PERHAPS IT IS JUST THAT MY WORLD IS SEGMENTED. Perhaps everyone else has an integral vision. While I look at these travel panoramas of Darko Bavoljak, it seems to me at moments that he has strung them along just for me. I like them. I like this duration expressed in terms of landscapes. I like the loss of time in the uniformity of the stimulus. I like the attenuation of the explicit memory, for this state sometimes allows us access to other cognitive systems.
A neuro-cognitive network of spatial attention? Is that what I need? Is it possible to have an insight into that wished for completeness? It is uncommon, the way in which Darko combines the frames and as yet we don't know why he does it. It is possible naturally to make a panorama of landscapes with continued lines of relief, but he does not do this. Collaging recorded window views leaves the stepped outlines of the flatland scenes. He creates narration. Photography for a prelude reveals to us that it is about a traveller who from the interior of his vehicle records the passage of the outer world. This is suggested by the dark stripe in the middle of the frame of the first take.
Why narration? It corresponds to the structure of travel. Even when it is circular, travelling develops from a starting to an ending point, like a tale. Linearly onwards. But the spatial perception of the photographer's movement does not respect the linearity of movement, does not respect the priorities of interest, or the monotonous flowthrough of time. First one, then three, and five, and six, then nine. In each series attention is placed on a different element. Guess what I am looking at? The photographer travels by road, the driving is steady, the driving is steady, undemanding, leaves enough time for the dissipation of spatial attention.
For the alternation of wished and unwished, endogenous and exogenous perception. What we are looking at now is naturally a construction, a selection of what has been recorded. But time and place remain real, unique, unchanged.
Like in a Greek play. The main content, once again, is the testing out of our living space. Of our observation, processing and archiving. For what is it that we remember? Is it what we see? Is it what we want? How do we choose the objects to which we direct our attention, how important are they for our lives? Above all these choices ought to be defined, whether conscious or unconscious, willed or unwilled as crucial for our existence. We perceive ourselves as entities outside time and space. This is what we manage to experience, everything else is an intellectual construct. Perhaps I am kidding myself, perhaps it is true that only my world is segmented. Perhaps everyone else has a whole. Perhaps we are all totally now and here. Darko Bavoljak watches the road before him. The vision is segmented. The story is built up of chopped up parts of observation. The story can be told only in this way, cut into slices. Endless continuity, the way our life is, we have not yet managed to record, we have not managed to tell it, or set it down, or exchange.
Perhaps we cannot recreate this continuity just because we believe that we are self-sufficient an individual defined within itself. But some outside observer would find he truth of human existence quite the opposite, as an existence completely fused into the context. Totally dependent on spatial observation, on objects to which it is directed. To such an extent that the very essence of the living being is in jeopardy. If we do not notice that really important thing we are going to be headless. Our attention is the to be or not to be, it is the safety switch of our existence. We teach children this, but when we have once mastered the skill we stop thinking of it as a condition of survival. – We see at once the road before us and that which is behind our backs, for how else would we drive the car, see to the left and right, see trucks and sun. These visions slip and judder.
They change their degree of importance, and thus create the stepped reality of our vision.
Darko Bavoljak offers a possible form of notation. Photographic. A photograph is primarily a very short section of time and so it records what other media cannot. Sometimes it records what is hard to see. In any case it can record the difficult to remember. What in life was just a gleam, a flash, becomes a permanent presence in a photograph. Photography extends the duration of the flash to the time of looking at the photograph. Several photos of almost the very same moment record the multiplicity of perception. Our focused and our peripheral perception. This series of Darko Bavoljak's records, in a photographic manner, the multidimensional observation of travelling.
Ink-jet printed on Forex base 5mm, dimensions, 62x92 cm, 62x272 cm, 62x 452cm, 62x542cm and 62x 812 cm
Camera Canon EOS 1 DS Mark III
Property: Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb