Curator: Iris Slade
All his photographs, Ivan Posavec says, are diary entries. Among the photographs that are particularly pregnant with various impetuses and affects, one should single out the panoramas shot with the FT-2 camera. Fourteen black-and-white photographs made in the period from 2000-2011, printed in 90 x 360 cm format, have been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts under the common title given by Posavec: Horizons / Too Hard Down Here, Too High Up There.
Classical in his approach to shooting panoramas with an analogue camera (although normally using a digital one for his work), Posavec digitalizes the film after developing it in order to achieve the said format. Eventually, each photograph has a black rim like a negative, a typical sign that there were no subsequent interventions.
Posavec takes his camera along at any time of the day. Sometimes he purposefully looks for the motifs, at other times he notices them by chance. If there is no favourable light for the motif at the given moment, he studies it and comes back when he considers it more suitable. He never uses the tripod. He carries his camera around his neck, at the height of his diaphragm, and he takes photographs that way. He never misses the chance to document an interesting scene with his camera, wherever he may travel or stay somewhere for a while, but he mostly focuses on Zagreb. Thus, most of the exhibited photographs show Zagreb motifs, from the historical centre to the suburbs. There are also two panoramas of the plains and forests of Dužica, a panorama shot in Šibenik, and another at Bačvice in Split.
The horizon is the measure and boundary of the exteriors that interest Posavec. And in those exteriors, man is always present, either because he happened to be there by chance or because he has "materialized" in those deserted urban ambiences, or perhaps as a discreet hint in cultivated landscapes.
Posavec’s photographs of elongated format are unobtrusive and poetic testimonies of untypical, unexpected, and unusual scenes. His affinity for the motif is mostly expressed discreetly, with no heightened affects. These characteristic features are a reaction to the complete lack of aesthetic and human component in the original purpose of the FT-2 camera. For this reason, Posavec intentionally chooses visually pleasing motifs void of all excess, such as frequented urban areas or popular places of relaxation and recreation. Almost all of them create an impression of civilized care for their appearance.
In his panoramas, Posavec combines his photographic skill and experience with the gift of observation and measure: both in the exteriors themselves and in emotions.
About the artist
Ivan Posavec was born in 1951 in Dužica near Sisak. In 1980, he graduated Film Production from the Academy of Theatre, Film, and Television in Zagreb, and became a master of photography a year later. In 1984, he obtained an MA degree in Photography from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He won the "Tošo Dabac" award in 1992, Award of the City of Zagreb in 2003, and around fifty other awards for photography. He has been involved in journalist photography for almost four decades, publishing in various newspapers and magazines including: Polet, Studentski list, Mladina, Start, Danas, Vjesnik, Pitanja, Svijet, Globus, and Arena. Photo editor for the Gloria magazine, currently as an external associate following his retirement in June 2016.