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ARCHIVE · 2010


curated by Rozana Vojvoda

December 22, 2010 - January 22, 2011



The exhibition entitled Repetitions by Ana Opalić, renown Croatian photographer of younger generation (together with Boris Cvjetanović represented Croatia at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003) represents five photographic series. Paradigmatic of the repetition category is the series Brsalje, which she has been working on since 1996, and which she is exhibiting here for the first time after a long pause, in the biggest selection so far. One hundred and fifty black and white prints made by the photographer are shots of a single composition, divided exactly in the middle along the line of the horizon into areas of sea and sky and the framed rocks (significantly, the artist left out any signals capable of marking it as Dubrovnik, only inhabitants of the city or frequent visitors being able to discern that in the invisible spaces to the right edge of the frame is the fort of Lovrijenac and to the left Bokar). The series Brsalje is necessarily viewed in a sequence that reveals the alterations of the seasons, different times of day, strange transformations of the sea, sky and the very rocks, in which our eye is guided by the only constant, the taut line of the horizon.  The photographer uses the same method of repeating a selected composition in the series of photographs taken in Farrera, Catalonia (where she was in-residence) in 1998, which are exhibited for the first time. The choice from Self-portraits, series which she has been working on since 1995 represents those self-portraits in which certain repetitions and small differences take place. Self-portrait diptychs are created, for example self-portraits in a setting in collusion with associated shots of an empty ambience or two similar self-portraits that differ in gesture or slight body movement.  The series In Between Content (1998-2010) also partly rests upon repetitions, and is close to the self-portrait diptychs. In point here is the repetition of motif in the next click of the shutter, preceded by a slight movement of the body and camera. Through these slight shifts two or three similar scenes arise, in the overlaps of which, in the interstices between the two contents, lies the interest of the artist.  The interrelations of photographs shown in the diptychs or triptychs framed with the black edges of the film with manufacturer’s numbers to show their sequencing create remarkable, hybrid, sliding joins of hills, edges of rocks and horizons, or traps for the eye in which a scene once won has gone in the next look. In a series of digital photographs created during one day in Sicily, the author questions her own attitude towards digital photography, which offers “endless” repetitions. The repetitions of Ana Opalić should be understood as a creative method, a restless return to the same issues, topics and motifs in order to undermine apparently fixed categories, including what and how we see or questions of identity.

Ana Opalić was born in Dubrovnik in 1972. She graduated Film and TV Cinematography at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb in 1997. She had a number of solo exhibitions (2010 Dubrovnik, Messina, Firenca, 2009 Torino, 2008 Dubrovnik, 2007, 2006 Zagreb, 2005, Köln) and group exhibitions (2010 Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, 2006 Darmstadter Tage der Fotografie, Darmstadt, 2003, 50th Venice Biennale...).  Awarded as best young photographer at the Croatian photography exhibition in ’97. 
As the winner of the UNESCO-Aschbers scholarship, she was a guest at the Centre d’Art i Natura in Catalonia in 1997 and 1998, and at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland.
She has been a member of the Croatian freelance artist's association since 2000. She lives and works in Zagreb.


conception and the exhibition layout : Vlasta Žanić and Evelina Turković

November 19 - December 12, 2010



The exhibition by Vlasta Žanić JA TI VI MI is a retrospective survey of the artist's fifteen years of work in art, which is not presented in a literal chronological order or by a systematic selection of the „major“ works. It contains works that welled out of the artist's most private topics and the circumstances of her daily life (sculpture created in wartime, video performances that represent a dominant medium at the exhibition) as well as the works that the artist herself understands as a collective experience that she makes possible for others and shares with them, in which each is a collaborator and stakeholder. The authoress offers us the chance to walk on her wooden Seesaw in order to feel a moment of having uncertain ground beneath our feet, to sit on the Chair that will suddenly change our perspective of the view or to stand on the Conveyor Belt that takes us to a mirror, to look at ourselves.

In first three days of the exhibition, the artist has organized three performances/happenings (In the garden, Distancing, Portion) during which collective performances took place. Vlasta Žanić strips these works of the dominance of her own authorial control and a priori tightly defined shape, all so as to open up the chance for others to take part in it as much as possible.

Vlasta Žanić - biography

Vlasta Žanić was born in Zagreb in 1966. In 1985, she graduated from the Applied Arts School in Zagreb. In 1990, she took her degree from the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, sculpture department, class of Stipe Sikirica. She spent the last year of her Academy course in the class of Miroslav Šutej. In the first ten years of her career, Vlasta Žanić systematically explored spatial problems in a sculptural way. Playful mobiles of light materials are transformed over the course of time into sculptural shapes of minimalised geometrical forms using rough, heavy materials (for example, rusty iron or rubber), occasionally juxtaposing them to completely contrasting substances (such as water and glass). Later she used a video camera to take shots of surfaces or natural phenomena in motion (such as for example the waves beating against the rocks), incorporating these clips into spatial video installations or ambiences. After 2001, Vlasta Žanić increasingly did performances and shot video works. The change in her medium of expression is a reflection of a change in thematic focus. Now she is largely concerned with issues of a self-referential nature, about her own role as artist, woman, mother; her relationships with the surroundings and the audience; the transformations that occur in manipulations of content in the media.
Vlasta Žanić exhibited at around thirty individual exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. She has been awarded with a number of prizes (prize at The Eighth Triennial of Croatian Sculpture in 2003, Vjesnik's annual prize for visual art in 2006...) 



