Soft shooting? Introducing the History of Women’s Photography in Croatia

First from the series of exhibitions of women artists organized as part of the project

Not Yet Written Stories: Women Artists Archives Online

Zagrzeb, Galeria Spot, Čanićeva 6

Artists: Slavka Pavić, Erika Šmider, Danijela Lušin, Ivančica Privora-Kurtela and Jadranka Fatur
Curator: Sandra Križić Roban
Assistant: Sara Simić

The photography of post-war Croatia one has to acknowledge that it is severely marked by the limited opportunities for education, the underdeveloped exhibition politics and the almost complete lack of a critics scene. One of the major roles in the development of Croatia’s photography was played by amateur club photography – the so called photo clubs, particularly during the late 40s and the first half of the 50s. When it comes to the territory of so-called ex-Yugoslavia women photographers entered the scene late and not without obstacles. Acting within the confines of a studio was considered appropriate for them, mostly due to the opinion that this type of isolation allowed for a more intense relationship with the subjects and in which women were believed to be more successful than men. While women photographers had worked and participated in club activities throughout the post-war period, their first collective appearance on the central stage did not take place until 1973, when the Women’s Section of the Photo Club was founded. Their first exhibition was organised that same year in the Gallery of Artistic Photography (Galerija umjetničke fotografije – GUF), in Zagreb.
The exhibition ‘Soft’ shoooting? is not meant to be a retrospective of the Women’s Section’s achievements on the national map of photography. Its primary intention is to encourage a discussion about the ways and journeys of women photographers. Is there such a thing as a critical depiction of society? We will ask ourselfs: is there such a thing like women holding cameras? And is there even something that could be described as a “woman’s gaze”? Is the way they took their shots truly “soft”, or is there no such thing as gender behind the lens? – these are the questions that the exhibition will address.

The space will be open for visitors on June 15th from 4pm to 8pm without the artist talk during the opening. The exhibition will be on view until the September 4th, with a summer break from the July 24th to the August 17th. Apart from the exhibition, Office for Photography will organise an additional program and will also be publishing a new edition of the magazine Fototxt which will feature the leading women photographers of the exhibition.

The exhibition is part of Not Yet Written Stories – Women Artists’ Archives Online, an international research project funded by Creative Europe, in which Office for Photography collaborates with the Arton Foundation in Warsaw (leader of the project) and the partners: SCCA – Centre for Modern Art in Ljubljana and LCCA – Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in Riga. The aim of this project is to include the works of women artists into public discourse about visual arts in order to avert their further discrimination and mostly elimination from the European history of art.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
Soft shooting? Introducing the History of Women’s Photography in Croatia

Other exhibitions