This is a seven-year project about our perception, conducted in Croatian caves.
Petrified A few million years ago our distant forebears took shelter in the caves. Many millennia afterwards, caves were their studios and galleries, places where the first artists created, inspired by their sheer depth and darkness. Today, we visit caves for very different reasons, but we have the opportunity to look at similar scenes. The interplay of light and shadow, where daylight and the dark of the depths clash, turns the cave entrances into movie projectors and the rock walls into theatres. Perhaps these things were observed in prehistoric times, making the caves the first home cinemas. Looking from the caves towards the sky raises some questions: Is our perception essentially different from that of our ancestors? How does our imagination and how does our fear of the unknown differ from theirs? Are we just the shadows in passing, as in Plato’s underground spectacle?
Nenad Saljic, born 1961 in Croatia, is a photographic artist. After obtaining a PhD in Economics and spending 18 years in the world of business, he decided to dedicate himself to his art projects. Trained as a mountaineer and caver in his youth, Saljic is inspired by his love of nature’s most ancient textures, forms and shapes. His black-and-white photography is a testament to his ability to capture nature’s essence, whether it’s award-winning portraits of the Matterhorn, or the awe-inspiring depths of the Dalmatian caves, revealing earth’s geological history. His current projects include three artist books: Matterhorn: Portrait of a Mountain, Petrified, which will showcase his explorations of the Dalmatian caves, and Birth of a Ship, a photographic journal recording the reproduction of a traditional wooden boat. His work has received numerous major awards, it is exhibited internationally and is also included in various international collections. The Matterhorn project brought him the 2012 and 2010 National Geographic Award and he was named Professional Landscape Photographer of the Year at the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards, among others. Recognised for his aesthetic, Saljic’s Matterhorn photograph was the choice of Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter 2013/14 Collection. Saljic currently lives and works in Split, Croatia. http://www.nenadsaljic.com/