HELLO THERE

He is, a photographer, visual artist, a professor at The Dance institute in Belgrade. Always exploring his inner self.

He is member of ULUPUDS, the Association of Applied Arts Artists and Designers of Serbia.

Après

Ever since I can remember I have had the passion for ballet. My mother, who was a ballerina during her youth, seems to be the one who aroused it. My earliest childhood memory is of watching “Swan Lake” from the right loge, on the first or second floor of the National Theatre. Since then I have attended numerous ballet performances – classical, contemporary, alternative – but for a while I had little contact with ballet in my own work, although ballet is fairly common in photography. In 2012 I wished to do a mini photography project with ballet dancers from the National Theatre. The first “laboratory rats” for this experiment were Aleksandar Ilic and Shin Young Park. The result was a series of photographs that are an amalgam of fashion, portrait and dance. At that time I was personally satisfied with the result, but I soon realised I hadn’t met the dancer’s point of view. I detected that a photograph which is eye-pleasing and fulfils photographer’s expectations is not necessarily an adequate display of a dancer and his movement. I realised that I should have known much more about ballet if I had started a project of that kind. So I set it aside. A few years later, during one show, the idea suddenly, as it usually happens with ideas, got its shape and recognizable form, comprising all needful elements. While I was watching one person wrapping the other person’s face with a tape on that stage, it crossed my mind that a portrait of all that tape, and sweat, and energy, would make a fantastic photograph. That is how the idea for “Après”, the series of portraits of dancers after their shows, came out from “nowhere”, trying to catch the raw emotion and any form of energy taken from the stage. The system was simple but demanding. I used to come in time for the show and find 2 or 3 square meters of free space with a black wall, door, or drapery as a background. After I had met a dancer and tested the light, I would just sit and wait. This equally tedious and exciting process was an integral part of the project. While I was waiting, I was going through different states of mind, with a constant fear of being late, obstructed, hampered, and thus deprived of the precious moment. That is why I felt I was sharing with the dancers the same energy I planned to record. Sometimes I was accompanied by my assistants or theatre staff, and sometimes I was completely alone. Anyway, I always felt the same tension and uncertainty, and a dose of introspection.

Bed-original anthropomorphy

All the truth about a man is in the palm of his hand, which he puts under his head when he goes to rest. Most people are conceived and born in bed; they fall into bed when they fall ill and are put into eternal sleep. You are made in bed, you will return to bed. The bed has been an inexhaustible inspiration to artists for centuries. From a mere mise-en-act to a central focus in the performing arts, bed is one of the most reproduced subjects in art history. His iconography ranges from the sensual spectacle of the folds of drapery to the one impregnated with symbolism and determinism. As such, the bed motif persists in art to this day by training the artist's hands, eyes, imagination and contemplation. As an object, the bed becomes an autonomous work of art or a means of artistic expression. In a plane, horizontal in contrast to the picture of the paint, it abstracts, stylizes and imitates the appearance and shape of the human body. Forms are automatic, without deliberate intervention, without hierarchy, original anthropomorphy. We spend almost a third of our lives in bed sleeping. Millennials spend more time in bed than any generation before. We replaced libraries, cinemas, offices, writing desks and even the dining table with a bed. To step into the literal "world" of one's bed goes beyond the traditional notion of intimacy. Therefore, the motif of the bed, in contemporary plays, relentlessly addresses the themes of alienation, solitude but not loneliness, general connection and the search for a different type of intimacy. Staying in an autonomous bed space, man is in his "natural state", the purest form. In this territory, every role and intentionality is eliminated, which anthropomorphies speak of. The aesthetics of the folds of drapery is a record that corresponds to our understanding of the aesthetics of the spontaneous, the stripped down and the true in the human being. One way to pass that experience through an amplifier is to write that record, to expose the viewer to that reality through another medium.

NOT FOR SALE

The recruitment and transfer of human beings through the threat of force or the use of force or coercion, fraud, deception or abuse for the purpose of exploitation is a global social deviation that threatens fundamental human rights - the right to life, to freedom of choice, to freedom of movement ... High rates of unemployment, "flexibilisation" of work and the feminisation of poverty are the most common causes of the marginal social position of a potential victim of exploitation, which further threatens the identity, integrity and dignity of the individual. In such conditions, the person becomes the easy prey of the exploiter who provides various forms of violence (psychological, physical, sexual) and torture, provides complete control, breaks resistance and ensures obedience to the victim. Exploitation through prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or a position similar to slavery is carried out in the harshest possible conditions. Imprisoned, disenfranchised, abused and tortured, the victim was exploited for profit only. Sexual exploitation is just one of many forms of human trafficking. The photo essay Not For Sale highlights the basic paradox of the social phenomenon of sexual exploitation. By analogy, Nemanja Maraš explains the two basic levels of a complex phenomenon - ubiquity and invisibility - thus penetrating the core of the problem of social deviance. Spatially and temporally unrestricted, organized and ruthless, sexual exploitation is present at all levels and in all conditions of sociability, and thus has become an integral part of our everyday life, which, unfortunately, we do not notice. Its representation and distribution is astounding, and its concealment discouraging. The basic motive of the victim of exploitation is loneliness and helplessness, lack of power and rejection, exposure and exploitation, slavery and powerlessness. Status-stripped, completely disenfranchised and isolated, the victim is powerless to resist pressure and change her marginal position. These photos prompt us to think how aware we are of the presence and representation of sexual exploitation in our environment? Are we aware that any of us can become a victim of trafficking, however powerful and cautious you may be?

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