Snapshots of a time gone by, taken in a time that never happened…
Unique photo pairs of the same motives from Haludovo (Malinska, island of Krk) from 1987 to 2018 were presented at the exhibition at the Croatian Museum of Architecture (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) in Zagreb. Damir Fabijanić took the photographs in the same technique (a 6x9cm negative color film camera) capturing identical views in a time lapse of 31 years, in which Haludovo hotel town was utterly destroyed and devastated.
This exhibition, bringing together the best of Croatian food and wine, and its natural and cultural heritage, in original, related pairs of photographs, was held in the exhibition halls of the Domus Romana in Rome in June 2015.
The European Union marked Croatia’s accession to the Union with the “Welcome Croatia” exhibition (Fabijanić’s selection of 38 of his own photographs of Croatia) in the European Parliament (Brussels and Strasbourg).
The portraits of Croatian winemakers (in related pairs of photographs) have now been published for ten years in the column The Identity Cards of Wine Cellars in the Iće&piće magazine.
The Iće&piće magazine published interviews with the best chefs in the world. Probably no other gourmet magazine in the world has published so many comprehensive interviews with the world’s most prominent chefs. Photographic portraits of the chefs introduce each of these interviews. Most of the interviews were published over the last 6 years during the San Sebastian Gastronomy Congress.
The selection, however, also includes one winemaker, whose passion makes him worthy….
This is a selection of the cover pages of the 49 issues of Iće&piće published so far. They present Croatian and foreign food and drink through creative plates of food and ingredients.
The photographer’s commissioned work with a social theme (2006), was completed as an exhibition in Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Art (Zagreb, 2007) on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the artist’s work as a photographer, and the 10th anniversary of the Association for Promoting Inclusion, which aids the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities in everyday life.
A selection of photographs of Paris, presented at exhibitions and published in magazines.
A specific project realized in 2004 in the form of a very successful eco-museum in Rovinj, dedicated to the traditional small wooden boat from Rovinj known as batana. In addition to his role as a photographer, DF also participated in the staging of the entire exhibition (with the informal status of project art director).
This impressive collection of photographs of the whole of Croatia was created over almost three decades of taking pictures from the air (most often from a helicopter). This is only a limited selection of author’s drone free shots, which involved a great deal of effort, and the photographs are still first class even when compared with the new technologies of the present day.
The exhibition of photographs entitled A Circle in a Square was created during DF’s stay in Japan in the spring of 2005. Fabijanić, as the co-designer of the very successful project for the Croatian pavilion at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, stayed on two occasions for a week in Japan. He used his free time to take photographs (Nagoya, Kyoto and Tokyo).
For the artist, Japan is a blend of the past and the future. At this exhibition he presented his impressions of everyday life in Japan, showing the contrasts but also the harmony that exists between the traditional and conservative, and the modern and technologically progressive.
Following its traditional annual invitation to a variety of artists in 2005, Riviera Holding (today Valamar) played host to photographers from several countries. Two weeks taking photographs on St. Nicholas Island near Poreč resulted in an entirely original project by DF: a parallel presentation of the same motifs in colour and in black and white, generating an original concept – the illustrated story of the elegiac departure of summer from the islands.
Istria has been one of the artist’s long-term subjects of interest. This is just a small selection of numerous motifs of Istria in all seasons.
When, in April 2003, the British Embassy in Zagreb asked DF to take photographs of the First Festival of Design in London (a series of events, such as 100% Design, Fashion Week, Open House Architecture…) nobody, including the artist, knew what photographic material he was going to return with. His exceptional photographic material, shot in only 6 days (in wonderful weather) on two formats of slides (6x6cm and 24x36mm) were transformed into a book and an exhibition, with an original design – the concepts (as text) and the pertaining illustrative photographs listed in alphabetic order.
Limitations are a source of creativity.
