Thirteen Cities

As we slowly approach the two hundredth birthday of the most widespread and important medium which radically changed our perception of the world, the question should be raised as to how much this medium itself changed, if it managed to change us that much.

However impressive and innovative Beno Saradžić's work is at various levels of metaphotography, it is the “money shot” philosophy that this artist has adopted as his signature identity, as it redefines each new photograph.

The thematic framework of his collection is panoramas of the cities from around the world which do not seem to share many architectural, anthropological, and cultural features. It is this kind of diversity that creates multiverse identities, scattered chronologically and individually.

To the untrained eye, Dubai and Abu Dhabi appear similar, although they are not. From dawn till dusk, from twilight to starlight. Both cities are in the narrative of the future present. So shiny and potent. So bold and fascinating.

Unlike Hong Kong, Dubai does not exude a dystopian tone, but glows with all the optimism a twilight could accommodate. Dubai is most inclined towards a futuristic megapolis, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, lies Dubrovnik. A blend of Venice and Dalmatia, where white marble mixes with the fantasy of “King’s Landing”. The real battle is between the ancient walls and modern yachts, between the Venetian and Mediterranean atmospheres.

The dark scarlet sky sheltering New York tells a story about the crossover from the brutal architecture to nanotechnology. It’s like a dying dinosaur at the brink of a bright future. New York may have changed radically in the last three hundred years, but its passport photo is the Brooklyn Bridge, which Saradžić underlines delicately like filigree.

Ljubljana; home is where the heart is, at least for Beno. Not as versatile as Belgrade, or as Mediterranean as almost all other cities. But still, familiar. With a touch of Vienna or Budapest, spiced with communist and even postmodern architecture. Almost every other big city from the long-lost empire feels this way. But Ljubljana is a special one.

Byblos is the smallest of the cities in this set, but the warmest and most human. Its sky is filled with clouds of present mayhem; however, it is full of tiny details which mean ordinary life is here to stay.

Athens appears as the oldest city in the world. Of course, it is not. But is it most magnificent? Perhaps. Perhaps not. In the gazer’s eyes however, it tells the most compelling stories. And of course, in the Acropolis at its heart, the light never goes out.

Kotor on the other hand looks like the fulfillment of an Old Testament blessing. Being the only Mediterranean fjord, it represents the Bay of Kotor as the capital of a forgotten empire. This Kotor isn’t Trogir or Split in Croatia. It is the mishmash of late XX century houses and buildings put in place where they don’t seem to belong. But if one drew a straight line across the middle and removed the bottom half, you wouldn’t have any life in this unreal photograph.

The most chaotic, and the exact opposite of Ottawa, is Belgrade, the epicenter of political turbulence in recent centuries. It is architecturally asymmetrical, because its identity is sought among buildings that intertwine through multiple stages of its destruction in the 20th century. That is why its central part is the hope that it will survive.

In fact, in each of these 13 photos by Beno, the heart of each city represents its identity, and that is why his framing choice is so important. Aside from how much work each of these photos require in terms of patience, research, on-location shoots, and post-production, the most important is the feeling they convey and the stories they tell...

Dr. Aleksandar S. Janković, prof FDU, Beograd

ATHENSPOS BS 330 01$7,250.00
KYOTOPOS BS 330 02$7,500.00
KOTORPOS BS 330 03$6,800.00
HONG KONGPOS BS 330 04$7,700.00
DUBROVNIKPOS BS 330 05$7,250.00
NEW YORKPOS BS 330 06$8,000.00
ABU DHABIPOS BS 330 07$8,000.00
BELGRADEPOS BS 330 08$7,500.00
SANTORINIPOS BS 330 09$7,250.00
OTTAWAPOS BS 330 10$8,000.00
LJUBLJANAPOS BS 330 11$6,500.00
BYBLOSPOS BS 330 12$7,000.00
DUBAIPOS BS 330 13$8,000.00

Xposure hosts solo exhibition spaces for acclaimed photographers along with group exhibitions for professional institutions. All exhibiting photographers will be present during the festival, enabling you the opportunity to meet and talk to them about their work.