Montenegro in the magic eye of princess Xenia

30.08.2010 to 18.09.2010
Opening time: 20:00

Montenegro in the magic eye of princess Xenia The materially modest legacy of Princess Ksenija provides us with almost intimate insight into the private life of Montenegrin Princess Ksenija who has been famous for her intellect and talent but before everything she has been known as an adamant patriot. Her deep love for Montenegrin nation […]

Montenegro in the magic eye of princess Xenia

The materially modest legacy of Princess Ksenija provides us with almost intimate insight into the private life of Montenegrin Princess Ksenija who has been famous for her intellect and talent but before everything she has been known as an adamant patriot. Her deep love for Montenegrin nation and homeland is expressed through images of montenegrin everyday life which were made during the peaceful time of her life, before she found herself in an unacceptable situation of a refugee. Photographs of Princess Ksenija are images which were deeply impressed upon her memory, and that she cherished with love throughout the decades of exile, reaching out for them in the moments of despair and nostalgia. That was the Montenegro in the magic eye of Montenegrin Princess. That is the Montenegro of her youth, of her hopes, beliefs, her hidden thoughts, and unrealised ambitions.

The photographic opus of Princess Ksenija is a very impressive work of an avid amateur, whose choice of motives, numerous snap shots and solid technical knowledge of the photographic camera have served the medium through which she has manifested her devotion and inspiration, revealing to us the bizarre beauty and originality of the Montenegrin environment. Going through her photographs, we recognise Montenegrin landscapes – wild and proud mountain peaks, warm and sandy beaches, olive groves, the thick walls of old fortifications, settlements, folk customs and festivities, anniversary commemorations and state celebrations. When touring Montenegro (Ksenija was the first woman driver in the Balkans), she always had her photographic camera with her tanks to which she reveals us, with a refined sense of observation, interesting scenes from the everyday life of Montenegrins and long forgotten places. The focus of her camera lens was also frequently the numerous members of her family. These portraits are full of Ksenija’s affection and love and, exhibiting an unerring flair for highlighting details, arrangement of the composition and warm emotions in conjuring up the psychological portraits of the models she was fond of.

These photographs had the magic power of taking her back into the past in an attempt to wrench the most beautiful moments of her life from oblivion. Her photographs do not only have the value of a photographic document but also of the author’s inventiveness, talent, almost a passion for the camera lens. Despite the realistic treatment imposed by the photographic camera Ksenija’s photographs are not merely dry and objective. The Princess involved herself and a part of her personality, deciding on the posture of the model, the arrangement, light… There is almost a hint of romantic sensibility characteristic of the lyrical nature of a woman whose photographs exhibit such a strong and personal attitude of Ksenija towards an object that one can clearly feel her inspiration. Her emotions expressed in her work span a wide range and they are perspicacious and manifest: she is tender and full of love when she looks upon her mother’s face; she is serene but slightly pensive facing a group of young officers; she is full of delight when taking photos of Montenegrin landscapes; she is patient and beaming with joy when taking pictures of the children of her brother. Ksenija’s power of perceiving strong and charachteristic personalities inspired her to take frequent photos of her father whose strong and unyielding will she registered even in his most intimate moments.

Princess Ksenija’s photographs are almost equally valuable as documents and an indisputable author’s imprint. Aesthetic criteria, a distinctive talent and eternalised detail emanate from all of her photographs at the same time, irrespective of the motive, and wether she has photographed a portrait a composition or a simple landscape image.

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