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Documentation of Cities

Rijeka, Split, Ubli, Croatia
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Frano Gotovac_Stambena zgrada S-3_1, Split 3, 1973

Recent series are focusing on architecture in three coastal cities in Croatia: Rijeka (European Capital of Culture 2020), Split and Ubli. All three segments - Photo-construction of Architecture: Rijeka, Late Modernism in Split and Terra nUBLLIus - are deprived of any dynamics and people, using the minimalist approach. The buildings are seen here as objects in the process of archiving and the sky is used as background of photographed items. The frames are documenting surrounding of industrial heritage (Rijeka), buildings designed by the most eminent Yugoslav architects of the time (Split) and those built by Italian architects in 1930s (Ubli).

None of the photographed buildings is tourist attraction, while the captured details are those which are recognizable characteristic features of each building. As such, these series are not complete and hermetic portraits of these the cities, but of their peculiarities, seen through subjective perspective and presented in documentary mode. In case of Split, the photographs capture skyscrapers, residential blocks and public complexes built by Ivan Vitic, Ivo Radic, Frano Gotovac, Vuko Bombardelli, Slaven Rozic, Stanko Fabris, Lovro Perkovic, Dinko Kovacic. The architectural objects are approached from the pedestrians' perspective and not as required by the standards of scientific books about architecture.

Terra nUBLLIus focuses on San Pietro/Luigi Razza/Ubli settlement at island Lastovo in Adriatic Sea, built in 1936 alongside the fish factory that was established in 1931 and later destroyed in 1974. The photographs tend to represent abundance of space that characterises only Ubli among all urban structures at the island, placing this "empty" space as metaphor of the void in meaning of this cultural-historical unity. Initiated within Mussolini's urban planning project for industrialisation/ population of provinces, Ubli was/is associated partly with the Fascist regime that conceptualised it, since Lastovo belonged to Italy, remaining an example of rationalist urban planning. After WWII, the island was in a way no man's territory (terra nullius), before the Yugoslav troops arrived, later to be associated with Yugoslav National Army (JNA) that built newer segments of Ubli.

Photographs focusing on Rijeka were realised as a side-project within the Kamov residency programme in 2015. Terra nUBLLIus was produced within residency programme "L.A. Colonia" (6-18/6/2016) initiated and organised by Mariana Bucat (architect, researcher) and Association for Affirmation of Culture and Art Dobre Dobricevic, by purpose of including interdisciplinary approach in revalorising, protecting and activating Ubli. Late Modernism in Split was subsequently produced in Split.

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bostjan, March 8th, 2017
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