polyphony, withdrawals and approaches. In her imagination, the lost space is attractive although it is made of the same visual matter as reality.
Forms, thoughts and phenomena absorbed from the urban holes are connected by streams of imagination, representing the peripheral in a sensitive way.
Her aim is neither a conclusion nor a vision of spatial change which is yet to develop, but illusions woven from realities and forming compositions worthy of self-sufficiency.
However, within multiplicity which brings closer to a change, does artistic visual conception not lead to enlightening ideas? By recognizing the values in unstable and absent contents, to the cognition of their potential beauty?

Ana Šverko



solo-exhibition, Croatian Academy of Science and Art in Split, August 2008.

Suburbijski herbarij Duške Boban iliti Vizualna kronika jednog grada


Split. Kao i uvijek u tom gradu, vođena nekim kontroliranim, ali zaigranim slučajem, nađem se u poznatom prolazu, koji je nekad bio rimski hram, potom paleo-kršćanski baptisterij, prolazim tik uz muzej, pa stambeni i ugostiteljski dio, šetnicu, vrzmaju se ljudi, luk palače, zaustavljam pogled na morski opasač. Split, tranzitni grad, koji konstruira svoj prikaz i naš imaginarij kroz višestoljetno naslijeđe od antike nadalje, fizički je prostor transformativnog tlocrta koji istinski živi višeslojnost vremena. Jer, ovdje se, kao rijetko gdje, suočavamo s prošlošću, koja toliko lepršavo koegzistira s našom suvremenošću.
No, ja sam samo prolaznica vođena zasigurno jakim argumetnom pozornog šetača, ali ne i istinskog obitavatelja, te je moj uvid u grad, vezan uz centralne punktove od luke do centra, te Marjana, kratkog daha. Ipak, baš na takvom putu i shvaćam koliko su enigme prepoznatljive svakodnevnice možda i najveće, iako ih gotovo uvijek tražimo negdje drugdje. I pitam se ima li još u gradu kroničara, kao nekada. Onih, proizašlih iz tog podneblja, koji prate, zapisuju, raspliću enigmu svakodnevnice, strpljivo čekajući, ali i prejudicirajući zaključak. Jer moment je uglavnom rijetki pokazatelj promjene, te ga samo minuciozno praćenje u prostoru i vremenskom slijedu može retrospektivno sagledati. Osim u slučajevima «deus ex machina» vremenskih nepogoda, ratova i ekononomskih krahova, što pak ostavljam na praćenje uvijek revnim medijskim pokroviteljima istih.
U potrazi za svježim kroničarem/ovdašnjim flaneurom, negdje na putu presrela me Duška. U svom dosadašnjem umjetničkom radu, te djelatnostima u polju vizualnih komunikacija, Duška Boban svedoči o gradu i prostoru. Ponajprije se sustavno bavi gradom kojeg obitava. Prateći ga kako raste, konfrontirajući se s njim, ona zapisuje njegove razvojne promjene pozitivnog i negativnog predznaka, stanje prostora i odnos istog s ljudima koji ga dijele, svjedoči o grubom tranzicijskom momentu, zapuštenosti bliske prošlosti, ali i prenosi specifičan životopisni urbani okoliš. Na taj način, ona uočava nove urbane prostore, prisvajajući ono što više i ne zovemo javnim skoro pa nevidljivom narativnošću.
U svojim je istraživanjima do sada ponajviše bila vezana uz fotografski medij. Tako 2004. unutar kataloga 33. Splitskog salona, kojeg vizualno oblikuje u suradnji s partnerom Lukom Duplančićem, fotografira zaboravljenu urbanu svakodnevnicu, a 2005. g. unutar kustoske koncepcije Jasne Gruić, Split-New York za Splitgraphic, s ciljem prikazivanja onog što, van razgledničkih stereotipiziranih obrazaca, čini jedan grad karakterističnim, Duška se okreće rubnim dijelovima Splita, «estetizirajući» viđeno i vraćajući u posjed građanima.
Kao i svaki odnos, tako se i odnos s gradom mijenja i raste. Od 2006. g. Duška Boban, članica je Udruge za suvremenu umjetnost KVART, koja uz pomoć alata suvremene umjetnosti upućuje komentar na urbanu stvarnost u kojoj živimo, te manifestno objavljuje da je centar tamo gdje jesmo tj. kojeg živimo. Kroz redovite akcije-izložbe, ta skupina autora, stanovnika splitskog gradskog kotara Trstenik, stavlja naglasak na participativnost-susret kroz umjetnost. Susjed je tako kroz umjetnički jezik na trenutak sve bliže susjedu, što urbana svakodnevnica izbacuje iz svojih programa.
