WE, ANIMALS

14 images Created 19 Jan 2024

In my studio, in Belgrade, in the small space needed to get absorbed in playing with Schleich figurines, I discovered a completely new but amazingly real world.

Our empathy for animals is important. Their destinies are, in part, in our hands. Each of us can identify with the motherly care of a gorilla or the fear of fire of an elephant.

I added to each motiv a certain quote or set of words which I believe, can inspire love and compassion for everyone. Including ourselves.

Enjoy!

Here is the excerpt from the exhibition text from Mirjana Ognjanović, Serbian journalist, writer and translator:

At first, when I looked at the photos in Aleksandar Damnjanović's calendar, I thought: “Oh, we have something really bizarre here!” I say bizarre, because the Serbian translation of the French word bizarre–unusual or atypical, does not provide the appropriate meaning in this case. The translation lacks a certain mark of humor and even a warning. Maybe that is why I remembered Federico Fellini's words the very next moment:
"What a moralistic goal–to grow up!" What does that really mean? And assuming it is possible to grow up, what happens when you grow up? Have you ever met adults? I have not. Although, maybe adults avoid people like me.”
Yes, maybe adults avoid Aleksandar Damnjanović too.
Or does he avoid them?

Here is the excerpt from text of Katarina Nikolić, artist and screenwriter:

Damnjanović considers the genesis of the photography process and focuses on the selection of subjects, controlling the mise-en-scène. He creates a unique and layered story about humans through personified figurines of animals using all the elements of a photographic image and mastering the technique skillfully. The photograph is a reflection of the author's constant play and search, whose magical power lies in changes. From one month to the next, through the four seasons, time flows through the space of a two-dimensional image, characters come out of the frame, striving to change our notions, our visual and social habits.

And here is the excerpt from text of Maja Škaljac-Stanošević, art historian:

The multi-layered concept of the exhibition, questioning of our role on planet Earth, sophisticated artistic solutions and framing inspired Aleksandar to successfully realize the exhibition. This is his modest contribution to the universal aspiration of the conscious part of the world towards harmonious relationships in nature. Although the photographs do not represent real animals, you can feel the pulsation of life and a respectable attitude towards these wonderful creatures which we all need to take care of.
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