SUBVERSIVE STREET AESTHETIC
‘Once subversion has occurred, nothing can stop it’ is a piece of wisdom which best defines the dominant state of consciousness in this region for the last two and a half decades. If you compare the street aesthetics of (so-called) patriotism which prevailed in 1991 with its equivalent from 2017, you will realize how they are almost identical, the only nuances you can observe are the ones due to technological advances in the field of photography. Everything else has got even worse – a constant vortex of feedback dangerously slapping against clear conscience and consciousness at their last gasps. Woven together from a series of schizophrenic moments, the street aesthetics of patriotism never fails to surprise us with another, different dimension of its bottom.
A superfast transition from socialism into the state of free critical (national) consciousness opened up a Pandora’s box of ill-informed ignorance and misunderstanding of the process, instinctively guided by nationalistic, revanchist impulses which during the 1990s led to defeats and paradoxes, and whose mythical nature shaped the traits of the transition from one generation to the next. This combination of wrongly understood myths, spite and stubborn headlong rush in the wrong direction gave rise to absurd illusions and flashbacks in which large numbers of people became victims of crowd psychology and an easy prey to current political ideologies which mold them as circumstances require and consequently depress the hell out of them. This photo book contains only a small number of these victims.
The story in front of you is a result of my four years of roaming the streets of Belgrade with a camera in my hands, observing and documenting its daily processes and changes brought about by the rhythm of this hectic and chaotic metropolis.
I mostly see myself as an anthropologist with a camera in his hands who from a visual perspective and by means of documentary and real life photography explores the sensibility of the street life of our city and its residents, trying to capture the contrasts in which a backwater town is fighting the emerging metropolis until the last drop of sweat, giving rise to inspiring extremes which are a reflection of the current cultural and social turmoil.
The epilogue to this approach is the photo series I entitled ‘Subversive Street Aesthetics – Scenes from Sumptous Reality’. Made in Belgrade, Serbia from 2013 – 2017.