Blesok no. 22, August-September, 2001
Manaki / Photographers_Close-up
Janaki and Milton Manaki’s Photography
At the beginning – there was the photography (Janina, 1898), through which Manaki Brothers perceived the value of the captured moment. The desire to preserve the time – made them enter into the world cinematography anthology as the first cameramen on the Balkans. But, until the very end of their lives, they remained faithful to the photography, treating it as an art with its own criteria.
The photo-legacy of Manaki Brothers (18.513 negatives from which 7.715 are glass plates) gives an opportunity for the most various interpretation and presentation of their work. Aside from the burden of history, and placing at the same pedestal – the Ottoman Sultan and the anonymous Bohemians from Bitola, we tried to make a selection for this exhibition. What we did pay attention to – is the aesthetic qualities of the photographs, thinking of the photograph in first place. Selected photos are from different periods and with various thematic, because the curiosity made Manaki Brothers to enterprise themselves in all “departments” of the photography… The most of the photos are seeing the Gallery lights for the very first time, and they fulfil the image of the Manaki Brothers as the photographers.
This exhibition shouldn’t be understood as an anthology of their photographic work, but as a segment, seen – maybe – through some subjective angle.
All of the photographs are made from the original negatives (contact copies from glass plates) and they are made at the photo-laboratory of the Macedonian State Archive – Regional Department – Bitola, with our gratitude for the help from the employees of this Institution in the realization of this exhibition.
* Macedonian Photography Center’s Gallery
1. Janaki Manaki opens his photo-studio in Janina, 1898
2. The photo-material of the Manaki Brothers is kept at the Macedonian State Archive – Regional Department – Bitola
3. 34 photos are exhibited