Sometimes life flows seamlessly from one perfect moment to the next, but often times we face struggles, insecurities and setbacks that leave us broken. And we wonder what will become of the pieces.
Zelko Nedic’s current photographic art works, created using the time consuming, process heavy technique of wet plate collodion photography, pays tribute to his energetic career and deep passion for image making. This new work, Dot.com, signifies all Nedic’s previous works be the foundation of what is to follow and positions his current work right at the point of arrival – utilising the places he has travelled in his personal (and public) story. The presence of a contradiction between control and risk taking is apparent in most of Nedic’s works. A teenage witness to the horrors of the Bosnian War during the early 90s, Nedic knows what it is to experience a local hell and to escape into imagined havens. Through his collodion images and his earlier works, many reminiscent in texture (but not as extreme in content) of Joel Peter Witkin’s macabre tableaux, Nedic takes us to the edge and out into a world of restrictive possibilities. In his earlier series, Things Around Me, amongst the benign images of a lone chair or lamp, are the more intimate images of a cut hand or a cracked and stained hard-boiled egg. From there he offers up a flamboyant side of life with portraits of a topless woman in a gas mask, a prima donna on her veranda, and a man dressed in a naked woman’s body suit. In his series, Cleansing, hauntingly reminiscent of the 1993 Rolf de Heer film Bad Boy Bubby, Nedic wraps his subject’s body in cling wrap, but unlike in the film where death results, Nedic gives his audience a glimpse of a new life, new breath through ‘cleansing’ via a constrained and potentially deadly process. In his wet plate collodion works, along with the usefulness of ambiguous narrative learned on set as a professional hair and makeup artist/photographer on high-end fashion shoots, Nedic provides his audience landscapes buoyant with symbolism and references to social norms obscured by absurdity. These exquisite, hand coloured photographs reference numerous art styles and movements including the iconic religious works of the middle ages, indigenous Australian dot paintings and early nineteenth-century photographic tableaux. In addition, the images are steeped in a sense of pop culture with a Warhol overtone, through the reproduction of something familiar.