The main exhibition this season at the ”Vesna Parun” Homeland Museum is definitively the one by the supernaturally talented Josip Klarica.
„“The marvelous is always beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful” – those were the words of a poet from a time when photography was valued according to the ability to realistically reflect and document reality. With each of his photos Klarica confirms these foretelling words. You could always write extensively about Klarica referring to surrealism and a lot of other literary associations and say – “That is Klarica!” Howerver, that’s really not who Klarica is, that is, maybe he is, but just a little.
On the occasion of Klarica’s major exhibition in the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in 2005, Marina Viculin really did her best to explain the phenomenon of his photography, while respecting the medium he uses. Luka Marotti’s movie confirms that. Surrealism!? That is too limited a category for Josip Klarica. He believes that recording reality using a camera is a banality that is not appropriate for the expressive potential of this medium. On one occasion, cameras were even called “idiots” in order to be as accessible as possible to laymen. As a new medium, the camera showed features of the unreal, which was later forgotten, and then revealed anew. Klarica isn’t the only person who pointed out that feature; there are many others who not only widened the visual field and our visual culture, but deepened it.
However, it is necessary to go back to Klarica from the 70s and remove without hesitation the surface layer from his photos, with its abundance of surrealist elements and literary dilation. Klarica had of course been noticed and had given many people the opportunity to write and libel. However, the sum of the cut legs of a chicken, a meat grinder, a stuffed bird and a fish head on a plate, as his personal creative identity imbued with his Prague education, render the elimination of the previously mentioned surface layer difficult to do. Klarica, who uses the medium of photography in his artworks, a medium which bases all its expressive charge on the existence of the real world, usually draws out what isn’t real in that world, or completely reinstalls reality in order to transfer even the most banal scene to a surreal level.
But the depth of Klarica’s paradox actually lies in technology. He creates pictures in an almost archaic way, using light, lens optics, physics and chemistry, but the true wonder happens in his alchemic laboratory, where light gradually morphs into a picture. Klarica actually doesn’t take pictures, he creates them. What is being taken is already there, and since the picture isn’t there yet, Klarica creates it. As the entire art is created in the mind, the photography of Josip Klarica does not exist in reality, but in his mind, and that’s a place where all kinds of things happen. The head of a rooster on a round table (by all odds raw) does not exist in reality, but it is definitely real in the picture. The same goes for the head of a tuna in the park and the nude in the morning mist.
Želimir Koščević, history of art teacher
Place of event: “Vesna Parun” Homeland Museum Zlarin
Duration: from August 9 to 16, 2013
Organizer: Cultural Artistic Society “Koralj“ and Zlarin Tourist Board
Sponsors: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and Zlarin Tourist Board