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The life of others - My photography exhibition, Zagreb, November 2022

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

My text, Zagreb, November 2022.


The life of others


Human faces are a map to study. Each line has an origin and leads to a destination. When photographing them, I look for differences, and yet in the end I get only similarities. The same patterns are hidden in each of us, the same desires shaped by culture and customs, we are all at root ordinary imperfect beings, determined by the hunger for the imaginary.

I shoot towards them from shadows, hidden by the crowd, using different bodies and lenses, but always in a silent mode that even a simple whisper can hide. I love that moment, that negligible fraction of a second when everything is achievable, on the blurred edge where imagination and reality meet, when it is possible that I will capture them exactly as I want them. I spy trying not to move anything on their faces, so they stay as they are while no one is looking at them, alone. I document them from my safe zone full of unspoken thoughts, I put myself in the comfortable position of a witness, one who does nothing, who is just taking notes for a later testimony in which he will perceive and understand everything better. With these portraits, I keep them for myself, I keep myself in them.

Sometimes these are faces full of night silence. Sometimes they are saturated with merciless sun and wind, dry like parchment forgotten in the attic. Sometimes these are faces soaked in melancholy, in which tired eyes are drowning, resembling the weak embers of a tired fire. Sometimes they are full of defiance and anger that has become their only food, and negative emotions are just weapons of self-destruction. And sometimes, when I get tired of my own awareness, there are children's faces full of curiosity and that remind me of a nostalgic time when questions were all I had.

Today I know that in them I am actually looking for myself and the answers that have been hidden for all eternity. I mercilessly steal their souls in a silent search for myself, perhaps in the hope that, having penetrated into other people's secret codes, I will be able to really put myself together, make myself whole. That some of their pieces will fit perfectly into my long-destroyed drawing, in the naive illusion that these parts can really be found somewhere outside of me. Actually, I'm looking for an easier way.

Sometimes I get lost on that long road and all those faces of fictional identities become a broken kaleidoscope whose images spin too fast creating a distorted reality. Then I stop, confused by the abundance that means nothing to me in such a murky way, and then I console myself with the thought that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself.

I love my photography objects even though I am aware that they usually forget me in a second, that in my insignificance I am usually put on some messy shelf of their subconscious, condemned to disappear quickly. Many of them become part of my life as they watch me for years from walls or monitors, frozen in a moment of brief mutual contact of different importance. They rise or fall in value, changing as I change.

Everything we perceive is subjective. Artistic expression should be a palette of possibilities of understanding, not a random, uncertain hunger for someone more "expert" to provide us with an appropriate explanation of what we see. Each of us should look at the picture from our own point of view, independent of others. You should stop and allow yourself a thought purified from the prejudices with which we seem to make life easier for ourselves. To make out the picture, to distinguish it, to understand where our reaction to it comes from, to put some part of the puzzle about ourselves in order, to get out of the safe zone of denial and wake up. Because every knowledge about oneself is a moment of awakening. Life is made up of moments, only mine are often frozen in in one sixtieth of a second.

The face is sometimes the only bare part of the body, the scoreboard with the score, the drawn human map, and by observing them, I deal with their everyday life, past, first morning thoughts, wishes and dreams. I think about those ghosts that most often just fly past me, full of possibilities and secrets. I study and compare myself in thousands of personal mirrors whose reflections teach me and tell me that all lives are equally valuable and that mine is no exception. Each of these photographs is a portrait of a living person; each of these people has their own story that deserves attention and humility as we subconsciously compare ourselves to them in passing.

Each of these portraits has a story. About the observed and the observer.


"I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are." Ellen Von Unwerth




Život drugih


Ljudska lica su karta za proučavanje. Svaka linija ima ishodište i vodi do nekog odredišta. Fotografirajući u njima tražim različitosti, a opet na kraju dobivam samo sličnosti. U svakome od nas kriju se isti obrasci, iste želje oblikovane kulturom i običajima, svi smo u korijenu obična nesavršena bića, određena glađu za imaginarnim.

