Monday, April 20, 2009

Lost Review by David Maljkovic



With the economic world in turmoil, David Maljkovic's slim volume Lost Review couldn't be more timely as it takes Croatia's Zagreb Fair as its subject. The fair in its heyday of the 1950s and 60s was the major economic link between East and West and the only trade related fair where the US, the USSR and other countries exhibited through the Cold War. Its many pavilions made up a small-scale world of cooperation and optimism during a time of major division.

For this project, which is part of a larger series on the Zagreb Fair, Maljkovic makes collage of old images from the yearly fair reviews and brochures published to present the fair's success juxtaposed with photos of the current state of the fair grounds in decay and neglect. By splicing the past against the current he describes states of flux, loss of optimism and failure.



Black and white photos of the empty ruins of once grand architectural achievements are overlaid with 'windows' of the past that compress history and idealism. Interspersed are beautiful color photos of weathered signs displaying film products and other business ventures that could have been found at the fair.

Lost Review is a fine graphic object wh
ich, although a bit eclectic in subject, is smartly assembled. Rough combinations with the artist constantly showing his hand in the creation keeps the rift between the two economic states apparent. Printed on slightly thin paper probably similar to the original source material, it places Maljkovic's new art within the context of being an extension of the yearly reviews - a report, stuck somewhere between two ages - both an homage and a call for reclamation.

Lost Review was published by Koenig Books in 2008.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the lack of comments about anything other than the photo book market itself shows that many of your readers are dealer/collectors just looking to your site as a gauge of what may be worth speculating in.

Most of this site's readers are aware of or have seen the books reviewed on this site, well before they're reviewed, but the site offers the validation and incites the hype that causes low edition books to be speculated on.

In this economy with so many people searching for that next big thing, books really have become 90% commodity, 10% enjoyable.

I know I sound like an asshole and all that's wrong with the world today, but I call it the way I see it.

Anonymous said...

...whereas most of us see it the way Jeff calls it. (joke)

Photography can try too hard sometimes. It got caught up in the conceptual art thing of the 90s and lost its honesty.

Maybe we need to return to the traditional concept of photography as documentation - reportage - an adjunct to journalism - facts in the figure - but done in a creative manner. Too many photo books vainly attempt to conjure interest from uninteresting things.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Technology keeps opening new doors to Photography (think of the endless possibilities of the Photoshop). After all, what is Photography in the first place? Technology. The wonderful thing about it is the way our eyes and ways of seeing humanize it. "Reportage" is just one romantic side of the medium.
Beisdes, things that are uninteresting to some might be interesting to others, right?

And I'm not only interested in knowing what's hot and what's not. I trust my taste and buy only what I like. This is a great blog, "period".

Jeff Ladd said...

This book has little to do with photography alone but design and collage and the conceptual framework that reigns it in.

If you noticed, half the posts this month have dealt with collage or manipulated imagery in one way or another. I have a few more books that are similar that I am going to round out the month with.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be suggesting that the "endless possibilities of the Photoshop" can improve photography. Your statement is tantamount to saying that the literary merit of novels took off with the word processer. Photoshop is a new medium, meretricious and facile; its novelty tricks us into believing we all have photographic talent!

Your equating photography with technology is rather worrying. Yes, the camera is hardware, but so is the painter's brush. More times than not the artistic merit of the image bears no relationaship to the complexity of the technology used to capture it. Some of the best photography has been shot on the most primitive equipment. Someone can have 'all the gear but no idea' about how to take a good photograph - an increasingly common finding in the digital age.

PS. Jeff: brilliant series on photomontage work, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Photography is not Literature.

Using the Photoshop is not a crime. The Photoshop is a new tool, just like painters, with time developed and used new tools, new hardware.
Knowing how to use the Photoshop isn't the same as having talent, just like using a camera isn't the same as talent.

We don't all have photographic talent, just as much as we don't all have the same tastes.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite interested of the "new hardware, new tools" that you were writing about. Now i know that styles and "trends" have changed over the centuries, but in my opinion paint has always been paint and brushes, well, brushes. what tools, what hardware? with photoshop it easily becomes computer art and ceases to be a photograph.

Anonymous said...

The crime is not use of Photoshop, but passing off its products as a new aesthetic. Nothing really changes in the digital age. We are the same creatures on the same planet, with the same sense of aesthetics and the same rickety definition of art! It's just that now there is a terrible superabundance of vacuous images contributing nothing to our race's spiritual development. Not wanting to leave on such a nihilistic note: sunshine bliss and bowls of strawberries. That's better.

Matt Weber said...

You seem to be suggesting that the "endless possibilities of the Photoshop" can improve photography. Your statement is tantamount to saying that the literary merit of novels took off with the word processer. Photoshop is a new medium, meretricious and facile; its novelty tricks us into believing we all have photographic talent!

That's a comment I enjoyed and think whoever you are, you needn't post anonymously. If you feel strongly about something or someone, don't be scared, just tell it like it is and fuck what other people have to say...Too many people hiding here on Jeff's blog!

Anonymous said...

Matt, If the truth be known, I've just never got round to signing up, instead I just dip desultorily into this blog whenever I can, garnering ideas and trying out some of my own! You are right of course, it helps to hang a name on a comment.

Anonymous said...

I rarely use the Photoshop - I prefer to keep it plain and simple, as I believe it must be. But you have to agree that the Photoshop can be useful in many circumstances. I just photographed some old polaroids I had full of humidity spots, and thanks to it I have been able to restore the initial look of those images. To me it is a tool, not a toy.
Gerhard Richter uses it to "think". And why not?

Stuart Alexander said...

To Anonymous at 4:59 am,

You don't need to "sign up". All you have to do is check "Name/URL" and fill in your name when you leave your comment.

Chuck Shacochis said...

Hey Jeff,
I don't know if this is possible, but maybe if you were to block all "Anonymous" posts on this blog, it might improve the overall well-being of the comments section. Kind of like getting rid of dead weight - what do you think?

Congrats on the 5B4 anniversary and thank you so very much for all of your outstanding reviews. I hope you have found some time to work on your own photographs....

Take care,
Chuck

Chuck Shacochis said...

Chucky, you are so right as usual dude.

Jeff Ladd said...

You see Chuck...it just doesn't matter. I need to offer comments because I want to hear feedback on the books.

My only wish is that people would talk about the books in their respective posts. The collector's garbage that weighted so many of the DuBois comments I found really disrespectful being so off topic. Those should have been written under the anniversary post when those issues were raised.

Chuck Shacochis said...

Jeff,
I totally agree. It amazes me when people are that disrespectful to you, your post, and to the artists book you are reviewing. It really pisses me off when you get self-important blow-hards ranting about meaningless shit under their "Anonymous" tagged comments. If only Blogger had built-in filters to deal with these assholes....Oh well.

Nice talking to you,
Chuck

anonymousanonymous said...

This blog is peppered with perspicuous and limpid observations from anonymous contributors; blocking them would make the blog a lesser vehicle for debate. (Hey chuck you don't work security on the side do you?)

Chuck Shacochis said...

Chuck, I'm in two minds about it. I think I'd like to withdraw my previous comment. Oh, but then again maybe not. Hell, I don't know...

Chuck Shacochis said...

I looked at the comps of Lost Review before I read your post Jeff, and I was really intrigued by it without even knowing what it was about. I like the fact that simple, well executed ideas like this book are still being produced in this day and age.

Oh and by the way AnonymousAnonymous, I am a photographer and I don't do security on the side. Thank you for your "perspicuous and limpid observation" regarding my post.

Chuck

EHoover said...

Espionage work? union busting?

TommyB said...

Lost Review is a clever piece of work, subtle in its composition and cleverly juxtaposing the old and new. Switching between colour and black and white works well and drives home the nostalgia permeating the book. He's published two other books, which I've just ordered on the back of viewing Lost Review. Thanks for bringing him to our attention.

QT Luong said...

"Most of this site's readers are aware of or have seen the books reviewed on this site, well before they're reviewed"

I live in an outer suburb of the SF Bay area. No bookstore within a reasonable distance carries the titles mentioned in this blog, so I buy on the internet based on other internet recommendations. Since not everybody lives in NYC or in the downtown are of a comparable (if any) city, I don't think I am the only reader who doesn't comment simply because he hasn't seen the book.

b said...

>I know I sound like an asshole and all that's wrong with the world today, but I call it the way I see it.<

You call it the way you see it? Wow, BRAVO mr anonymous. You're right you do sound like an a*&#@*.