During the three day ‘Startfest’ festival at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, in November last year, a workshop was held on a wet collodianprocesses (Wet Plate Collodian), which dates from the mid 19th century. At the festival, in addition to students and lecturers of the Novi Sad Academy students from Belgrade( Faculty of Applied Arts) and Osijek (Art Academy) also participated.
It may sound strange that in the 21st century such an old photographic techniques are presented to students, but after the first day of the workshop, all participants realized the 150 years time can be easily bridged, if you have beside you visionaries to relatives the time and by their own free will take you to the past which is still alive and, so to speak, is experiencing a renaissance.
These visionaries are Misa Keskenovic from Sombor and Ugljesa Dapcevic from Belgrade – the leaders of the workshop. Both are professional directors of photography on the film, who many years ago, entered the world of alchemy in search of fantastic pictures of the world that do not care about the modern trends in technology, but only for processes in which magic between man, chemistry and physics create works with a soul and a story about the same man.
Workshops would begin at 9 AM and ended a little before midnight. Students took turns, teachers demonstrated techniques, to end the workshop with fifty plates made by wet collodian process technique. In the studio of the Academy, on the two sets of photographs, students alternate between portraits, i.e. they recorded each other, as well as still lifes for which they themselves have designed settings. Everything ended with an exhibition of the works created in a workshop in the gallery of the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.
Although this photographic technique is very demanding, and expensive, thanks to the Startfest festival and rarely seen dedication and selflessness of both lecturers, students have experienced a fantastic journey into the past that, with the help of chemistry, a lot of good will and positive energy, was able to elicit disbelief and a few tears over the captured images.
With countless times spoken words of thanks and hugs, lecturers were parted from their great students, soon colleagues, and promised to put on their alchemic caps again and open the doors to an amazing world of 19th century – when the photography was born.
MA Assistant Professor Ivana Tomanović