Civitate – Ritual intervention

Branimir Karanović with Kamerades

Opening: Thursday, March 31st, 7:15 PM
O3ONE Art Space, Uzun Mirkova 10

From March 31st till April 6th

In 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. Only thing that remains active is the marketing machinery which tries to affect the voters with flashy images and seducing slogans.

Elections in Serbia come down to precisely recording the current trends of voter’s vassalage, and who of the available lords will they decide to adhere to. 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 Karanovic 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 permanent display of civil disobedience.

Citizens are always provoked to intervene on 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. Karanovic 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.