(From the cycle Horizons / Down hard, up high)
Ivan Posavec belongs to the generation of photographers who were formed artistically by Zagreb’s subculture scene of the 1970s and 80s. He published his first photographs in youth magazines (Polet, Studentski List, etc.), and this journalism- and magazine-related environment determined his work for years to come. Concerts, socialist youth work actions, political rallies, the life of the youth in rural and urban environments, etc. – are motifs we find in his photographs. Once the Homeland War brought a complete social change, socialist youth magazines stopped being printed, so Posavec turned to other themes, amongst which panoramic photography occupies a special place. He photographed his series of panoramas, one of which we are bringing here, with an antique Russian FT-2 camera designed for recording panoramic photographs for military purposes. Posavec’s panoramas present everyday scenery (Maksimir Park, the Sava River embankment, fields, forests), which contain hardly anything and almost none of the cultural signs and symbols that marked his early photographs (famous faces, naked bodies, the hammer and sickle, First Communions, etc.). In these autumn or winter and often foggy landscape photographs, silence is all there is.
Ivan Posavec was born in 1951 in the village of Dužica near Sisak. He graduated in cinematography from the Academy of Theatrical Art, the Art of Film and Television in Zagreb in 1980 in the class of Nikola Tanhofer. He received a master’s degree in photography in 1984 from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade in the class of Dragoljub Kažić. In 1979, together with Milisav Mio Vesović, he founded the MO (an abbreviation of meko okidanje, which translates as soft trigger) Group. He received the Tošo Dabac Photography Award in 1992 and the City of Zagreb Award in 2003.
Text: Klaudio Štefančić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Ivan Posavec © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb