ANTWERP.-The photographic works by Braco Dimitrijevic exhibited at the 1st Floor Gallery represent an important part of the artist's oeuvre and result from an unusual artistic procedure.
As early as 1981, Dimitrijevic began making a series of works joining living animals and art. On the occasion of his solo show at the Waddington Galleries in London, a pair of living peacocks wandered amongst the paintings of Picasso, Monet and Matisse.
In 1983, he made a series of installation with wild cats and elephants, and the resulting video is included in this exhibition. In 1998, Dimitrijevic realized a spectacular exhibition at the Paris Zoo, Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, where he organized 20 installations in the cages of the jaguars, the dromedary camels, the crocodiles, the bisons and other wild animals. The exhibition was seen by one million people and received international coverage in over 40 countries including a series of CNN reportages.
According to Dimitrijevic's motto -- "Louvre is my studio, street is my museum"-- the city has become the privileged arena for his artistic activity.
With his well known 'Casual Passer-by' series, Dimitrijevic also seeks to question the language of visual publicity and the rhetoric of political propaganda. One of Braco Dimitrijevic's innovations in art is to incorporate original masterpieces from various museum collections in his installations under the generic title 'Triptychos Post Historicus.'
These works, which he started in 1975, incorporate master paintings, everyday objects and fruits of nature. The same semantic structure in which nature and culture are united in harmonious synthesis can be found in his works with living animals. Now it is the zoo which becomes the artist's studio, in which he creates magical images resulting from the casual encounter of wild animals and artworks. The objects charged with cultural meanings are offered to the impartial gaze of animals. This is also a sort of confrontation between two cultural models: the Western model, represented by its art, and the non-Occidental model, represented by wild animals, which live in a much higher harmony with nature. The artist proposes a view 'from the Moon,' i.e. the synoptic perspective which would bring beings and things closer, suggesting that if only we could get away from rigid scientific taxonomies, we might discover new, and as yet unknown, dimensions of reality.
Braco Dimitrijevic's recent exhibitions include Xin-Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art in Bejing, the Galeria IL Ponte Contemporane and Galeria Pino Casagrande, Rome, as well as a retrospective of his work, currently on view at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, USA.