Vjeran Hrpka – “FRAGILE” (Croatia) PHOTOGRAPHY
Through the medium of photography Fragile attempts to answer the question: “Is it possible that there happens to be a generation living at this latitude and longitude that will not face war experience?” Historically seen, such a possibility is very low, almost insignificant.
If we put aside all the political, geo-strategic and economic mechanisms that make the external driving force for the development of conflict situations, there only remains to look “inside” and to raise the question of what prevents us to create a clear position to disable the development of destructive accumulation of critical mass that leads to the repeated processes charged with gunpowder .
This mirror look into the inside of each individual presents the key moment in the preservation of the ‘fragile’ state of peace. Settling a score with the legacies of past conflicts in the intimate depths of self-awareness is a starting point for a radical change of the individual and the society as a whole.
My experience of war and all the power of emotions resulting from it have forced me to re-question the cause-effect relations of the war for many years, and I realized that it was necessary to confront the past in a completely different way. It was necessary to go back to the origin of the event and re-arrange, image by image, a new, much more realistic form of emotional state on that map of memories.
Displaying photographs of the landscape that was once the scene of combat operations, and therefore emotionally intoxicating for me, this work investigates my “emotional landscape” and fragmented memories of the individual. I am asking the question of recapitulation and rehabilitation of memories as an opportunity to move away from the negative consequences of a traumatic experience.
Is it possible to re-arrange the emotional map of the fragile state of oblivion before the negative experiences are transferred to the generations to come? The answer to this question gives a fragmented portrait of the person who has experienced direct combat experience, which resulted in permanent health damage to the body, but who is intrisically devoid of any germs of hatred as a pledge for the future.
In my work I moved away from the digital process and binary modes of thinking, and by choosing the technique of wet collodion plates from the 19th century, which makes the medium of photography extremely unpredictable, fragile, error-rich and totally unique, I tried to underline the importance of the moment and the need to treat some future times as a package labelled with ‘FRAGILE’.