Suburbani herbarij, najrecentniji rad mlade autorice sastoji se od 11 digitalnih foto-crteža, dimenzija 120 x 120 cm. Sve su to impresije grada Splita, od Marjana preko Turske kule, Žnjana, gradske luke, gdje Duška Boban ide još korak dalje u svom odnosu s gradom i šetnja postaje samo podstrek, a nastala forma doživljaj.
Autorica će reći, «S obzirom na poluotočki oblik i poziciju, Split ima u odnosu na cjelokupnu kvadraturu širok suburbijski pojas, te s obzirom na tranzicijsko obilježje vremena i prostora, ovdje je suburbijom često moguće smatrati i dijelove grada koji su podjednako strogi centar.”
Raščlanimo pojam, te krenimo od suburbanog. Centar u periferiji, periferno u centru. Inflitracija i miješanje. Svjesnost o istom, kritička disekcija. Jačanje decentralnog. Autorica nas nadalje vodi radom sljedećim riječima; «Trajektna luka prvi je susjed Dioklecijanovoj palači, od koje se pak do najvećeg brodogradilišta u državi može izmjeriti distanca od 15 minuta hoda... cijela sjeverna, priobalna strana splitskog poluotoka, izuzev marjanskog dijela, industrijska je i vojna zona desetljećima potpuno odsječena od svakodnevnog života stanovnika…usprkos usnulom sjeveru, jug svjedoči da se grad naočigled mijenja…»
“Sve je protkano nekim drugim vremenom, prošlim i onim koje dolazi, a sadašnjosti je teško dodijeliti obrise”, reći će autorica i prionuti na strategiju herbarija. Prostornog herbarija. Ogoljavanja. Psihološke geografije zatečenih prostora. Nastaje tako kaotični, ekspanzivni Žnjan, čudnih arhitektonskih formi. Miran, prostran Žnjan, prostornih tipologija koje čekaju obuhvaćanje novim promjenama. Cirkularna (pitam se gdje vodi) Kopilica, meki pokrov Marjana u predvečerje, ikoničke Stinice koje moru ostavljaju u naslijeđe modernističke forme, kukcolike Stinice, velebna mašinerija-trajektna luka, put ka prostranstvima ljetnog odmora, te prostrana, kompaktna i izolirana Turska kula.
Svaka od tih fotografika tj. digitalnih foto-crteža, određena sadržajem, formom, slijedom, sjenom crno-bijelih fotografskih detalja, zapravo je komunikacijski–vizualni znak same autorice uperen prema promatraču, onom ovdašnjem, ali i onom daljem.
Njezino dijagnosticiranje sadašnjosti kroz prošireni fotografski medij, uskraćenih kolorita zapravo univerzalno komunicira o oku nađenom. I ukoliko poznajemo, ali i nedovoljno poznajemo Split, svejedno uzvraćamo komentarom.
Specifičnost Duškine tehnike je u samoj konfrontaciji digitalne forme kao primarne materije te konceptualnih motivacija tradicionalnijih grafičkih tehnika u stvaranju prikaza. S jedne strane radi se o novomedijskom postupku bilježenja okoliša i svijeta, a s druge strane o crtežu kao vodilji konceptualne artikulacije: primarnom sučeljavanju sa svijetom u nastajanju, koje razigrava hladnoću i distanciranost novih medija.
Također, ne treba izuzeti i jaku psihogeografsku nakanu same autorice. Po Guy Debordu, psihogeografija se definira kao uočavanje specifičnih zakona i utjecaja geografskog okruženja na emocije i ponašanja ljudi, te pronalaženje načina za mijenjanje uobičajenih shvaćanja o bliskom urbanom okolišu. Jer samo svijest o utjecajima bliskog okoliša može ohrabriti kritički stav prema uvjetima svakodnevnog življenja, te postati baza eksperimentiranju s potencijalima i mogućnostima istog. Kao npr. šetnja autorice, koja jednu zaboravljenu gradsku lokaciju, Tursku kulu, najedanput čini potencijalno impozantnom, dakle prisutnom.
Pišući ovaj tekst, nanovo sam nakon dugo vremena opet pogledala Angelopoulosov film, Vječnost i jedan dan, koji među retcima, govori i o pjesniku koji, boreći se protiv nedovršenosti, ali i suočavajući se s novim podnebljem, čiji jezik više nije poznavao, kupuje riječi kako bi završio njegovu pjesmu, sve do zadnje koju nikada ne završava. I tako u nedogled, dolaze neki novi pjesnici koji opet traže nove riječi za prisvojiti, tako prisvajajući prostor i otvarajući svjež i kritičan pogled na njega. Borba riječi, borba slike, borba s prostorom-dam ti prikaz, ti mi novom rječju uzvraćaš. Za držanje balansa s onima koji prostor kroje, da, baš zbog toga trebamo kroničare kao Duška Boban, razgranate u svoj svojoj suvremenosti, željne otkrivanja novih prostornih vitalnosti, one koji u nama prizivaju neke nove riječi.

