Monday, 08 August 2022

Free concert to honor Dubrovnik photographer Pavo Urban

Written by  Jan 21, 2020

A free concert by Argentinean composer Adrián Placenti dedicated to the photographs by Pavo Urban will take place on Monday, January 27th, starting at 8:30 pm at the Marin Drzic Theater. Even though the tickets are free, you need to pick them up at the box office early in order to attend the concert.

Pavo Urban is most remembered for his war photographs, but during his brief artistic career he has distinguished himself by a series of photographs of different styles, genres and themes, and Adrien Placenti, a composer from Buenos Aires, was fascinated by Urban's series of door motifs. These are small-format black and white photographs that feature and highlight interior or exterior doors as the most common motif; the door of the room, the hall, the door of the City, including the doors from Ploce in which he died a year after taking the photo.

This is a more personal opus related to Urban's intimate spaces and his then girlfriend, photographer Mara Bratos, to whom he wrote letters from the battlefield. In one letter, he describes what Dubrovnik looks like at two o'clock in the morning when he calls Mara to America. At first, this eerie silence and darkness were frightening to him, and then… ”… you think how wonderful this city is when you cannot see it. You just feel it. And with the first darkness and the extinguishing of the light on the windows you go out into the abyss, pass by the rare fireflies and only by the scent of carob do you know in which part of Sv. Jacob you are. And everything is a game, some strange competition with reality - you are trying to convince the war that it is not that’’.

In the suite Puertas abiertas (Open Door), the composer Placenti questions this idea of fireflies, the city as a labyrinth of souls and their encounters. On the other hand, tango is "a beloved bohemian with a wound that he hides, dressed in mourning from head to toe ... laughter but also death dressed in dancers," according to the classic text of the genre, Apología tanguera songs from 1933. In the traditional milonga, the rules of conduct require that dancers remain anonymous, and often dance for years without knowing each other's names, while the dance itself is physically quite intimate. It can be said that Placenti in Urban's earlier, more intimate photographs, feels that upcoming tragedy of lost souls that also embodies the aesthetics of tango music.

The story from the encounter of the work of deceased Dubrovnik photographer Pavo Urban and Argentine composer Adrián Placenti will be performed by the piano composer himself and Katalin Bartha on the violin with the narration of actor Dario Gverovic.

Free tickets to this concert can be picked at the Marin Drzic Theatre at the box office, which works from 9am to 3pm on Wednesdays and from 3pm to 9pm from Thursday to Saturday.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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