The web portal Contemporary Croatian Photography was founded in 2009 by Ana Opalić and Gabrijela Ivanov who led the portal through the association K-ZONA until 2013 when Sandra Križić Roban and Ivana Vučić joined editorial board. The association Office for Photography took over the portal, the visual identity was changed and the editorial concept was broadened.
The association Office for Photography (Ured za fotografiju – UzF) was established in 2011 in order to research, critically appraise and promote contemporary photography in Croatia. Apart from photography, the principal activities of the Office of Photography are focused on film, design and visual communications, contemporary art and theory of art.
Office for Photography is a leading institution in the field of contemporary photography in Croatia. We are particularly interested in making the available materials motivating for students, photographers and other artists, critics and scholars, as well as for a wide audience. All our activities are networked and function as a platform for reflecting on, interpreting and promoting photography.
Main current activities:
- The web portal Contemporary Croatian Photography (www.croatian-photography.com) which features avant-garde, conceptual and contemporary art photography and publishes interviews with authors and their texts. In addition to the visual material, documents and texts about individual authors and periods are also available on the web portal. The web portal was launched in 2009 and it was taken over by the UzF in 2013, changing its visual identity and expanding the editorial concept. The portal functions as a digital repository of the most prominent authors in the field of photography in Croatia, from the 1960s onwards.
- Producing exhibitions within our own exhibition space Spot Gallery in Čanićeva 6, Zagreb, as well as in collaboration with other institutions. Realizing the necessity to participate in this important segment of art events, we began producing exhibitions in 2014. The exhibitions that we have launched so far were the projects of UzF members based on their experience with the medium and their critical and theoretical deliberations on particular aspects of contemporary photography.
- UzF’s publishing activities gathered in Edtion F11 consists of photography books connected to the exhibition program, a number of theoretical and critical overviews of contemporary photography and comprehensive photography monographs. Until now, for this project we received a donation from the Adris Foundation.
Digital archive of conceptual photography
Our long-standing research of conceptual photography in Croatia – primarily experimental and processual photography – was featured several times at the curatorial exhibitions, while Život umjetnosti – a magazine for contemporary visual arts – dedicated a special issue to the project. The necessity arose to digitalize all the items analysed so far – and not just the photographs of various authors, but also the accompanying documentation.
An archive of conceptual photography started to build up – an extensive research and presentation project of conceptual photography in Croatia, from the late 1950s onwards. The objective of this project – pursued by research, digitalization and publication of the core body of works – is to lay the groundworks enabling the synthesis of national conceptual photography and its contextualization within the European framework. This project aims to create this archive in cooperation with international partners. We wish to enable a continuous and unhindered research of the interested public into the experiments and various concepts within the medium of photography which emerged in our region at the end of 1950s and subsided in the early 1980s. This extremely important art phenomenon is almost completely unknown to a wider audience and, up until now, it has never been presented or analysed in its entirely. It is extremely important to us that the archive be available to foreign experts, artists, curators and critics in order to establish a broad network of knowledge.
Project starts with development of innovative on-line repository featuring digitised archives of Polish, Croatian, Estonian and Belgian artists of the avant-garde movement occurring in the second half of the 20th century. Digital repository will contain such items as graphic works, drawings, paintings, photography, documentation of exhibitions and art installations, personal notes, poems, samples of prose works and the descriptive data. Such rich collection will be presented using an innovative and highly transparent format for easier browsing, analysis and comparative work.Once the cross-national on-line repository is created, workshops will be organized in Warsaw (Poland), Zagreb (Croatia) and Tallinn (Estonia), dedicated to art history and art students as well as any interested frequenters of contemporary art museums/art galleries. The workshops will be conducted with the use of the on-line repository and will cover the understanding of the avant-garde art and curator’s skills.Workshop participants will produce their own exhibitions (min 2 months long) in ARTon Gallery (Warsaw), SPOT Gallery (Zagreb) and KUMU (Tallinn) on the basis of the archives and with support of a professional curator. One exhibition will be held also in Brussels (Belgium).The international archives accessible in the on-line repository will be among the topics discussed at a conference in Warsaw mainly for stakeholders of the creative sector linked to avant-garde arts (art critics, art historians and researchers, teachers and professors, academics, cultural NGOs representatives, museums and art galleries, and the artists). The conference will deliver an internationally distributed publication.Project implementation period is 2 years.In future, on the basis of our wide branch contacts across Europe we plan to expand the on-line repository database range by including the archives from other European countries (the largest art history research team in France is already interested).
* Project is financed from Creative Europe fund, Croatian Ministry of Culture and Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs .
OFP members are:
Sandra Križić Roban