Ivana Meštrov




Dugu povijest Splita možemo čitati kroz jasni kontinuitet urbaniziranja predgrađa, sve do urbane eksplozije 20. stoljeća. Ukupnost procesa urbanog planiranja za zadatak ima usmjeravanje zarobljene energije rubnih prostora, koji se sastoje od nabacanih ostataka prirodnog i izgrađenog.
Urbani dizajner teži njihovoj transformaciji u urbane kulturne krajolike, dok umjetnik u neodređenom i neizvjesnom nalazi likovnost.
Ciklusom kolaža Suburbani herbarij Duška Boban spaja slike splitskih nedorečenih prostora u novi kontekst, uvodeći nas u okruženje koje prepoznajemo, i ne poznajemo.
Nadahnuta zapuštenim i još neotkrivenim autorica gradi strukture prostora fragmentima povezanim temom i recikliranim formama. Sporedne događaje uobličava mrežom s gustim spojevima koji nisu zarezi niti zagrade, već linije unutar protežnosti prostora u kojima jedno prelazi u drugo, po kojima se nastavljaju oblici, a nakupljaju misli, zvukovi i mirisi, preobraženi po mjeri duha.
Tragove estetike ružnog koje slijedi, Duška nam daje crnim na bijelom, ali s nijansom i dubinom, tišinom i polifonijom, udaljavanjem i približavanjem. U njenoj vizualizaciji izgubljeni prostor je privlačan, iako se sastoji od iste vizualne tvari kao i stvarnost.
Oblici, misli i pojave koje autorica crpi iz urbanih rupa povezuje strujanjem mašte predstavljajući rubno s nježnošću.
Njezin cilj nije zaključak niti vizija promjene prostora koji se tek treba razviti, već prividi satkani od realija, koji čine kompozicije dostojne samodostatnosti.
No unutar mnogostrukosti koja približava promjeni, ne vodi li i umjetnička vizualna predodžba do prosvjetljujućih ideja? Prepoznavanjem vrijednosti u labilnim i odsutnim sadržajima, do spoznaje njihove potencijalne ljepote.