in association with the Alberto Giacometti Foundation, Kunsthaus of Zurich 

The exhibition is curated by Franziska Lentszch

26 June - 03 October 2010

Press conference
Exhibition opening

This exhibition covers the Giacometti prints, lithographic cycle Paris sans fin, drawings, paintings and sculptures, 169 works in all. Along with other works of art, the show presents the sculpture Man Crossing the Square on a Sunny Morning of 1950, forerunner of Walking Man of 1960, artwork that because of the astronomical price it fetched, the highest in the history of the art market, was recently much mentioned even outside the narrow circles of the discipline.
As well as Giacometti’s works, we are showing 18 photographs of Ernst Scheidegger, the well-known Swiss photographer, once a member of the Magnum agency, who was particularly close to the great sculptor and followed him with his camera in many situations of his life and work.
This exhibition is a continuation of the international part of the programme of Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, of a series of great events in the last decade (Brightness – the Thyssen-Bornemissa Collection; Dubrovnik Here and Elsewhere – with curator Catherine David; the Jan Fabre exhibitions Umbraculum for Dubrovnik, Le temps emprunté; Pablo Picasso – Prints; American Printmaking since 1960...). This exhibition is the first solo exhibition of Alberto Giacometti in Croatia.

Lenders of art works:
- Foundation Alberto Giacometti, Kunsthaus Zürich
- Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur
- Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Zürich

The exhibition is made possible by: City of Dubrovnik (patronage of the exhibition), Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia; Pro Helvetia-Swiss arts Council, The Dubrovnik-Neretva County

Sponsors: Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik (patronage of the exhibition opening), Dubrovnik Airport, Fotostar-Serragli d.o.o., Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d., Libertas Dubrovnik d.o.o., Streettribes, Zagreb, Hotel Argentina Dubrovnik

Media sponsor: EPH-ART, Jutarnji list

About the artist
Alberto Giacometti was born in 1901 in Borgonovo, Switzerland. He was first of all trained in the Fine Arts School in Geneva, and in the beginning of 1922 enrolled in the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, class of Antoine Bourdell.
Although he inclined to various movements of the early 20th century, such as Cubism and Surrealism, Giacometti cannot be subsumed under any stylistic idiom or its constraints. With his characteristic stylization of the figure, which he reduced almost to anti-volume, to a mere line, Giacometti achieves a fully individual expression, in which the material pre-text is only a hint for the endorsement of a delicate spirituality. Although he was not apt to give in to pretentious demands that he should be an artistic leader and interpreter of his time, with his obsessive concentration on a few simple motifs of the human figure, he defined the character of the times: anxiety, inquietude, the global tragedy, the tormented soul of the 20th century, which nobody embodied with such organic power as this modest but great man and artist.
While he was still alive Giacometti achieved an international reputation and the status of artist of world importance. He died in 1966 in Chur, Switzerland. 


in collaboration with the Tošo Dabac Archive /
Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb / City of Zagreb

authors of the exhibition: Marina Benažić, Antun Maračić
exhibition set-up: Antun Maračić

March 3 - May 2, 2010

Zagreb, from the 1930s to the 1940s
Dubrovnik, from the 1930s to the 1960s
Opening of the exhibition

