The work examines Zagreb’s buildings through the language of the “souvenir”. It presents intimate portraits of local architecture as ornaments that communicate with the exhibition space and its surroundings. In addition to examining architecture, the work contemplates on the idea of the souvenir and its possibilities; Rather than presenting obvious points of interest or “selling points” the work meditates on the nuances of the cityscape and offers a slower approach to aesthetic experiences.
The research process formulates questions about the souvenir in relation to the city: With each souvenir, what does one take away? Does the souvenir objectify or celebrate? Does it expand cultural understanding or does it commodify? Does it provoke interest or does it sell? Does its production process exploit the producer or honor a craft? What role does the souvenir have on our understanding of a space or our memory of a building? What does it feature asthe representation of an experience or space? What impact do symbolic objects and repeated symbols that promote superstitions or concepts have on our understanding of a city?
The format designed for the project is based on aesthetic studies of regional souvenirs (licitar cookies, magnets, postcards, crafts) as well as archival forms of presentation and organization, including the materials used in the state archive albums and the library index cards in Zagorka Library. It also involves the idea of the “ornament” in a full sense, using the associations of the holiday ornament, of decoration, and connecting this to the idea of ornament in architecture, as seen in the regional Neoclassical, Historicist and Turn-of- century styles that dominate central Zagreb.
By presenting photography as an object, an ornament, and souvenir, the artistic research presents recent imagery of facades and structures that reveal histories, ideologies, transitions, and events in passive and aesthetic ways, incorporating cultural symbolism and souvenir craft as part of the meaning of the photographs and organization of artistic research.
Location: Krvavi Most Gallery/Zagorka Library in Zagreb