The Museum of Contemporary Art invites you to the Dragan Petrović exhibition titled Happy People.
The title of the exhibition Happy People offers insight into the most important photographic achievements of Dragan Petrović, showcasing the works produced between the beginning of the 1980s and the end of the 1990s. Petrović’s personal aesthetics and characteristics are defined by his professional itinerary as a commercial photographer, present at folk ceremonies and traditional family gatherings in Serbia. Thus, his photos represent a kind of social and anthropological mapping of Serbian society. At the same time, they enable us to observe the daily life of a particular time and world which exists behind these festivities, allowing us to slip unnoticed into the domain of the subversive.
In his essay dedicated to this exhibition, the art historian Slavko Timotijević states: “For Dragan Petrović one can without any refrain say that through his photos he discovers specific manifestations of the joys of life. What makes Dragan Petrović a great artist is the ability to single out from the chaotic plane of reality those samples that represent the fascinating culturological mix of authentic actors, ethno backdrop, belated modernity dressed up in the clothes of local phantasms about fashion and behaviour…” (essay: Slavko Timotijević, “Dragan Petrović―photographer”)
In an essay on Dragan Petrović, Ivan Petrović (Centre for Photography) also asserts: “…the art of documentarism is to a great extent based on the aesthetics of the local, the fragmentary and, often, the profane. It is an altogether different issue whether this product remains at the level of local folklore and culture or has a more complex and deeper reflective component. In the case of Dragan Petrović we encounter a new brand of photographic achievement which, at present we can claim with utter certainty, can serve as a textbook standard in the process of learning about photography.” (essay: Ivan Petrović, “A Gaze from the Side Lane―Dragan Petrović the Photographer”)
With the exhibition of Dragan Petrović’s photos Happy People the Museum of Contemporary Art aims to draw attention to local photographic production and its representation in the framework of the art system, but also, more broadly, to the medium of photography as one of the most represented mediums in art today.
The catalogue of the exhibition Happy People will be published during the exhibition in December, and will include the already published essays by art historian Slavko Timotijević and artist Ivan Petrović.
The exhibition Happy People is realised in collaboration with the Centre for Photography. Dragan Petrović’s photos are part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade.
Dragan Petrović (Belgrade, 1958). Photographer and cameraman. He has been professionally involved in photography for over 30 years. He had his first one-man shows at the “Happy Gallery” at the Student Culture Centre in Belgrade during the 1990s. He started and edited the fanzine Photographer and published works in the magazine L’Impossible. He is also the author of the textbook Photography, published in 2000. Between 1998 and 2003, he worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Photography of the Braća Karić Academy of Art in Belgrade.
During his career as a photographer, photographing the subject of the Common man, he assembled a distinctive and sizeable portfolio.