Okidam prema njima iz sjene, prikriven gomilom, koristeći različita tijela i objektive, ali uvijek u tihom modu kojeg prekriva čak i običan šapat. Volim taj trenutak, taj zanemarivi djelić sekunde kad je sve ostvarivo, na zamagljenom rubu gdje se susreću mašta i stvarnost, kad je moguće da ću ih uhvatiti baš onakve kakve ih želim. Špijuniram pokušavajući ne pomaknuti nijedan mišić njihovih lica, da ostanu kakvi su dok ih nitko ne primjećuje, sami sa sobom. Dokumentiram ih iz svoje sigurne zone pune neizgovorenih misli, stavljam se u lagodnu poziciju svjedoka, onog koji ništa ne čini, koji tek bilježi za kasnije svjedočanstvo u kojem će sve bolje uočiti i razumjeti. Tim portretima čuvam ih za sebe, čuvam sebe u njima.

Ponekad su to lica puna noćne tišine. Ponekad su zasićena nemilosrdnim suncem i vjetrom, suha poput pergamenta zaboravljenog na tavanu. Ponekad su to lica natopljena melankolijom u kojoj se umorne oči utapaju ličeći na slabi žar vatre na umoru. Ponekad su puna prkosa i bijesa koji je postao njihova jedina hrana, a negativne emocije tek oružje samouništenja. A ponekad, kad se umorim i od vlastite svijesti, tu su objektivu zabranjena dječja lica puna znatiželje koja me podsjećaju na nostalgično doba kad su pitanja bila sve što sam imao.

Danas znam da u njima, ustvari, tražim sebe i već cijelu vječnost skrivene odgovore. Nemilosrdno im kradem duše u nijemoj potrazi za samim sobom, možda u nadi da ću sebe, proniknuvši u tuđe tajne kodove, uspjeti zaista sastaviti, učiniti cjelovitim. Da će se neki njihovi komadići savršeno uklopiti u moj davno poharani crtež, u naivnoj iluziji da se ti dijelovi stvarno mogu pronaći negdje izvan mene. Zapravo, tražim lakši put.

Povremeno se na toj dugačkoj cesti izgubim i sva ta lica izmišljenih identiteta postanu pokvareni kaleidoskop čije slike se prebrzo vrte stvarajući iskrivljenu stvarnost. Tada zastanem zbunjen obiljem koje mi takvo mutno ne znači ništa, a onda se utješim mišlju da se ponekad moraš izgubiti kako bi se pronašao.

Volim svoje objekte iako sam svjestan da oni mene najčešće zaboravljaju u sekundi, da u svojoj nebitnosti najčešće budem odložen na neku neurednu policu njihove podsvijesti osuđen na brzo nestajanje. Mnogi od njih postaju dio mog života dok me godinama gledaju sa zidova ili monitora, zamrznuti u trenutku kratkog međusobnog kontakta podijeljene važnosti. Rastu ili padaju u svojoj vrijednosti mijenjajući se kako se mijenjam i ja.

Sve što opažamo je subjektivno. Umjetnički bi izražaj trebao biti paleta mogućnosti shvaćanja, a ne nasumična, nesigurna glad za time da nam netko „stručniji“ pruži prigodno objašnjenje onoga što vidimo. Svatko od nas trebao bi sliku promatrati iz svog ugla, neovisno o drugima. Trebao bi stati i dopustiti sebi misao pročišćenu od predrasuda s kojima si prividno olakšavamo život. Sliku razabrati, razlučiti, shvatiti otkuda izvire naša reakcija na nju, posložiti time neki dio slagalice o sebi, maknuti se iz sigurne zone negiranja i probuditi se. Jer svaka spoznaja o samome sebi je moment buđenja. Život je sastavljen od trenutaka, samo su moji često zamrznuti u šezdesetinki ili stodvadesetpetinki sekunde.

Lice je ponekad jedini goli dio tijela, semafor s rezultatom, iscrtana ljudska mapa i promatrajući ih, bavim se njihovim svakodnevnicama, prošlošću, prvim jutarnjim mislima, željama i snovima. Razmišljam o tim duhovima što najčešće samo prolete pored mene, puni mogućnosti i tajne. Proučavam i uspoređujem se u tisućama osobnih zrcala čiji me odrazi podučavaju i govore da baš svi životi jednako vrijede i da moj nije nikakva iznimka. Svaka ova fotografija portret je žive osobe; svaka od tih osoba ima svoju priču koja zaslužuje pozornost i poniznost dok se u prolazu, podsvjesno, uspoređujemo s njima.

Svaki ovaj portret ima priču. O promatranom i promatraču.


„I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.” Ellen Von Unwerth

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