Civitate – Ritual intervention

"Civitate - Ritual Intervention" exhibition by Branimir Karanović
March 31st - April 6th > Opening on Thursday, March 31st, at 19:15h

In a ritual organization of Serbia’s public life presidential and parliamentary elections hold a very important position. Before they are supposed to be held the whole country stops. The only thing that remains active in the marketing machinery which tries to affect the voters with flashy images and seducing slogans.

Cult of personality and patrimonialism are constants of Serbia’s political life and were not in any way endangered by the transition from a single-party to a multi-party system. The only thing that has changed is the number of those who appoint themselves as leaders and pose for political posters and billboards. Branimir Karanović has been following the multiplication and spreading of their portraits across the public space from the very beginning of Parliamentarism in Serbia one election at a time. In his photographs, he is at the same time portraying them as something that is polluting the environment and as an object of a permanent display of civil disobedience. Citizens are always provoked to intervene in those portraits in some way, and their interventions often border culture jamming as an art form that is worth recording. Results of those interventions are simultaneously representing an index of direct communication between citizens and politicians, iconic display of the way that the face of a political leader is treated in the imagination of Serbia’s citizens, and the symbol of a fight against the fact that democracy has come down to ads, posters, and billboards. Karanović and the Kamerades collective have independently recorded these interventions and are bringing them together for the first time in this exhibition, by doing so they have stood by all those who were not eaten by viruses of servitude and auto-censorship.

Branimir Karanović was born in 1950, the City of Belgrade. Since 1974 he has had many individual and has been a part of many collective exhibitions both in Serbia and abroad and has won a vast number of awards. He has worked as a professor of photography at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad from 1978 to 1997 and has been working as a professor of photography in the graphics department of Faculty of Applied Arts on the University of Arts in Belgrade.

In this setting, he is joined by the Kamerades collective which has been a part of many exhibitions and has published a book of photographs called “Dirty season”. Members of this collective are Marko Risović, Marko Rupena, Nemanja Jovanović, Nemanja Pančić, Milovan Milenković, and Saša Čolić.