2012. Marijan Grakalić: THE DANCE OF THE NEREIDS II

The playful dance of the Nereids, the mysterious sea goddesses of that interior sea familiar to those who are determined in their voyage to other shores and views which are not only mythical apparitions, this dance with the surprising poetics of authenticity took place in the big formats of photographic works by Višnja and Marijan Anić exhibited in the ‘Kupola Gallery’ of the City Library, Zagreb. The exhibition ‘The Dance of the Nereids’ is but a fragment of the unique photographic attraction of this married and artistic couple who have selflessly been allowing the sea to portray itself in the photographs they have been producing for over a decade.

The characteristic of the sea to ruffle and whirl is now recorded in a cadre which reaches to its rocky or other bottom. The moment when the photograph is created includes everything: inspiration, the colour of the sky, its shadow, the wind and the waves, the colours, the sea-bed, the foam of waves sometimes, the sun, the moon and the stars, and last but not least, the eternal sea from which both life and art are born.

Freed from time and illusive depth of space, transferred in the frozen expression of the photograph, the sea creates an illusion that it is actually here, both as something that actually isn’t and all that it is. So we see a metamorphosis based on the phenomenon of a certain paralysis of the reality which undoubtedly brings about considerable elation of the heart. This emotion is closely connected with the insight in the uniqueness of the moment when reality opens up like a gate and in spite of the uncertainty which exists at the threshold of another world and that one that we actually see, this experience reminds us of what actually is the play of the sea-goddesses before our eyes. They have long been attributed the power of being able to change forms, as the very Greek word nereus implies, it is ascribed to someone who is brisk and flowing. The same features has the surface of the sea which is traditionally considered but the face of the god Nereus (the father of the Nereids), so when he frowns, the sea frowns too. But, symbolically, the sea is a live medium linking the different and the distant, made of stone, and water, embraced by the light of the sun. What happens here is a fraction of that eternal magic responsible for the mobility of the world as such, as in all games in which the endless and eternal are touched, the sea being in that category.

The photograph here, to stay in the classical manner, shows a certain yearning to return to the homeland where art was founded on invoking the muses, necessary for the whole experiment to succeed. Still, there is something else here that we could call the illustrated day-dreaming of the elements the sea consists of, so therefore, what you can see is not only the blue seascape or a sea-gull’s flight, but a fraction which sinks into that area in which, as it seems, discoveries have always been there waiting for us.