It seems as if, in an environment drastically facing the extinction of any kind of (self-) criticism, meaningful criteria for evaluating and promoting authentic values, or, in an environment facing up to the consequences of this erosion that has been eating away at more and more areas of cultural production, Damir Fabijanić has no choice but to get “in the midst of things”.
Due to lack of other means of communication, the artist chose first person narrative. Fabijanić is a sharp judge and an uncompromising critic of the phenomena he encounters in his daily life, both of the public media and cultural institutions of which no mention is being made by common consent. He is equally convincing as the author of photographic representations, when ironizing the pseudo-civilisational legacy of the newly formulated Croatian culture, in documenting his own vision of reality, opening up a debate about the commercialisation of art, in questioning the division into art photography and other genre categories.
The exhibition combines several individual sections, with each theme consisting of photographs and texts: rather than the usual exhibit interpretations that accompany an exhibition, the artist uses written statements, comments, or descriptions to further highlight the context in which the works were created. The layout of the exhibition is devised as an installation that establishes communication codes on the basis of experience of conceptual practices, or the starting point for the dematerialisation of a work of art as an aesthetic object. At the same time, these texts allow us to follow the chronicle of a photographic pursuit that reveals several constants in this artistic output, both at the level of themes and content and artistic approach. Instead of an objective, neutral observer, Fabijanić opted for a less comfortable position of an engaged participant, which further underlines the self-referential dimension of his works and their distinctive interpellate power.
Damir Fabijanić (born in 1955 in Zagreb) has been a freelance artist-photographer since 1987. He specialised in architecture and landscape at the very beginning of his career. During the Croatian Homeland War, he photographed damaged cultural heritage sites, especially Dubrovnik and its environs. Photographic material addressing this subject was published in the book Dubrovnik… An eponymous exhibition, along with several others, has toured Europe and South America – and was on view at CD’s Small Gallery in 1997.
In 1992, as the only Croatian photographer to date, Fabijanić took part in the most prominent European photography festival in Arles. Throughout his professional career he has held numerous solo exhibitions and received prestigious awards and distinctions. He is the chief photographer and photography editor of Croatia/Croatia Airlines (since 1993), Oris (from 1999 to 2008) and Iće&piće (since 2007). He has published photographs in reputable newspapers and magazines, including Abitare, Architektur aktuell, Architektur und Bauforum, Architectural Review, Baumeister, Casa Vogue, El croquis, Detail, Diseno interior, Domus, Piranesi, Topos, Werk, Bauen+Wohnen, Japan Architect.