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Zoran Todović - The Belgrade Wall

Zoran Todović (1958. Gornji Milanovac), graduated in 1983 at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, and finished the postgraduate studies in 1985 at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Since 1983 he had solo exhibitions (Belgrade, Paris…) and group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad (Menton, Bopal, Miškolc, Osaka, Varna, Solun, Tokio...). Awards: Medal for Graphics at the 8th International Graphics Triennale, Frechen, 1986; Special honorable recognition, Bopal, Grand Prix of International Biennale, Varna, Zlatna igla ULUS-a, 1989; Award Politika from fond Vladislav Ribnikar, 1992; Octobar Salon award, 1994; First award IV International of Prints Biennale, Belgrade, 1996; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, New York, 2001; International award for contemporary art, small formats, Thessaloniki 2002. He is a professor at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.

Work of Zoran Todovic attracted attention of art critics, with his contemporary graphics language and his sensibility expressing strong individuality. In vocabulary of graphics discipline, three decades ago, when Todovic’s career began, linogravure was a synonym for new creative space, sign of time, alternation. He contributed to the affirmation of linogravure with his graphic expression. Deepening his creative ideas, he continued to produce art in extended field of work, installations and interactive situations; one of the example is the Belgrade wall.

Zoran Todović, The Belgrade Wall, Gallery Graphic Collective, April 2008; camera and editing: A. Zlatanović

Text of Saša Janjić, art historian, about Zoran Todović's work - The Belgrade Wall

Singidunum – the Roman settlement and castrum from the beginning of the new era, the seat of the famous Flavius’s 4th legion, was the place situated on the limes – the border which divided civilized part of the empire from the Barbarians. Belgrade was during its long history frequently the target of different peoples and conquerors, the bordering settlement which divided, but also connected cultures and civilizations. Even today when borders, at least geographic ones, slowly begin to vanish, one has a feeling that the existence of a modern man is marked by a dark feeling of surviving, living on the “edges” of the present, on the nameless borders to a constant and contoversial shifting of the prefix post : postmodern, postmilosevic’s, postfeminist or postideology.

The walls divided people for ages, hid our intimate moments and gave us the illusion that we are safe and secure. Some of the most famous walls, like The Big Chinese Wall or The Berlin Wall, are remembered as failures of their creators to divide and protect from the influences that come from the other side. So, exactly the same way they define the spaces they border, these walls sometimes offer the opportunity to get to know limits and realize our place in the coordinate system of today’s metaspace.

In the Grafički kolektiv gallery, Zoran Todović makes a transfer which uses ultimate graphic skill, (newspaper printing), i.e. turns it into something new. Instead of the inviting them to the opening, the artist and the gallery invited the visitors to a kind of a beginning of works, with the appeal to everybody to bring already read newspapers and magazines, and to contribute to the making of The Belgrade Wall. It’s a fact that by such an enterprise the role of visitors have changed, they are truly involved in the act of artistic creating, and the parts of their reality are, by their own and the doings of the artist, incorporated into this unusual intervention in the space. The graphic contents is turned into a space into which new meanings, new contents and symbols are constantly introduced by tearing into smaller parts. Apart from the artist who tirelessly builds this modern parahermenutic contents, the visitors themselves leave and build in parts of themselves and parts of their own privacies into this modern Wall of Tears. This suspension of boundaries in the relationship artist/observer and usage of the reproductive material such as newspapers and magazines, follows Benjamin’s thesis about the loss of the aura of an artistic object at the age of a mass tehnological reproduction.
read/download the integral version of the text here





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