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The Photographs Collection

In 2004, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has put together a nucleus of the Photographs Collection as part of the Sculpture and Multimedia Collection. The proposed scheme of purchasing artworks envisaged an invigorated collecting of artworks to prepare the permanent holdings in the new museum's building. Since then, more than 350 photographs have been purchased and received in donations, which allowed establishing an independent Collection of photographs with a purpose to preserve, process and present national and international materials.
Until now, photographs have been put together belonging to the period from the 1930s to present. The Collection holds early works by Ante Brkan and Toša Dabac. As to the authors of contemporary Croatian photography, we find Boris Cvjetanović (cycle Ocean, 1998), Josip Klarica with his surrealist atmospheres, Ivan Posavec, Damir Fabijanić, Ivan Kožarić (photos from cycle Garbage, 2003-2005), Stanko Abadžić, Sandra Vitaljić and others.
Rijeka photography is represented in artworks by Viktor Hreljanović, Ranko Dokmanović, Rino Gropuzzo and Damir Krizmanić (most numerous in the Collection), and will soon to be enriched with some other significant authors. The photographic oeuvre of Ranko Dokmanović is represented with abstract compositions from 1977 and photos from cycles Bratkovice-Pelješac, Green Blue, Shop-windows and Schönbrunn. The Museum holdings have been augmented by donations from Damir Krizmanić, who objectifies the dynamic Rijeka punk and new wave scene in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The Collection also holds some distressing reporters' photos from the Croatian Homeland War by Robert Kalčić, Srđan Vrančić and Silvano Ježina.
When it comes to the international authors, the most significant are the works by Czech photographers Tone Stan, Jindrich Streit, Alexandre Hackenschmied and Jaroslav Kučera, and by  Gail Nogle, an American photographer.
In regard to classifying the artworks based on media, the contemporary museum practice finds itself in a specific position. The medium of photography is also used by artists who are not photographers by vocation, and who don't care much of technical perfection. They find photography to be a medium appropriate for expressing specific ideas, hence they use it as a segment of a complex artwork (e.g. a part of installation) or as a document, thereby documenting events of process art and artist's actions. In this group one finds photographic experiments, narrative demos and conceptual works wherein photography is a means to express attitudes – of ethical, not aesthetical character. Within the Collection, this group of works is represented by photos of Group of Six from the 1970s (Željko Jerman, Mladen and Sven Stilinović, Boris Demur, Fedor Vučemilović) and later works – photo installations and photo ambients by Vlasta Delimar (photography as a means of „speech“ by an artist in the first person), Ivan Šeremet, Izabela Peculić Stančić, Đorđa Jandrić, Igor Eškinja and Igor Grubić.
Nataša Ivančević

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