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Past exhibitions

Milorad Krstić: Budapest

By 9. 11. 2006 May 14th, 2019 No Comments

Milorad Krstić
Budapest

9.11.2006 – 21.11.2006
20h

Photographs of Budapest by Milorad Krstic do not feature the visual clichés of the city that is increasingly often described as one of the top European metropolis and tourist destinations. Although they focus on the Chain Bridge, the Millennium Monument, the Parliament and other tourists’ and tour books’ common places, they are taken from very peculiar angle which gives those objects quite new freshness.

Milorad Krstić
Budapest

Photographs of Budapest by Milorad Krstic do not feature the visual clichés of the city that is increasingly often described as one of the top European metropolis and tourist destinations. Although they focus on the Chain Bridge, the Millennium Monument, the Parliament and other tourists’ and tour books’ common places, they are taken from very peculiar angle which gives those objects quite new freshness. (“…Living in Budapest since 1988, Krstic has a curious eye for the city. Statues photographed out of context create strange associations: Hungarian poet Attila József looks positively frightening, Prince Eugene of Savoy gallops away from the Buda Castle, and Saint Gellért seems to be exorcising the sinful city. Krstic’s photos are shot from unusual perspectives at unusual times of the day through colored lenses: you’ll be surprised again, if not by the artistic values then by the hidden curiosity of familiar sights”). Even those who were born and grew up in Budapest many times do not recognize at first glance the sites featured on Krstic’s photographs. But they often fall in love with them – the photos have so far been featured on the billboards, in magazines and books representing the city as the candidate for the 2010 European Cultural Capital. They were exhibited in 2004 in MEO Contemporary Art Collection (http://www.meo.org.hu/info/ameorol/) exhibition Paris + Klein + Budapest + Vancsó + Krstic.

The Budapesters can easily relate with the city’s energy that Krstic succeeded to capture. Budapest is by no means a pretty girl as the tourist magazines show it. She is an old lady – with elegant but a bit worn out clothes, refined but at times difficult, even grouchy, with an aristocratic beauty more often seen on renaissance paintings then in contemporary fashion magazines. Being by all means rather Central European then Mediterranean, Budapest can see long, dark and depressing winters that some authors claim might be a part of explanation why the nation whose capital she is, suffers the highest suicide rate in Europe. Budapest by Milorad Krstic embraces and bridges the powerful, but dark waters of the Danube, “the most beautiful street of Budapest” as Eszterhazy calls it, under the dramatic skies and heavy, threatening clouds. She is bathing in obscure, hazy light full of red, orange and earth tones. Ordinary people, unwanted architecture, dirty streets, when captured in a dramatic contexts, can become immortal and get a new, artistic dimension.

Even when featuring popular city motives, photographs by Milorad Krstic are taken from strange angles, over-blowing a detail (i.e. a leg of a horse on a monument to Eugene of Savoy) or under-featuring the city icons (i.e. the Citadel monument, normally dominating the city’s skyline, as a tiny spot in the stormy sky). In such an unusual context, they sometimes intentionally create traceable quotations from art history. They lead us from the figurative world of mannerist sculpture, the winter figures of the Brueghel brothers, via Caspar David Friedrich’s rocks and clouds to the images employed by Sergei Eisenstein in his films and to the avant-garde counter positioning. As if anything that seems to be small and insignificant, being related with the old and elegant lady that has seen and herself wrote so much of history, has its own meaning and bears a stamp of the times past.

The author is a modern-day version of a renaissance man: a doctor iustitiae, photographer, painter, animator awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in the Short Film Category in 1995, and the designer that authored the stage for the “Human Tragedy” by Imre Madacs, which opened the newly build Hungarian National Theatre in 2002. Born in Slovenia, he shortly lived in Croatia, most of his life in Novi Sad, and from 1988 in Budapest.

Exhibited in Ljubljana will be the best of some 20,000 photographs that Krstic took in Budapest during last three years. 206 of them appeared in his book “Budapest” published in Hungary in December 2003 by Magyarkönyv Kiadó (http://www.mkk.hu/cegajandek/ajanlat.html).

Milorad Krstić

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