GRAIN-19 is my new series of photographs featured as the first artwork at the new online exhibition project of the Museum of Fine Arts in Split entitled A view from the Inside which presents artists reflecting upon the Covid-19 pandemic on the Museum Instagram and Facebook profiles. I have chosen photographs with hidden human figures from my archive of analogue photographs that show architecture and landscapes in Split. Through reframing, i.e. enlargement of the details from the original photographs, human figure appears mostly isolated and absorbed in his/her solitary activity. Unlike the clear first versions of photographs, the new one has visible grainy structure of the photographic film that provides a “borderline”, almost unacceptably intimate and vulnerable quality.
Creation of a new image from the existing photograph represents a return to the origins of the photographic thinking – selection of a scene and image formation – referring to the possibilities of choice within the moment, freedom of decision making. Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation, John Berger wrote in 1968.
Processes like these turn my focus retroactively to the questions of freedom and choices in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to the Anthropocene circumstances that had led to this and other announced catastrophes. Questions of the human domination over the environment have finally reached the mainstream channels, and human and economic losses, as well as restrictions of state apparatuses that quietly threaten with its on normalization, make the whole situation tangible and real.
By choosing the locations that bare the postponed touristic potential I wanted to remind of some values that obviously need to be returned to. Primarily those are the preservation of natural and cultural resources, infrastructure, public health and social services. We need to return to the idea of the city oriented towards the possibilities of working and living, i.e. to its real development and growth.
LIST OF WORKS:
- Bambina glavica, protected landscape and unresearched archaeological site in the Marjan Forest Park / photographed in 2015
- Coast near Villa Dalmacija in the Marjan Forest Park, a complex that in 1949 became the residency of Josip Broz Tito and still remains closed to public / photographed in 2016
- Ambasador Hotel designed by Josip Kodl, Vojin Simeonović, Helen Baldasar and Emil Ciciliani, built in 1937, demolished in 2019 to enable the building of a larger hotel complex at the site / photographed in 2015
- Pomgrad skyscraper designed by Vuko Bombardelli, built in 1963, currently houses the Centre for Social Welfare / photographed in 2014
- Residential skyscrapers in Glavičine (Table) designed by Stanko Fabris, built in 1963 / photographed in 2014
- Firule Hospital by architect Zoja Dumengjić built in 1969 / photographed in 2014
- Residential building S-3/1, Split by architect Frano Gotovac, built in 1973, 17-storey-building known as Krstarica / photographed in 2015
- Križine Hospital (former Military Hospital) by architect Antun Ulrich, built in 1965, presently used also as a Covid Hospital / photographed in 2015
- Residential skyscrapers in Spinut by architect Ivo Radić built in 1968 / photographed in 2015