The works of Zakhar Kolovsky can barely be fitted into the context of contemporary photographic art. There is nothing decorative, nothing entertaining in them. These photographs are a unique antithesis to the aesthetics of glamour, achieved in the course of years of artistic experimenting.

Zakhar Kolovsky first took up photography as a child. Currently, he heads the State Centre of Photography in St.-Petersburg, organizes exhibitions and curates projects of contemporary masters. His own works made in the manner of straight photography are inhabited with modest, everyday, well known images. Nothing original is here: grass on the lawn, water surface, asphalt powdered with snow, drain hatches, city silhouettes vaguely seen through blurred glass. The expression of these minimalistic images is achieved by experimenting with combining images, overlaying of various planes and specific building of composition, all of which are always determined by the meaning of work. The author at times intentionally shows us little, achieving the intended effect by diminishing, by simplification and isolation, whereby the ordinary, developed by the viewer's imagination, becomes significant. In such photographs emotional strain is conveyed through calm and unique sobriety.

Compositions picturing city streets from the above seem almost abstract. The attention here is focused not on objects but on relationships between them, on pattern and form. Although, however abstract a photograph, it always has a supporting point in reality which is proved by titles. "Writing", "Everything is in the God's Hands" – these are not only graphical, almost monochromatic pictures, but captured trajectories of human destinies written with footprints on the snow.

The author's photographs of nature seem the most ascetic ones. Pictures of plants show each element of image. Every photograph is tightly filled with details that melt into a large color blot. These works are created using the technique of multiplication of image, each picture as if growing out of another one, like in a film. The unique dynamics of these severe frieze compositions is meticulously verified.

The main character is the time, the fourth dimension that appears in various views in each of Kolovsky's works. It expands showing the lengthy process of a plant growing, tightens to capture fleeting changes of falling shadows, or even breaks switching without notice from winter to summer or from old to young age. The "montage" principle of interrelation of semantic pictorial units is the same as what video artists use in their playing with time. The classical example here is "The Greeting" where the movement is slowed down enough for the viewer to rest inside the picture's frame, seeing the image but not the film. Without neglecting the possibilities of contemporary technologies, artist gives them a minor, dependent role. It is obvious that for the author of this exhibition photography is not an aim in itself but rather a form materializing the system of artistic language meant to convey specific content.

Maria Gavrilchik

Mimara Museum, Rooseveltov trg 5, Zagreb, Croatia