In 2002 I found myself on the island of Zlarin taking photographs with an entirely different theme. After I had finished shooting, whilst waiting for lunch, I noticed an open and abandoned house, with the skeleton of a cat at the entrance. Instead of taking a rest before lunch, I decided to set myself a photographic project, to shoot 1 (one) film of 6 x 6 cm format, that is, to take 12 photographs, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (over a period of precisely 60 minutes). I meticulously studied the scene I was going to shoot, because I did not want any more nor any fewer scenes in one hour. Here is the result…..(DF)
We are standing on the deck of this passenger ship of ours, watching the gulls following the broad white strip, plunging headlong into it every time the boy standing on the other side of the rail breaks off a piece of bread and throws it into the sea; for the hundredth time we marvel at how they manage to make out the morsel in this seething pot, in which all we can see is foam. We are a slightly annoyed at the caring mother who is not happy with the boy’s game and takes him back to the bench, from which he can only watch. We turn to the horizon, peer at the line where the calm surface joins the sky… This marvelous text is an excellent illustration of the setting in which this selection of abstract pictures of the surface of the Adriatic Sea was created (slides 6×6 cm).
In the spring of 1999, the first edition of ORIS, an architecture and culture magazine, was published. The publisher and editor-in-chief, Andrija Rusan, designed the magazine, together with a group of like-minded people and editors (Ante Nikša Bilić, Damir Fabijanić, Sanja Filep, and Ante Rašić), and today it is one of the activities of Rusan’s ORIS, the House of Architecture. D.F. was actively involved as a full-time associate, the chief photographer and editor of photography until 2008 (in particular for the first twenty issues).
I am fed up with all cooking and serving. And even with older cooks who say that all was well while the kid still listened to us, before he became too smart…. (DF, November 1999).
10 colour photographs with intensive colours, ranging from white garlic to black risotto.
The idea for this part of the exhibition was envisaged in the spring of 1999, and it was part of a solo exhibition by DF, as the winner of the Grand Prix at the 31st Zagreb Salon.
These are the photographs from the monograph entitled Hometown Colours (the Šibenik-Knin County), the Juraj Šižgorić City Library (Šibenik, 1998), which was the result of the vision of its director Milivoj Zenić and almost three years of work (design by Bruketa&Žinić). The photographs are still worth looking at even two decades later.
It seems somewhat unreal when we say that it took two months of intensive work, to shoot and select photographs for the folder of the Pag Lace exhibition held in 1995, at the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, if we know that the story of Pag lace was told through only 10 individual photographs. As the photographer, co-creator of the idea and photographic-graphic material, DF completed this exceptional story, this exhibition, which was staged in many European cities.
The times when the noblemen and citizens of Dubrovnik erected summer residences in the surroundings of the City, and landscaped their gardens, belong to the past. Through them the wealthiest and most powerful citizens of Dubrovnik demonstrated their understanding of a life of leisure on a country estate. Only some writings about the owners are left, and about their summer residences. What is left are mostly ruins, abandoned dwellings and neglected, overgrown gardens …(N. Grujić)
This book, dedicated to future generations, tells the story of Dubrovnik’s splendid past, and is a dialogue between Nada Grujić, an art historian and Damir Fabijanić, a photographer.
Twenty-two years of systematic work on the photographic and graphic aspect of the national airline, Croatia Airlines, which has the most consistent and long-lived corporative identity in Croatia (after 1990), is a true exception.
With consistent and inventive graphic design (Ivana Ivanković) the exceptionally rational and successful corporate identity of CA was maintained, as the result of the work of the in-house creative team (a unique case in the Croatian corporate world). This gallery includes a selection of the cover pages of Croatia Airlines’ in-flight magazine, designed by DF.
These photographs were taken way back in 1993, having been commissioned by Bruno Lončarić (the Crikvenica Tourist Board). This was the Crikvenica Riviera project (design by Sanja Iveković, texts by Vesna Kusin). For the first time it connected the coast (Crikvenica) and the hinterland (Vinodol) in the context of tourism. The concept and the design were too avant-garde for the local community and this great project was soon abandoned. This was the collapse of one of my first great professional ideals. Take a look at the photographs today, 25 years later…..(DF).
Memories are a precondition of comparison.
This is my modest contribution to the ailment of short memory, both past and future.
Countless disobedient pupils of the magistra vitae, the teacher of life, frequently try to convince us of the eternal correctness of their points of view (no matter how much they change), regardless whether they are riding on the high waves of the strong generators of power, or they end in the shallows of their own misconceptions. (DF)
Motifs from Tito’s communist era are presented in the gallery, in contrast to the appearance of the infrastructure of the archipelago, the summer resort for the political elite after 1990.
