Mario Lalich, Secret Life of Abandoned Walls
The idea for this project came accidentally while I was photographing fungus patterns on the walls that I came across during long walks with my dog while in quarantine in Tučepi. I was always impressed with the aesthetics of natural decay, fungus being the main protagonist of that process. … – Mario Lalich, an established photographer from Split who spent a large part of his career in America, writes in the catalogue of the exhibition “Secret Life of Abandoned Walls”, whose works the Zagreb cultural public will be able to view from 8 June to 4 July 2021 in the “Račić” Gallery.
Conceived by the NMMA director Branko Franceschi, the display presents 27 digital photographs printed on paper and laminated on square aluminium plates. Some of them show the movement of fungi of different colours, shapes and patterns across various artificial surfaces, while others mostly tell stories about people who lived in those spaces.
In the foreword to the catalogue, Branko Franceschi writes – According to Lalich’s short but indicative statement, the realism of his abstractions is narratively linked to the traces of human lives that have once actively filled the space and built foundations, now left to gradual degradation and the slow transformation into dust from which they originated. Lalich’s coloristic dedication to the oldest living organism on the planet that is equally credited with sustaining human life as it is with its downfall and decay, has eventually become an aesthetic issue, a question of perception, choice, visual sophistication, technical skill and production vision. In its essence, life is unbearably simple, reduced to biological mechanisms and the survival instinct. This is precisely why we need artists – content makes a crucial difference.