There is something magical in old photographs of the city you live in. To see the streets you know by heart so different, yet still the same. Faces long gone smiling, frowning, working, slacking, living were now you play out your story. They make you realize that your story is a part of something bigger, something that has been here before you and will be here long after you are gone. And the marks that you leave in the city today will ripple trough time, even though your name will be long forgotten. There is indeed something magical in old photographs, more so when those photographs are taken by the master of his trade.
Toso Dabac has left an unimaginable heritage in his work. The godfather of photography in Croatia has left more than 200 000 negatives of his work, now documented in the most extensive archive of its kind in the world. Photos made in Zagreb take up the biggest part of the collection, from portraits, intimate moments and art pieces to fragments of city life, landscapes and folklore.
The Toso Dabac Archives have been available to researchers since the author passed away in 1970, often referred to for its artistic, documentary and historical value. When the City of Zagreb bought the Archives in 2006 it placed it in care of Museum of Contemporary Arts (MSU) thus making it available to a wider audience trough annual exhibitions.
Tošo Dabac Archives’ Days of Photography is opening tonight, October 7th, for the seventh time in the MSU, showcasing not only the works of the famous author, but also other authors that documented Zagreb throughout the 20th century.
This year’s Days open with an exhibition titled Text and the City, named after a dissertation on the authors presented in the exhibition by Ofra Amihay, professor at Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at University of Georgetown.
The exhibition will mostly showcase works from Dabac but will also feature photographs by Duro Janekovic, Petar Dabac, Milislav Mijo Vesovic, Milan Pavic, Marija Braut, Mladen Tudor, Boris Cvjetanovic, Ivan Tomljenovic Meller, Darijo Petkovic, Antun Maracic, Luka Kedzo, Ivan Posavac, Ana Mihalic and Mladen Grcevic.
To list contains masters and contemporary talents who focused on life on the streets of Zagreb, making the exhibition a must for all those who dabble in photography and those who want to see a city traverse into modernity trough the eyes that saw beauty in everyday moments.
The exhibition opens today at 19h and lasts until November 6th 2015.