Exhibition of old photographic techniques
What could be better than stopping time,
collect photons and freeze the moments of our fleeting time,
to make people happier.
In the era of universal digitalization and digital pixelization of the world, especially the photographic one, which is already available to everyone with an ordinary cell phone, photographer Damir Pildek introduces us with this exhibition to the almost mythical realm of photographs of classical antiquity. Saturated with digital photography and design, Pildek has been studying “ancient” photographic techniques from the 19th and 20th centuries for years, trying not only to save them from oblivion but also to revive analog photographic painting, mastery, and skill, which has almost completely disappeared.
His rebellion against tomorrow lies partly, like every photograph, the desire to record and preserve a particular moment precisely as it was, and on the other hand, in the need to use and value the mastery and knowledge that, due to modern technical devices and procedures, have become redundant. Thus, this exhibition of Pildek’s photographs, some of which are the same but made with different photographic techniques, contains the sentiment of that noble chivalric effort to respect the original values, which Don Quixote certainly felt when he attacked the windmills.
Nevertheless, it is a great thing that here you can see photos made in the techniques of salt paper, tintype, kallitype, collodion chloride, gumoil, cyanotype, or ambrotype and their unique aesthetics. The touch of the old or bygone era came to life again, bringing that unrepeatable magic found in every frame.
It is clear that photography in its history left an impression that is lost today and had a different atmosphere. We can’t find the modern speed of framing here, but that’s why the harmony of the picture rests on the other nature of the working day, ancient and slow, like a long afternoon. This way of making photographs also required much more time, effort, attention, glass negatives, and a good knowledge of extensive photographic “alchemy,” without which it was impossible to make a photograph.
Pildek’s photographs are almost a textbook example of the development of the history of photographic art, so in addition to enjoying their uniqueness, we can only hope that they will become part of a future museum of photographic art that should preserve the specific knowledge of ancient photographers, Pildek’s spiritual and artistic ancestors.