In this exhibition we show a selection of photographs from two segments of the rich oeuvre of Tošo Dabac – Zagreb in the thirties (cycles People in the streetAnother view), and Dubrovnik over the span of time from the 1930s to the 1960s (26 photographs exhibited for the first time).
The cycle People in the Street, bears a particular gravity and places Tošo Dabac for sure among the most powerful world social documentary creators. With a great deal of compassion and a critical social awareness, he documented scenes of wretchedness, exclusion, loneliness, lethargy and hopelessness, among both city dwellers and those lost souls who had come in from the country.
But he was also open to less troubling sides of city life. He registered the colourful bustle of the streets, the holiday-time city promenades, moments for strolling at leisure, relaxation at excursion time. He was particularly sensitive to the visual dimensional values of the street scene, to the textures of the tramlines, the street paving flags, the banking, verticals of the lamps, spokes of car wheels, the ribs of shop window blinds, the rhythms of steps and the shades of their handrails.  He recorded the luxuriance of the scatter of light from jets of water in the watering pipes in the park, and the dull gleam of wet umbrellas and their diffuse shadows on the paving in varying intensities of grey; then came scenes of the city in the fog with finely gradated degrees of differentiation of both form and tone, then snow scenes, as muted as those in the fog.
He loved bird’s eye view angles, a view onto a crossroad, a street with cars and pedestrians that cast long shadows, rich and intricate, which annulled something of the distinction between solid and ethereal, real and unreal; there is also metaphysical poetry here, recollections of De Chirico, but sometimes these combined blotches of things, figures and shadows are reduced  to some early adumbrations of Tachisme. In fact, in a magnificent manner, Dabac endorses what is basic to photography, what is immanent to it, and that is light. In all its manifestations and shades too; fitting to the motif of the moment.
In photographs of Dubrovnik too Dabac used the solar vividness of the place as a generator for his virtuoso operations with light. Quite often, in his familiar manner, he makes use of the spectacle of the low morning sun that throws long shadows of people and things on the ground, lively arabesques in the composition of the picture. No single figure with its pertaining shadow is beside the point, without meaning or role in the structure of the composition and the atmosphere of the picture at the same time, in the rounding of its contents: this might be a lively group of women below the arches at the Rupe Museum, bathers on the stone of the waterfront, or travellers on the quay of the old city port.  And the washing on the lines stretched out among the houses in the old city centre only reveals its zigzag spatial constellation by a shadow on the stone street.
And of course, along with the other city images, the boys fishing on the bank, the scene from Stradun in the morning, the figure of a Franciscan in the cloister of the priory, the city marketplace from bird’s eye view, there is also the legendary tram, whose rhythm of windows and divisions rhymes with the facade of the Hotel Imperial in the background.
The cities have been reduced to the common denominator of the view of the great photographer Tošo Dabac that will be a catalyst for our vision too. Apart from our being able to meet scenes and an atmosphere that time has modified, Dabac’s viewpoint will enrich us with the discovery of the substances hidden within familiar images.

Tošo Dabac (1907-1970) - biography

Tošo Dabac, one of the most important of Croatian photographers, was born on May 18, 1907 in Nova Rača by Bjelovar. In 1917 with his family he moved to Samobor, and in Zagreb he enrolled into the Royal Upper Town Classics High School. He made his first contact with photography in 1924 in Samobor.
From 1927 to 1937 he had a job with Fanamet Film, and then moved to the Zagreb office of MGM, as translator and public relations officer.   He took his master craftsman exam as a photographer, married operetta singer Julija Grill, and opened up his studio in 1937.   In the paper Večer he published reports that were part of his famed cycle at first known as Wretchedness, later renamed Street People, for which he is today best known to the general public.
In 1940 he moved into the studio in Ilica 17, which in the sixties became a cult gathering place for artists and intellectuals united around the Exat 51 group, the Music Biennial and the New Tendencies.   At this same address, the whole of his photographic bequest is kept in the Tošo Dabac Archives.
He photographed for reportages and for the front over of the illustrated paper Radio Zagreb (1940) and for Hrvatski Krugoval (1942). His photographs were published in a good many foreign journals (Die Galerie, Vienna, 1940; Fotografische Rundschau, Berlin, 1941).
In 1943 he was professionally engaged within the National Liberation Movement.  He documented the post-war period photographically.
In the late forties and fifties he shot natural beauties and heritage spots of the Croatian coastline, medieval sculpture and frescoes, tourist centres. In 1950 he shot Dubrovnik villas and heritage features, and did the photography for the first programme booklet of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, for which in 1954 and 1955 he was the official photographer.  In 1951 the Photographic Federation of Yugoslavia awarded him the title of Master of Photography.  He is the author of the photographs in a string of books about artists and art history: Augustinčić (1954), Bakić (1958), Trogir (1959), Zagreb (1961), Meštrović (1961), Bogumilska skulptura[Bogumil Sculpture] (1962), Dubrovnik (1966.)...
From the   late fifties on he worked with a number of foreign publishers: Thames and Hudson and Encyclopaedia Britannica of London, Librairie Hachette of Paris, the Hans Reich Verlag of Munich, for example.
He was a member of many professional associations: the Photographic Society of America, ULUH, the Association of Artists of Croatia, FIAP, and was an honorary member of the Royal Belgian Photographic Association (CREPSA).
He has exhibited at numerous prestigious international photographic exhibitions: Prague (1933.) Philadelphia (1933, together with Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, László Moholy- Nagy..), Toronto and Viena (1934), London and Paris (1935), San Francisco (1937, together with Edward Steichen, Brassaï, Man Ray, Aleksandr Rodčenko, Ansel Adams...), Boston (1937.), New York (1937, 1939), Bern (1950), Luzern (1952, together with Magnum photographers, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Robert Frank, André Kertész), München (1960.), Hamburg (1965.)...He had solo-shows in Pula (1953.), Zagreb (1953., 1968.-retrospective with over 300 exhibits, 1969.), Belgrade (1962.), Split, Trogir and Ingelheim (1969.).
He died in Zagreb on May 9, 1970.