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VLADIMIR MARCOVIC (YUGOSLAVIA)
SURVIVANTES

25/2 - 14/3 1998
RELICS GALLERY
LASSANI 3 / 226-506
MO, WE, SA 9.30 - 14.30 TU, TH, FRI 9.30 - 14.00, 17.00 - 20.30



A native of Yugoslavia, Vladimir Markovic has been living in France for the past twelve years. Since he left Belgrade in 1979, via Prague for its cinema school, photography has become his raison d'etre.
The photographs he has taken on his rounds of Paris' second-hand shops - some tragic, some romantic, some ridiculous - may perhaps originate in a subconscious lacerated by the events that have set his country ablaze, and they express, in the course of his exploration, that special touch of soul. The dolls he shows us are like living moments fixed on a past that could translate the gestures, the moods and the indefinable inner dialogue of childhood. But childhood passes, and the dolls remain. Sometimes tossed negligently into a corner and merely aged by the passage of time, sometimes still terribly alive in the cruelty they have suffered.
Some of the "survivors" are collector's items, garbed in an old worn-out sweater, headless, naked, dishevelled, disjointed black holes in the place of eyes. Others, better cared for, rock nonchalantly, appearing to challenge a regiment of toy soldiers.
Elsewhere, dozens of heads wait patiently in a basket, ready to replace one damaged by the overpowering love or awkwardness of its owner.
These dolls do not call up the past. Their life, fixed on film, comes from elsewhere: from that too profound gaze, that attitude, the marks man has left on them. From an awkward position that lives on in derision and continues to add something of the melancholy evanescence of their lifetime. Today, art photography more and more escapes the affluence of familiar images. Time for reflection, intuition set free, thought carefully elaborated, emotion expressed in image –now more than ever it settles in these scenes of the life of yesterday, today and tomorrow, capturing for us the transience of ordinariness that we so often fail to perceive. These images imprisoned in their frames radiate zones of light and shadow that are the very stuff of everyday life. A moment's contemplation of them brings within our reach the vision that, once upon a time, we experienced too furtively.

Christine Puyo