Photographs of the architectural heritage destroyed during the war in Croatia (the Homeland War), 1991-95. DF became aware of the importance of repeatedly photographing the same motifs, after the destruction of the war, soon after the beginning of the attack on the Dubrovnik region (1 October 1991), and after receiving the first reports of the destruction of what he had photographed one or two years before. Since the artist photographed Dubrovnik and its surroundings 2 years before the war, the repeated photographing of the same motifs allowed him to match impressive pairs of photographs, which illustrate the consequences of the war in the best possible way.
Where does evil come from? – the ancient question has certainly been present amongst humankind since the time when man started to ask himself questions. We ask less frequently where good comes from, because we take good for granted, as the way things should be. This can be seen in our aspirations for completeness, development, and stability. Completeness on the other hand means independence, freedom.
Maybe this was because, way back, evil was defined as the absence of good, in the place where good should be ….(Stjepan Kušar, from the Foreword)
The 59 photographs in this book tell the story of the consequences of evil, about heritage cleansing during the war in Croatia (1991-95).
My favourite job as a photographer ever! Photographing the surroundings of Dubrovnik (the landscape, architecture, customs, and folklore) for the permanent collection of the Rupe Ethnographic Museum in Dubrovnik, was made possible thanks to architect Ivan Prtenjak, who passionately fought for me to be commissioned for that job. Today, I can say that this was very fortunate, because, otherwise there would not have been anything afterwards. And also because I (fortunately) photographed much more than what was commissioned.
The museum opened in February 1990. All the photographs have been part of the permanent collection for more than 27 years. Untouched ….(DF)
I have selected 8 motifs from the first film shot (12 shots, 6×6 cm) for the Institute for the Reconstruction of Dubrovnik (April 1989) for subsequent exhibitions! This was an impulsive fascination with the City and the beginning of my never-ending story of Dubrovnik.
The thirty black and white photographs of Dubrovnik were presented at the first exhibition about Dubrovnik on 17 May 1990 in the Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik.
If you want to find out whether the city is the same today, look in the gallery…(DF)
My first preoccupation as a photographer: architecture
Architectural heritage, magical interiors, splendid façades. Frequently dilapidated, inadequately refurbished, supplemented with kitsch (frequently in churches and public spaces)…however it is precisely the magic of photography, selecting the right angle in such conditions that is always intriguing; in particular before the era of Photoshop (DF).
My first preoccupation as a photographer – architecture
The sensibility and work; a winning combination. Architecture does not move, it stands still, it does not run away from the lens
It is alright to take a photograph of another artist’s work (of an architect) so that you underline what is essential, but it is a pleasure to add your own angle, your own vision, so that it looks as it should be experienced. (DF).
This is my first (personal) photographic series after 6 years of intensive work as an amateur photographer, with which I was fully satisfied at the time. This was preceded by hundreds of developed black and white films, and thousands of enlarged black and white photographs.
This was the moment when I acquired personal confidence and the unquestioned satisfaction of photography began. It gave continuity to the previously only occasional bright photographic moments.
I was sharpening my photographic and visual arts criteria on the deserted beaches in the bay of Pag. I was a member of Zagreb Photo Club. A competition was announced for the First Yugoslav Exhibition of Slides at the Photography Festival in Priština in 1976. I read that Branibor Debeljković was a member of the selection board. This was the first (and only) time that I sent my work (a collection) to the selection board of an exhibition. The result: first prize for my collection of slides.
Nobody (none of my colleagues) in Zagreb Photo Club ever asked me to show those slides. I stopped going there….. (DF).
My island – my starting point; my town – my starting point This is why the monograph was entitled Pagradotok (Pag-town-island).
I was born in Zagreb, but my carefree childhood and later school holidays shaped my emotional receivers of this unique setting. They came into focus though my photographer’s eye, at first without self-effacingly (recording motifs which are now being discovered with great pomp by the media four decades later), and later, with more mature understanding and experience, but always led by intuition.
My photographs are my memories. And they have been alive for more than four decades…. (DF).
I like to recall the beginnings of my interest in photography, dating from my days at elementary school when this great love of mine began. Later, of my many hobbies, only photography remained. My initial enthusiasm and dedication remain a lasting memory, and some subsequent projects are the result of the initial visions already present in those early days (DF).