Images without Excessive Expression

photographer Mara Bratoš
written by Antun Maračić


In the series of photographs Without a Title, made in 1998 when Mara Bratoš graduated from the Department for Film and Television at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, the inspiration of film was clear, but there was also a kind of suspension, almost an “anti-narrative” of the story that flowed from photograph to photograph, from frame to frame. Mara’s “most directed” sequences (which contained an obvious reflection of her recent academic learning) focused on the sprawled bodies of two young lovers, and on the story in which the relationship between Eros and Thanatos was directly established. The models communicated more through the positions of their limbs than through their facial expressions, which certainly contained no trace of psychological arousal. What was presented were the consequences of emotions, but not the emotions themselves. What we see is a productive distance that also characterises her other work.