Marko Ercegović, A Boy on the Danče Beach, 2005

Marko Ercegović
A Boy on the Danče Beach, 2005
colour photography, digital print

After having switched to digital photography, this Dubrovnik-born photographer born in 1975, felt, as he once said – reborn. “When digital cameras appeared, I started working with colour photography. For me, that was a change bigger than anything else. I could take more shots and feel more relaxed about taking them. (…) When I worked with rolls of film, I didn’t work in colour film because I couldn’t develop the photos myself. That was very expensive, so I only worked in black and white. Not because it was beautiful and romantic, but because it was the only technology I could afford. (…) I think that all photographers who mean something to me, who are important to me, would be overjoyed if they had a digital camera in their time.”

The photograph presented here is part of a series called The People of Dubrovnik, which Ercegović first exhibited in 2005 in Zagreb and which was his first series of photographs of people. Art critics observed that Ercegović took shots of people “from the sidelines”, from a certain distance, so it seems that the captures are somehow stolen. The A Boy on the Danče Beach photograph from 2005 is a great example of this observation. It should, however, be added that in this photograph there is a mutual distance between the portrayed and the portraitist, that it seems as if this distance between the photographer and the boy suits them both. On the left-hand side of the photograph, a part of an adult’s leg is observable next to a pile of clothes, so the boy seems to have caught a moment when he can rest from both swimming and adult supervision. On the other hand, the photographer seems to be only passing by – by boat, on foot? – and that he will not potentially disturb the peace that the beach is offering the boy. Ercegović’s motility as a photographer or the aesthetics of working “in passing” has been highlighted by not only critics, but also the author himself: “For example, when you walk your dog, then just follow it! Because dogs always ask you, dogs always stop on the corner and look at you wondering – left or right? Yet sometimes, they want to go where they want to go. And then all you have to do is follow them! (…) You just have to let things go. All you have to do is harmonise. Well, what I mean is that the photographer has to harmonise with the world around him.”

Text: Klaudio Štefančić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Photo: Marko Ercegović © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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