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Uninvited guests

Photograph exhibition     27.11.2003 - 31.01.2004




 Exhibition of photographs
Dražen Lapić & Petar Strmečki


ulazEvery science has its object of interest. That object is divided in number of fields. Traditional architecture or habitation is one of the fields of ethnology. Unfortunately, a selective approach to the profession (when you analyze just the segment that you are interested in) often eliminates the more holistic approach to the subject. It is almost like when the physician cures just one disease, but does not look at the man in entirety. 
Fortunately, there are artists.
Writers often describe life more convincibly and more illustrative than ethnologists. For years, I’m recommending, to everybody who wants to know more about Istria and its culture, to read Fulvio Tomizza.
If I wanted to show the atmosphere in some continental Croatian home or home in Lubenice on island Cres, I would certainly show Dražen Lapić and Petar Strmečki photographs. There are many reasons for that. It is good documentary photograph. For example, photograph from Stari Brod – “Doll from Trieste”, reminds us on a doll in rich lace dress, which crinoline spread all over the bed forbidden for children to touch. Reminds us on mum’s stretched under-sheets, on late aunt’s embroidered tablecloth, Murano vase – that you could watch from the distance… The same photograph is telling us about beginning of new, imported decorations, about the characteristic mixture of new industrial objects and traditional hand made works, family photos, collections of clocks, religious motifs and floral decoration – all that in one bedroom.



nonaAnother value of this photograph is that they often show the interior with their inhabitants, showing us that they are indivisible. That resulted in a number of sophisticated photographs of local people that are deeply connected with their interior. Every interior is special, unique and it is reflection of people that are living there so you can sense that they are there even when they are not on the photographs. Because authors are not burdened with purism, on photographs you can see the mixture of old and new, rural and urban, everyday and festive. Everyday life is just like that.
While we, as ethnologists (in our study of everyday culture), are often determined with our point of view, scientific methods, exhaustiveness, authors of this photographs “caught” everyday house life, almost by surprise, like real uninvited guests, on the way that we don’t always succeed. Because of that, I’m a little envious, but I can see that we are interweaving and need each other in attaining a similar goal: telling the story of people’s everyday life.

Lidija Nikočević



Lapićda se ljubav ne ugasi samarica

Strmečkipupa


 About the authors



 …”UNINVITED GUESTS” DRAŽEN LAPIĆ and PETAR STRMEČKI, CLEARLY EXPRESS THEIR SUBJECTIVE ART RELATIONSHIP TO ETHNOGRAPHICAL FACT AND IN THE PROCESS ARE GIVING OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ABOUT IT. THEIR MOTIFS OFTEN ARE INTERIORS, BUT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN EXTERIORS, CUSTOMS, FOLK ART AND MEN. THEY COME UNINVITED, BECAUSE AS ARTISTS, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR «AUTHENTICITY», AND WHEN A GUEST COMES UNINVITED INTO THE HOUSE, HE FIND THE EVERYDAY AMBIENT IN WHICH HOSTS LIVE. THEN, THE BED IS NOT MADE AND ON THE TABLE YOU CAN SEE DISHES LEFT FROM LUNCH…

UNINVITED, WE ARE FINDING EVERYDAY LIFE THAT DRAŽEN LAPIĆ AND PETAR STRMEČKI ARE LOOKING FOR… 

IVAN ŠESTAN