press release

Opening Friday 15 May, 6 PM

Braco Dimitrijevic (Sarajevo, 1948) is one of the pioneers of conceptual art. In 1963 he made his first conceptual work, The Flag of the World, in which he replaced the national flag with an alternative sign. It was the beginning of his artistic interventions into urban landscapes.

Over the past forty years he has exhibited extensively all over the world. He has also participated in major group shows such as the Kassel Documenta and Venice Biennale.

Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passer-by series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed on prominent facades and billboards in European and American cities. The artist also mimicked other ways of glorifying important persons by building monuments to passers-by and installing memorial plaques in honour of anonymous citizens.

In the mid-seventies he started incorporating in his installations original paintings borrowed from museum collections. The Triptychos Post Historicus, realized in numerous museums around the world, unite in a harmonious synthesis high art, everyday objects, and fruit. The artist's statement "Louvre is my studio, street is my museum" expresses both the dialectical and transgressive nature of his oeuvre. In the last thirty years, Dimitrijevic has realized over 500 Triptychos Post Historicus, with paintings ranging from Leonardo's Madonna to Malevitch's Red Square, in numerous museum collections including the Tate Gallery, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, and the Russian State Museum, St Petersburg.

In the early 1980's, Braco Dimitrijevic started making installations in which wild animals confront artifacts and works of art, thus joining two cultural models, the occidental model and the model offered by other cultures that live in greater harmony with nature. As expressed in the following statement "If one looks down at the Earth from the Moon there are virtually no distance between the Louvre and Zoo", the artist proposes harmonious vision of reality freed from rigid scientific classifications. In 1998, the artist realized one-man shows at Paris Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes with installations in the 20 cages, those of lions, tigers, crocodiles, camels and bisons.

In his theoretical book Tractatus Post Historicus, (1976) the artist's defines his concept of Post History as "the time of coexistence of different values and different concepts, the time of multi-angular viewing, the space without final truth". This concept anticipated the plurality of styles and approaches in today's art. Tractatus Post Historicus and Braco Dimitrijevic's work in general were an important influence on two tendencies that dominate artistic discourse today: critical practices in public space and interventions in museum collections.

This first retrospective in France presents about 90 works from all cycles of the artist's work. It starts with the earliest work, The Flag of the World from 1963. It includes The Casual Passers-by and Triptychos Post Historicus in the forms of new installations including original paintings by Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger from the collection of the Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole. The show will also include photographic Triptychos realized at the Tate, the Guggenheim Museum, the Musée d'Orsay, the Russian State Museum St Petersburg and the Louvre. This retrospective presents also works with animals (1981-2007). The most recent works are the installations with everyday objects combined with photo portraits of Kafka, Malevitch, Tesla etc. There will also be selection of video from 1971 to 2009.

only in german

Braco Dimitrijevic
Louvre is my studio, street is my museum