Makina Gallery, Kapitolinski trg 1
Opening: Friday, 16. July 2021, 9 p.m.

I was interested in the remains of the Fotokemika factory in Samobor. The administrative building houses the offices and a pet crematorium. The production plant has been emptied, and the partition walls have been knocked down. The emptiness seemed somehow inappropriate. Only a few traces indicated what the factory had been producing. I started coming regularly and taking photos. Later, with the help of my colleague Luka Matić, I set up a makeshift photography studio inside the factory, where I photographed objects I found at the site. I feel inspired by knowing that I am using film produced at the factory to photograph its remains. The visibly dilapidated space is recorded on visibly decayed emulsions!
I decided to use all rolls of film as equally valuable material, even those past their expiry date, which for some was several decades ago. Repeated shots of the same motives enable the recording of variations in the reaction of the photo material. The quality of photographic reproductions varies; and some shots are brilliant, while some are significantly marked by the decaying of the emulsion.
Substantial enlargement was done using photo paper found at the factory, with expert assistance from photo lab technician Ivica Ico Majdak. We enlarged shots from pristine negatives and from those with visible imperfections. We enlarged both negatives to undamaged, quality photo paper, but also to that with imperfections. Each enlarged photograph thus became unique. Now I have to reproduce them to get a negative that can be copied… But if I continue to use old photo material, the question is whether the reproductions will be reference reproductions or whether I will get the original again. This process offers and infinite range of variations of artistic use of old material, which is very interesting for me. At least until the game lasts, the memories of my photography youth are still alive. And memories of Fotokemika!

Silvestar Kolbas


  • Makina GalleryOpening: Friday, 16. July 2021, 9 p.m.
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