HOLY MAN – ARTIST STATEMENT
The starting point of my work is the official “Biometric Photo Requirements” sent to photographers by the Ministry of Interior after Croatia had joined the EU. Following the requirements I take photos of asylum seekers, intentionally making an error – I allow for minimal facial expressions which show their personality thus rejecting to take their individuality away from them and reduce them to archival data. By shifting the power relation I question the role of the medium of photography as a political instrument used for control and surveillance.
By exhibiting the photos of asylum seekers in the form of posters in public spaces which I find the most obvious places of social antagonisms, ie power relations, I want to make the immigrants visible at least on symbolic level. I pose the question of their status, position and EU immigration policies in general. I follow and document the decay of photos exhibited in public spaces where the portraits are exposed to various interventions mainly showing the relation of us towards “Others”.
250 km from Zagreb in the aluminum fac- tory MAL in Hungarian town of Ajka one of the greatest ecological catastrophes in the history of that country occured on October 4, 2010. At 12.35 pm the tank 10 leaked one million cubic meters of “red mud” which pol- luted 40 square kilometers. Ten people died, hundreds of houses were demolished and destroyed, more than two hundred people were seriously injured and in total 7000 peo- ple were affected with this.
Red mud is the outcome of Bayer’s process of turning bauxite into aluminium. It has high ph values of 13 and high alkalinity and it is full of heavy metals such as cadmium, chromi- um, arsenic and mercury.
Several months later journalists scattered, environmental organizations became silent and everything seemingly calmed down. Half a year later I went to record the consequenc- es that greed and capitalism left behind sac- rificing nature and people.
U seriji “3. maj” želio sam kroz jedan “utišan” pogled prikazati radnike i samo brodogradilište, i to u trenutku ključnim za njegovu egzistenciju, dok se nalazi između prodaje ili nestanka, a gdje je glavni ulog egzistencija 1.800 radnika.
Zanimalo me je kako zabilježiti neizvjesnost trenutka, atmosferu iščekivanja i straha. Kako zabilježiti taj nevidljivi trenutak opstanka ili nestanka.
The series of diptychs “Observers” (Viewers) combines double perspective, from within and from without. On the territory of the Zagreb neighborhood Dubrava, I wanted to connect urban landscape with people who live in the given generic environment. This neighborhood was the one that provided various landscapes, social story and urbanistic whirlpool.
The camera is actually an excuse to enter intimate space of neighborhood inhabitants and to observe those who observe, that is to observe what those who observe can see. In the city slang Dubrava is a metaphor for something different, out of the center, and often something generalized and prejudiced.
I decided to keep the monumentality of the landscape taken from the air and then connect it to portraits of people of different age, gender, social status. I tried no to give a commentary through overt stylization nor to take a personal position. I tried to be distanced. I have lately been interested in the relation between photography and voyeurism, that is, observing.
Serija diptiha “Promatrači” kombinira dvostruki pogled, izvana i iznutra. Na teritoriji zagrebačkog kvarta Dubrava želio sam povezati urbani pejzaž s ljudima koji žive u zadanom generičkom okolišu. Upravo ovaj zagrebački kvart mi je pružio različite pejzaže, socijalnu priču, urbanistički vrtlog. Foto aparat mi je zapravo izgovor da uđem u intimni prostor stanovnika ovog kvarta i promatram one koji promatraju, odnosno promatram ono što oni koji promatraju vide.
U gradskom slengu Dubrava je metafora za nešto drugačije, nešto izvan centra, a često i nešto što se generalizira i što je predmet predrasude.
Odlučio zadržati monumentalnost pejzaža snimljenog s visine, a onda to povezati s portretima ljudi različitih godina, roda, životne dobi i socijalnog statusa. Trudio sam se ne dati svoj komentar, pretjeranim stilizacijama ili zauzimanjem osobnog stava. Pokušavam biti udaljen, distanciran. U zadnje vrijeme me zanima odnos između fotografije i voajerizma, odnosno promatranja.