Darije Petković: Damnatio memoriae

08. 10. 2021 – 13. 02. 2022

The exhibition Damnatio memoriae by the Zagreb based photographer and artist Darije Petković addresses the ways in which we constitute our memories through visual means. The artist uses the medium of photography to show his personal view of the cultural landscape marked by numerous historic events and inscribed into the collective memory through public and media discourses. The works from his current series lucidly follow and comment upon the consequences of the social, ideologic and economic transition in Croatia as well as throughout the broader region.

Over the past fifteen years Darije Petković focused on the role of photography as an important culturological category that can be used to show social reality by depicting the cultural landscape. Photography is often linked to the experience of time and space, both of which are witnesses to historic memory. Since the disintegration of Yugoslavia thirty years ago, Croatia remained a transitional society that is, similar to the post-World War II society, marked by the rejection of social values from the previous period and historic revisionism. Such breaks in the continuity on all levels of society have eliminated numerous positive achievements and events from the previous times, which have been substituted by an immense void. Already Petković’s previous works such as Okupacija u 26 slika (Occupation in 26 Pictures, 2008), Zagrebačke tvornice (Zagreb Factories, 2010) or Duhovi prošlosti (Ghosts of the Past 2008-2013)) revealed the pathologies of politically motivated historic constructs. Through photographs, objects and archive material, which he uses to construct a coherent narrative of the relativity of historic facts and their dependency on the current political discourses, the series Damnatio memoriae (2019) continues with his research into the ways we relate to the past. The artist chose six symbolic locations (from the famous uvala Slana on the island of Pag to the political school in Kumrovec) that marked the semi-recent past as the central points of this series.

The exhibition emerged in cooperation with the Vladimir Bužančić Gallery, which operates within the Novi Zagreb Cultural Centre, where the exhibition Damnatio memoriae was presented for the first time in 2019.

Curator: Anita Zlomislić

Foto: Jurij Vižintin

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