New York Photo Festival – The PhotoWorld 2014 exhibition opening reception will take place at The POWERHOUSE Arena Friday, September 26, from 6-8 pm, on the opening day of the world famous Dumbo Arts Festival (@DUMBOArtsFest, #DAF14). The exhibition will be in view through November 10.
HANGART Group Exhibition
July 31 – 13 September, 2014
Ivana Meštrovića 2
Damir Babić, Petar Barišić, Boris Berc, Neven Bilić, Fedor Fischer, Ivona Jurić, Ivan Kovač, Darija Dolanski Majdak, Marin Marinič, Mak Melcher, Mladen Radolović Mrlja, Dalibor Stošić, Nenad Šaljić, Stjepan Šandrk, Robert Šimrak, Bojan Šumonja, Goran Tomljenović, Vladimir Dodig Trokut, Matko Vekić, Igor Zirojević.
Upcoming Exhibition: Aperture Summer Open 2014
On View: July 17–August 14, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 17, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
547 West 27th Street
New York, NY
A Portrait of the Matterhorn has been awarded the first prize in nature category.
Photographer Nenad Saljic’s book Birth of a Ship begins like a traditional fairy-tale; a piece of poetic prose sets the scene. We learn that in a feat that feels akin to a production of Noah’s Ark, an idea of a building a boat was formed and the bones of it began to take shape soon after. Documenting the developing construction, the images that form Birth of a Ship are interweaved with geometric curved line across white pages, with poetry. This poetry is written by Miki Bratanic; these nautical nuances placed between the pages lend further spirit to the photographs.
It is a deviation from the work we are used to associating with Nenad; stunning landscapes of peaked cliffs, caves and expansive skies; but his interest in texture and natural fibre is nonetheless prevalent within these images. Namely, his ability to create high-contrast black and white photographs with high definition and detail has developed to become a signature aesthetic. The grain of the material; the wood, the metal surrounding hanger – are felt through this keenly represented texture.
But this is a book far from a project one would normally label documentary; I am hesitant to describe the images even as still lives; this is too immobile a term. The book feels as melodic as much as it is visual, the emanated waves not seen in watery form but within the lines weaving through the pages; a repeated motif of rising and falling mark-making. As I proceed through the pages it is the viewer that brings life to the shell of the ship.
The very visual and sensual curves are as intimidating as they are impressive; as the symmetrical ribs reach around the space they are in I am reminded of a breath, but also an enclosure; a trap of sorts. The vessel of a ship is powerful; but inherently vulnerable to its surroundings. Function, too, is thwarted; what use is this ship in its protective hanger? Stuck in its womb, as it were, it is inanimate; non-functional. Nonetheless, we that fill in the unseen the gaps of workmanship and see it progress, following the physical clues of construction.
As it grows, our ship becomes akin to a body and I am able to detect the human attributes within the book’s narrative. A ship is built to sail; to explore, to transport. Alternating between periods of calm and turbulence, the ship can provide parallels metaphorically and philosophically that illustrate our own experience. I feel myself yearning to reach out into this ship, caring about it. I am left with a feeling of accomplishment and its visual architecture impresses upon me. Birth of a Ship represents something as soft and subtle as an idea, but the true significance lies in the fact this idea has made into something that exists; something very tangible and real. I only hope when the ship meets the water, it is a voyage that befits its dedicated craftsmanship and magnificence.
By the end of book, I feel both the promise of adventure and the effects of nostalgia; a combination that feels both new and encompassing. The last words come from the boat-builder Igor (Gugo) Ilic who neatly sums up the spirit of the builder, as well as the sailor: “Once you start, there is no going back.”
Eighteen39 by Dawn Schuck
In Photo Features