Ana Šverko




Suburban Herbarium by Duška Boban, or a Visual Chronicle of a Town


Split. As always in this town, I let my journey be controlled by playful chance, and so happen upon a familiar passage-way leading to a paleo-Christian baptistry transformed from the Roman temple it once was. Then I am passing close by a museum, strolling through a residential area cluttered with restaurants before emerging onto the promenade. The place is teeming with people. An arch of the palace. I gaze at the sea. Split, a transit town that has been developing its image and our imagination through the centuries-long heritage rooted in its antiquity. A physical space of an ever changing street-plan genuinely reflecting the multi-layered reality of time. Because here, as rarely else where, we are faced with the past which so happily co-exists with our present.
However, I am just a passer-by drawn by the strong intentions of an attentive stroller and not of a real resident, which makes my insight into the town, linked to the central points between the port and the centre including Marjan hill, a limited one.
Still, it is this very route which makes me realize that the deepest mysteries are those in our recognizable everyday existence, although we always look for them elsewhere. And I ask myself if there are still chroniclers in this town as there used to be. Those who, emerging from this climate, observe, record and untwist the mystery of everyday life, waiting patiently yet prejudging the conclusions. Because a moment is usually a rare indicator of change which can only be retrospectively examined by a meticulous observation in space and time. (Except in snapshots of natural disasters, wars and economic collapses, which I leave to the observation of the ever eager mass-media).
Looking for a fresh chronicler/local flaneur, somewhere along my way I bumped into Duška. In her artistic work so far and in her activities in the visual comunications field, Duška Boban testifies about the town and space. First of all, she systematically deals with the town of her residence. Observing its growth and confronting it, she records its both positive and negative developments, the state of the area and the relationship between the town and the people who share it. She testifies about the rough transitional moment and the neglected recent past, but she also conveys the specific biographic urban environment. In doing so, she notices new urban areas, capturing those which we do not call public anymore almost by an invisible narration.
In her past explorations, she mostly specialized in photography. So, in 2004, in 33rd Split showroom catalogue which she shaped the visual identity of with her partner Luka Duplančić, she photographed forgotten urban everyday life. In 2005, within the custodian conception of Jasna Gruić, Split-New York for Splitgraphic, which aimed at demonstrating what, beyond picture-postcard stereotypical forms, makes a town’s character, Duška turned to the outskirts of Split, ‘’aesthetizing’’ what she sees and giving it back to its inhabitants.
As in every relationship, one’s relationship with the town changes and grows. Since 2006, Duška Boban has been a member of the Association of contemporary art KVART (Quarter), which, by means of the contemporary art tools, comments on urban reality we live in, proclaiming in a manifesto that the centre is where we are, the one we live in. Through their regular actions-exhibitions, this group of artists, all residing in the same district of Split, emphasizes participation-encounter through art. A neighbour thus, through an art form, becomes for a moment closer to his or her neighbour, something which urban everyday life is deleting from its programmes.
Suburban herbarium, the most recent work of this young artist, consists of 11 digital photo-pictures, 120 x 120 cm each. They are all impressions of Split, from Marjan along Turkish tower and Žnjan to the city port, with Duška Boban going a step further in her relationship with the town so that her walk becomes but a stimulus and what comes out of it becomes an experience.
The artist will say: “In relation to its peninsular shape, position and its total area, Split has a wide suburban zone, whereas with regard to the transitional feature of time and space, the suburb here usually refers to the parts of the town equally considered strictly central.”
Let us analyze the notion starting from the suburb. The centre in the urban fringe, the urban fringe in the centre. Infiltration and mixing. Awareness of the same and the critical dissection. Decentralization build-up. The artist guides us through her work by saying: “The ferry port is in close vicinity to Diocletian’s palace, which in turn is 15 min walk from the biggest shipyard in the country… The whole northern, coastal part of the peninsula, except for Marjan hill, is an industrial and military zone completely cut away from the everyday life of its inhabitants for decades… Despite the lethargic north, the south attests that the town has been undergoing visual changes...”
“Everything is interwoven with some other times, the past and the oncoming ones, but it is hard to outline the present”, the artist will say and take up the herbarium strategy. The spatial herbarium. The psychological geography of the spaces she comes upon. Thus we get the chaotic, expanding Žnjan with its weird architectural forms. The peaceful, spacious Žnjan with its spatial typologies awaiting some new modifications. The circular (I wonder where it’s leading to) Kopilica, Marjan hill’s soft cover in the twilight, the iconic and insect-like Stinice handing down its modernistic forms to the sea, the majestic machinery of the ferry port transporting us to summer pleasures and finally the spacious yet compact and isolated Turkish tower.
Each of these photo-graphics or digital photo-drawings defined by the content, form, sequence, shade of black and white photographic details, is really a communicational-visual sign of the artist herself, pointed at the observer, this one here but also the one to come.
Her diagnosing of the present through an extended photographic medium of stinted colorism is indeed universally communicating about what the eye has discovered. Whether we know or do not know Split enough, we return a comment nevertheless.
The specific feature of Duška’s technique lies in the very confrontation of the digital form as the primary medium and the conceptual motivations of more traditional graphic techniques, in creating the presentation. There is a new-media process of registering the environment and the world on one hand and drawing as the guiding thought of conceptual articulation on the other: it is the primary confrontation with an emerging world, which animates the coldness and aloofness of the new media.
Moreover, there is a strong psycho-geographic intention of the artist which should not be ignored. According to Guy Debord, psycho-geography is defined as the noticing of specific signs and impacts of the geographic environment on people’s emotions and behaviour. It is also about discovering the ways of modifying the usual perceptions of the close urban environment. It is only the awareness of the impact of the close environment which can encourage a critical attitude to the conditions of the everyday way of life, and which can become a basis to experiment with the potentials and opportunities of the same. As, for example, the artist’s walk which makes a forgotten city site, Turkish tower, suddenly seem potentially grandiose and thus present.
While writing this text, I saw again “Eternity and a day” by Angelopoulos after a long time. Among other things, it talks about a poet who, fighting against incompleteness and facing a new climate whose language he can no longer understand, buys words in order to finish his poems, with the last one, however, remaining incomplete. And indefinitely so, there are some new poets arriving and seeking words they will appropriate, thus appropriating the space and leaving a fresh and critical attitude towards it. The battle of the word, the battle of the image, the battle with the space – I’ll give you an image, you’ll give me a new word. In order to keep the balance with those who tailor the space, yes, that is why we need chroniclers such as Duška Boban, rich in all their contemporariness and eager to discover new spatial vitalities to invoke some new words inside us.

