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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty: When walls speak and we listen > Restaurant, Samobor, Croatia, 2005
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Restaurant, Samobor, Croatia, 2005

The small Zagreb suburb of Samobor has become of one the capitals of Croatian gastronomy. It has many restaurants in the center of town, specializing in everything from custard slices to its famous mustard and inevitable pizza. One of them advertises its specialties on a huge sign following the geometric flow of the restaurant building’s outside wall. Signs are often part of walls. They may blend with the wall or not. I found this sign to be an incongruous match – the quaint architecture of Samobor speaks of another time, when “grill” and “pizza” were not yet invented. The bold color of the sign is also incongruous. The walls of the surrounding houses are decidedly less vivid in color than the big sign, which makes it all the more out of place and time, but emphatically visible.

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Phil Douglis07-Oct-2005 23:46
Tim and Celia, back to back -- what a treat! I'm glad you both sense what I felt as I made this image. It is a slice (nice pun) of the past and brash, coarse present. and this sign does conform to the shape of the building, which is a subtle gesture of submission to the past. It gives a little, and takes a lot.
Tim May05-Oct-2005 16:53
I feel as if the sign "slices" the past - with the brash present.
Cecilia Lim04-Oct-2005 20:52
This image is about not wanting to blend in, because it needs to be unique to survive in the economic climate. As this restaurant looks almost like every other building in the town, the only way it is to be noticed is if it could scream out from below with a gigantic, red, in-your-face sign. But even though this advertisement appears to be blatantly disregarding its environment, what makes it interesting is that there are signs (pardon the pun) that there are still “rules" in society and that one does not always have complete freedom to do as one wishes. In all its awkwardness, this sign tries to at least conform to the shape of the buildings around it! You are right Phil - walls certainly speak quite a lot about the community they exist in.
Phil Douglis03-Oct-2005 16:32
You are right, Kal. Rubelj's red sign dominates this little town, and changes yesterday into today instantly. Beauty is not only obscured. It is destroyed.
Kal Khogali03-Oct-2005 11:46
The fake band-aid of consumerism that we are told will heal our troubles. One more blow for the advertising executive. Red comes as a proceeding image (I mean it comes forward in a picture). Here it almost pokes are eye out. It takes a moment to realise that there is beauty obscured here.
Phil Douglis02-Oct-2005 21:09
Your words strike, home, Clara. I was thinking the same thing, but tried to put my thoughts into the image instead of words.
Guest 02-Oct-2005 15:22
Just the opposite of the previous photographs.
Here the future is taking over the territory.
With its superficiality, its arrogance, eating a culture, shitting its art.
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