Braco Dimitrijevic

Dimitrijevic was born in Sarajevo in 1948. Lives and works in Paris.

Braco Dimitrijević is a seminal artist of conceptual art who gained
international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passerby
series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people
were displayed on prominent facades and billboards in European
and American cities. Dimitrijevic also mimicked the other ways of
glorifying important persons by building monuments to passers-by
and installing memorial plaques in honor of unknown citizens.
Dimitrijević’s artistic vision and discourse in many ways anticipated
several later tendencies. His Casual Passer-by works heralded the
practice spread amongst the Neo-conceptualists of using the semiotics
of urban space to insert alternative messages.

In his theoretical book Tractatus Post Historicus published in 1976,
Dimitrijević defines Post History as coexistence of different values and
multiple individual truths.

In 1976 Braco Dimitrijević made a gesture without precedent: in
Nationalgalerie in Berlin he included original paintings of Kandinsky,
Mondrian, Picasso, Monet and Manet into his own installations. The
installations for which the artist coined the generic title Triptychos

Post Historicus, included paintings by modern masters together with
everyday objects, fruits and vegetables. After this first breakthrough
into a museum treasure, Braco Dimitrijevic in the last four decades
realized over 500 Triptychos Post Historicus installations and
photographic pieces with the masterworks from the most prestigious
museum collections including Tate Gallery London, Guggenheim
Museum New York, Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges
Pompidou Paris, Ludwig Museum Cologne, Museum Moderner Kunst
Vienna, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay
among others. With Triptychos Post Historicus the artist revisits
both history of mankind and history of art, creatively incorporating
masterworks such as Leonardo’s “Madonna, Saint Ann and Jesus”,
Malevich’s “Red Square”, Rubens’ “Rape of Europe”, David’s “Death of
Marat” or Turner’s “St. Benedict, Looking Toward Fusina” into new
visual and conceptual structures.

Introducing organic matter into the museum the artist juxtaposes
the sacral, i.e. high art and museum institution on one hand, and the
secular, represented by simple fruits of nature and objects of daily life
and work, on the other.

The artist not only questions fetish status of the master works but also
shakes up the accepted hierarchy in which art or culture would be at
the top and nature at the bottom of our value scale. Once placed on the
same platform, complex symbolic interplay develops between them.
“Our world is not made of master pieces, nor of bicycles or apples but
of all these things together”, says the artist.

Dimitrijević’s interventions in museum collections and his critique
of the evolutionist paradigm applied to art history were ahead of the
‘appropriation’ tendency and Post Modernism.

In the video work One second of Post Historic Time - Century Behind
Me, the artist comes back to his early theme of gigantic portrait
as authoritarian symbol. The portraits of prominent 20th century
politicians, leaders and heads of states, are submerged by art and
music: transitory worldly power of those men and women, is balanced
against discreet but eternal power of art. In this work, as in the rest
of his oeuvre, the artist defends individual creativity, talent and
independent thought against the constraints of conformism and the
authority of History.