Ivana Meštrov



The long history of Split can be traced through the clear continuity of the urbanisation of its suburbs to the urban explosion of 20th century. The goal for the entire urban planning process is the direction of the captured energy of the outskirts made of the scattered remnants of the natural and the constructed.
Whereas the urban designer aspires to their transformation into urban cultural landscapes, the artist in the indefinite and the uncertain discovers visual art.
With the collection of collages named Suburban herbarium, Duška Boban combines the images of Split’s unelaborate areas into a new context, drawing us into environments that we recognize, and do not know.
Inspired by the neglected and still undiscovered, Duška builds space structures with the fragments linked by the topic and recycled forms. Secondary events/elements are shaped by a net of dense junctions which are neither commas nor brackets but lines within the stretch of space where one thing transcends into another, where the forms keep on shaping and thoughts, sounds and scents accumulate, metamorphosed as to fit the mind.
The trails of the aesthetics of ugliness which Duška is following here are presented to us in black and white yet combined with shade and depth, silence and polyphony, withdrawals and approaches. In her imagination, the lost space is attractive although it is made of the same visual matter as reality.
Forms, thoughts and phenomena absorbed from the urban holes are connected by streams of imagination, representing the peripheral in a sensitive way.
Her aim is neither a conclusion nor a vision of spatial change which is yet to develop, but illusions woven from realities and forming compositions worthy of self-sufficiency.
However, within multiplicity which brings closer to a change, does artistic visual conception not lead to enlightening ideas? By recognizing the values in unstable and absent contents, to the cognition of their potential beauty?

Ana Šverko