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Željko Borčić – Transformative Power of Photography

 

28. 1. − 15. 2. 2019.

 

foto: Tjaša Kalkan

 

The artistic activity of Željko Borčić is determined by a special physical, spiritual and intellectual constitution with an accentuated conceptual approach towards communication. The psycho-cybernetic self-portrait, which he exhibited in 1973 in Gallery SC in Zagreb, is an installation through which he, with the help of numerous artefacts, analysed how much his social surroundings influenced the formation of his artistic identity. The question of identity was also examined in the important Action for a Confrontational Reaction, held by the end of 1974 in a public space in the centre of Zagreb. During the action, photography was the intermediary in the changes of identity of the passers-by and intentional participants.

From then onwards, Borčić constantly makes polaroids. He built on the characteristic of this “fast” technique of a limited format by various interventions, affecting the very integrity of the medium. Colour, strokes and damages can thus be considered within the context of actual events in the wider field of visual arts. This will allow us to connect some examples with particular optical research, while examples of a more accentuated materiality and painter-approach will mark the closer connection with the transavantgarde and its domestic variation – New Painting. Borčić records objects from daily life and surroundings, focused on the transformation of the motif into a new meaning context, which exists only in his photographs.

 

Željko Borčić (Zagreb, 1942-2015) studied architecture in Zagreb, and made the first contacts in the field of graphic design in the studio of Vjenceslav Richter. He graduated in 1969 at the Department of Visual Communication at the Sir George Williams University in Montreal. As a graphic designer, he realized several projects (Bell Telephon Co., Stenbergs Ltd., exhibition Man and His World – amphitheatre project). He returned to Zagreb in 1970, working primarily as an individual professional designer. He also gained acclaim in other media, especially photography, film and television scenography and costume design, as well as conceptual art. During his professional carrier he was in charge of Studio Borčić, Synthesis, Grafiti Dizajn and Trans-ID, and he was also the graphic design and visual communication manager in several agencies.