Void is the name of the new exhibition by Nenad Šaljić which has just opened at Kranjčar gallery in Zagreb. The fascinating exhibition occurs in two volumes. In the first, Šaljić presents epic black and white photographs of caves. In the second, the cave mouths are reduced to minimal black on white pieces of art, bereft of the shades and textures seen in the first part.
A highly thought-provoking work, Nenad Šaljić offers us a timeless perspective of caves, these natural shelters being among the first homes of man on earth. Did early man peer up at the sky and the light in much the same way we do when looking at Šaljić's work? It's easy to imagine that the shadows which grant such rich texture to the shots would have looked equally as beautiful and transfixing to eyes many thousands of years ago. Perhaps such sights helped to inspire early man to express himself through the art of cave paintings?
The exhibition is presented in large photographic prints, the photographs hung on the wall as paintings, inviting the viewer to dwell before them and form their own thoughts. The absence of movement or action within the photographs, despite several depicting cave climbers dangling from ropes or beneath equipment, also helps the viewer sustain their attention.
Šaljić places his camera within the caves, looking out. Light invades the enclosed spaces, the scarring of millennia profoundly displayed in the shadowed crevices of the cave walls. Though significantly less detailed than the photography in the first volume, the second part of the exhibition is constructed deliberately to challenge perceptions acquired in the first. Incredible texts by writers Marin Jukić and Leila Topić, presented at the exhibition in English and Croatian, offer two different perspectives on the work. The exhibition runs until Saturday 30 March.