Blesok no. 66, May-June, 2009
Always Hungry Gaze
Series of photographs “Always Hungry Gaze” are part of a project that consists of three related sections.
The first section consists of series of large colour photographs (up to 50x70 cm) with the motives photographed in the period of a year at the “Savica” market in Zagreb (2004 – 2005.).
The photographs represent an entire Saturday, from the placing of the stalls in the early morning to the cleaning of the market in the afternoon. The motives are varied, and besides the visual aesthetics, details, composition and colouring, their documentary approach depicts the verisimilitude of the consumer society, economic competitiveness of supply, and personal stories of sellers at the market. All photographs are taken with digital cameras.
The second section consists of three projections. The first projection show an entire day from the opening to the closing of the market, in a sequence edited in fast motion so as to bring forth the flow, diversity of supply and number of customers during the day. The central projection shows me as a participant in the Saturday shopping, the camera following me at the market. The third projection moves the camera to the eyes height, becoming more communicative and lively, due mainly to being held in the hand. All three projections are shown simultaneously and are cyclically repeated every 20 minutes.
The third part of the project is performance in moving a situation from life into the gallery space – placing a lady who usually sells her products at the market – in this new market world.
By directing my view at the object and working on myself, my own consciousness and my own life undergo a change. The awareness of nature, health and freedom should overflows to the visitors at the exhibition, spreading the positive energy which abodes in a separate artistic sphere, the art of living. The aesthetic dimension of life is complemented – in a wider sense – by existential and ethical awareness of what we do, where we shop and what we eat.
Considering the market and its historical context, i.e. its origin, we go back in history to the feudal production and barter. The development of society led to a marked division of work and separation of craft from trade, agriculture and cattle-raising. Due especially to the desire for specialization, the need arose for people who would carry out specific jobs which included the transport and selling of goods from one end of the world to the other. Those people needed specific geographic areas on which to carry out their trade, and then establish their habitations.
In the Pannonian area, those places were mostly the elevated dry areas at the intersections of important routes, in front of estates and castles or churches, or in busy areas where there was a large flow of people.
Due to this activity, small squares would be created in these places, and then later the merchants' settlements. Through time, those settlements, depending on the trade power and wealth of the people, developed into free cities. The great expansion of trade was beneficial to the development of money, and enabled it to take on a greater role in the process of barter or trade.
Each such settlement, market town, or city carefully selected the location of the square, i.e. market, as the most important and recognizable sign of wealth and differentiation. Markets have become the heart of every city, thus influencing the development and encouraging the race in size and appearance of the market and the competitiveness of produce. All this was a precondition for the arrival of merchants from far-away lands with sought-after, rarely seen and precious goods, who visited a market depending on its reputation.
This way, the trade developed – trade that benefited the development of agriculture, cattle-farming, different crafts, and in the end, the development of the city, i.e. state – as well as wealth, whether in goods or money, which was a precondition for the development, quality of life, and the power of a city and its inhabitants.