MIRROR OF PRAGUE
“Mirror of Prague” is a surreal, dream-like travelogue dating from summer 2017. I took all photographs with hand-crafted pinhole cameras, which was my only equipment on site. Later I processed negatives in my darkroom studio in Zagreb.
Although Prague is not my hometown, during mid-90s I spent there several adventurous summers with my younger brother. Both Croatia and Czech Republic just came out of socialism, and although both were poor at a time, Prague was much bigger than Zagreb and had that real Mid-European ambience. Buildings were bigger, there were more parlours and cafés in the streets and people seemed more optimistic. It didn’t smell of war.
Something regarding Prague’s mythology has stayed with me from childhood. Upon returning to the city, my aim was to create personal narrative around Prague’s magic and alchemy, its famous past, but also around my own past. I wandered around the city for a month, from dawn to dusk, following the path of the Sun over streets, squares and parks.
I wanted to create authentic and self-reflective portraits of the city, so I’d be able to evoke my blurred childhood memories. I wanted these portraits to be playful, but also mysterious. To reflect mind of a child in a big town. I took my time and tried to remember everything: ripped facades, windy metro stations, vast parks with scorched grass, streets made of smooth pavers, women in floral dresses and distant adult glares. But memories were vague, and my photographs, as a result, also have that feel of vagueness.
Upon returning to Zagreb, I have developed all paper negatives and then curated a small selection of images. In the following months most of these images were printed by hand on the silver gelatin paper.