The title of David Maljkovic’s solo exhibition can be understood in relation to his current body of work but also indicates a recurring theme in his artistic practice: recalling ideas from the past and analysing their impact on the present. He introduces places, their architectural structures and their underlying concepts in modified pictorial arrangements as a means of determining their current potential. Maljkovic creates these reconstructions by applying the technique of collage to the media of photography and film: by crossfading between different time levels, he also gives them a fictional dimension that transforms them into sites for an alternative future.
In the context of Maljkovic’s exhibition, Recalling Frames specifically refers to the extraction of single frames from a film sequence and hence to the concentration upon particular captured moments in time. His latest series of photographs focuses on selected film stills from Orson Welles’ movie The Trial (1962), an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel of the same name (Der Prozess, 1925). Parts of the film were shot in Croatia, and many of the exteriors show Zagreb as it was in the early 1960s. For his new series of works, Maljkovic tracked down the various shooting locations of ‘The Trial’ in Zagreb and photographed them from exactly the same camera positions. He then alternately placed the negatives of the modern-day views and the corresponding film stills on top of one another, or combined sections of both and exposed them simultaneously.
The resulting images are a kind of time travel in the medium of photography: the coincidence of past and present in these pictures reveals how the specific locations within the city have changed and reflects the social transformation of Zagreb since the 1960s; one such location is Novi Zagreb, a district that was developed during the socialist era with the construction of modernist housing estates. Maljkovic’s work goes in search of the unfulfilled promise of the past: situated somewhere between ‘then’ and ‘now’, his new photographs draw parallels between the 1960s and the current situation in his native country, where a renewed spirit of optimism and a desire for change are emerging under different political conditions. [Extract : Sprüth Magers : Press release]