Ivan Kolovrat / Intervals
A new cycle of photographs by Ivan Kolovrat, titled Intervali (Intervals) in Salon Galić, introduces us to new researches on the possibilities of the photographic image that can be characterized as a continuation of Kolovrat’s intentions that were evident in the exhibition Međuslike (Interimages), which were shown in the same space in 2011.
Meeting this cycle of work, we can conclude that Kolovrat, who teaches photography at the Split Art Academy, is an extraordinary connoisseur of this media, its history and technology. The whole myth about the truth of photography – its ability to visually directly and transparently, and thus in a universally understandable way, communicates events and states of reality as its legitimate and legal evidence that should not be cultural encoding (like language) – is well-known to Kolovrat, as well as the latest technology, digitized and computer-generated photography, which does not work in today’s age of visual twists to “determine the truth of the image itself” in order to “read the meaning of the image by analogy”, but its point lies in the constitution of meaning in the processes resemantization, or as Norman Bryson said, by attributing “discursive” attributes to images and abandoning their “figural” attributes.
Intervali‘s photographs face the observer with a rather dubious situation – what he sees is something that has an obvious status of a photographic image (light prints on paper), but what he sees he does not recognize as a motif of actual reality. The reason is simply that the viewer really does not need to / cannot see what the artist did to make such a picture, created by photographing, function as a photo. These photographs are in fact nothing but the usual, far-flung image of photography, which is the assumption that the photograph mediates accurate reproductions of reality, at a certain moment, a moment frozen in time, in order to document / preserve something from oblivion, or as Roland Barthes concluded in in his famous text dedicated to photography “Camera Lucida”: “… photographs offer the certainty that something was surely there, and now it is no longer.” Kolovrat’s intent does not seem to fit this approach to photography: since we cannot identify exactly, we cannot even know what was present here. However, this does not mean that we do not see anything and the situation before Kolovrat’s photographs leads to the paradox of the view that observes, but does not see or recognize what it sees. It is just observing. This leads us to the conclusion that looking at reality is not the same as the reality of the look; that vision is not the same as visuality. If, however, it looks amazing, one thing should be kept in mind: “The miracle refers to the factuality, that something is, and not if it is not.” We still are able to see something in the Intervali photographs:
In some cases, the perfection of glittering surfaces is a field of light-blue spectrum games, or those of brown and red tone transitions in dynamically oriented, successive, and / or diversely spaced, light-defined, more formations than shapes, where – in points of coupling or overlapping – prismatic shapes, sharp, or wavy bridges appear. In other cases – when shaded by black and white contrasts – the shapes in photographs look like cloaks or veils, more or less dim smoky fogs of varying densities and transparencies that swirl in subtle transitions and tones from background depths or from one another. It is impossible to overlook that some seem to be “quicker” or “slower”; “thicker” or “porous” formations; more dynamic or more static “compositions”. In some places, the graphic nature of photography is dominant as well as noticeable “shifts” of formations, while at other places, there are surprisingly noticeable “malerisch” effects.
Some of the reasons for such impressions, in fact the subjective interpretations of the observed, are derived from the definition that includes intervals in the context of photography: the term time-lapse in professional terminology is, in fact, “a special technique of photographing at which several photographs of a certain plan are shot at a certain time interval. By combining recorded photos in a continuous view (at least 24 photos in one second, though often used 30), the illusion of movement, or impression of the film, is obtained. Video work is the ultimate product of time-lapse photography. Watching the time-lapse of a video clip, we get the impression that the scene is moving fast, so it can be said that time-lapse is a reversed slow-motion technique.”From the same source we find that the production of the photographs takes very extensive preparations and the precise definition of the motif, as well as the position from which it is being shot, the definition of cadres, exposures and that “the most important task is to correctly determine the interval between recording two photos”. In short, the “faster” the recording scene, the shorter the interval will be. Conversely, slower scenes imply longer intervals. This explanation also does not favor the general widespread understanding of photography as the “immediate” copy of the world of reality… All of these technical details and insight into the conditions of creating such photographs as these made by Kolovrat still tell us nothing about what we are watching. If we go further in thinking of the described (possible) way in which these photographs are made, logically we must conclude that the artist might have looked at something, but what we see in the photographs – just like us – could not be seen by him. No one observes in that way. So this is not a documented moment of reality, but “countless possibilities of one moment,” as Kolovrat puts it himself. The camera technique allowed not recording, but producing a new look at reality, creating new visuality that we would otherwise not be able to discover. If we conclude that these photographs are abstract, that it is about photographic abstractions, namely forms that have no meaning beyond themselves, we might be surprised by the reflections of theorist Lambert Wiesing, who argues that something like “abstract photography” is not at all self-explanatory in this way – that is not enough to say that it is about non-subject light shapes, and that such “self-understanding” does not even make sense if we do not think about the intentions for which the abstract photograph was created. To lead something to abstraction, first of all, is to reduce, to deprive something of that which is not important for existence, above all for the emergence, the production process of the intended object. Kolovrat’s photographs, therefore, show that recording the subject reality is not what is important for their emergence, but they are still a result, a “conserved” trace of light effects on the substance or paper.Lambert Wiesing gives a detailed insight into the degrees of “abstraction in the photographic process of production”: For the emergence of such traces that have the status of abstract photography – as is known in the history of experimental photography, such as Alvin Lengdon Coburn, the shadowgraphs by Christian Schad, rayographs by Man Ray or structures by Gottfried Jäger – it is necessary to “give up”, to abstract from some parts of the process of photographing. Thus, for example, a light trace in the so-called. Clische verre is possible without a camera, but not without any negatives (a certain aspect of the negative is realized on a glass with some kind of engraving with a drawing), while a photogram is possible without a negative: objects are placed directly on the paper and exposed to the effects of light. Furthermore, the luminogram doesn’t require a camera, a negative, or an object – the traces remain thanks to directing and processing the light directly on the sensitive surface / paper. In this sequence of abstracting in the technique of photography, the next step would be something that is hardly a photograph – e.g. in chemigrams, the traces are generated solely by a combination of chemicals and their effects on sensitive paper.
From this review it becomes even clearer in which tradition and in what contemporary context Kolovrat’s abstract photographs are to be seen: the lights and colors that we are kobserving become just as “unknown” as the original reality, because these effects and sensations are certainly not rising outside traditional technological processes common to today’s photographic image production, based on transformations – processing and presentation of digital records depending on e.g. “standardized control and color definition system set by the International Color Consortium – ICC, which enables repeatability of the results (consistency) as well as standard color rendering different in different platforms and systems (computer hardware and software, monitors, printers, papers …).” In other words, the artist’s interest is obviously not copying a visible reality, but producing “objects of clear visibility”,which makes it unlikely to create a mere exhibition convention, and yet less a clean case when Kolovrat presents them framed, sheltered by glass: this underscores their object, concrete character. The meaning of his abstractions is generating, producing the visual, with the process of creation, photographing as both means and the result and thus the media of photography as a “specific picture situation”. The generated photograph is therefore not directed at “realizing the concept of reality, but it itself represents a certain reality.” 
Just like Kolovrat’s photography, which is in its generated and concrete pure visibility “…equally the view and the moment, both the world and the photograph.” 
 Krešimir Purgar, Istina slike i vizualni obrat. Fotografija i repezentacija, u: isti, Preživjeti sliku, Zagreb, 2010, pg. 27
 Usp. Hal Foster (ed.), Vision and Visuality, Bay Press, Seattle, 1988
 Žarko Paić, Tehnosfera III. Platforme od struna, Sandorf + Mizantrop, Belgrade, 2019, 3rd book, pg. 7. (Note: The book will be available in 2019, but the promotion was held on Nov 15 2018 in MSU Zagreb. I thank the author for allowing me to view these texts.)
 http://repro.grf.unizg.hr/media/download_gallery/Time%20lapse%20fotografija.pdf (accessed on Nov 12 2018)
 Lambert Wiesing, Artifizielle Präsenz. Studien zur Philosophie des Bildes, (chapter: Abstraktionen im fotographischen Produktionsprozess), Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M., 2014, pg. 86-87
 Wiesing, Artifizielle Präsenz…, pg. 94
 Vilem Flusser, Filozofija fotografije, Scarabeus, Zagreb, 2007, pg. 124 (Translation: Daniela Tkalec).
 Wiesing explains generative Fotografie using Gottried Jäger’s quote from ¨Fotoästhetik. Zur Theorie der Fotografie, München, 1991., pg. 13
 Dario Vuger, Ekspozicija i antislika, u: Krešimir Purgar (ur.), Slika i anti-slika. Julije Knifer i problem reprezentacije, Zagreb, 2017, pg. 223-241: 225
He studied from 1988 to 1994 – Visual Communication Study, University of Applied Sciences, Wiesbaden, Germany. In 1994 he graduated in the class of prof. Rolf Schubert. Since September 2006 he has been employed at UMAS, the Painting Department. During and after his studies, he worked in various artistic fields and he presented his works in Croatia and abroad, in several group and solo exhibitions.