New Money [2011-2016]

Behind the relatively distinct economic turmoil of recent decades in Serbia stands an inevitable combination of political machinations, wars, and transitional processes. Probably the most spectacular result of the increasing polarisation of Serbian society is a new class of exceptionally rare, but extremely wealthy individuals who have acquired their–relative to local circumstances–great wealth during a period of extensive social impoverishment.

Although openly critically conceived, the New Money project consists of photographs that represent the symbols of new wealth in Serbia. The tautological character of this approach is derived from the visual emphasis on subjects whose formal appeal is already assumed, or more precisely – encoded in the conventions of advertisements promoting a privileged lifestyle. Expensive cars, chic boutiques, extravagant restaurants, yachts, golf courses, exclusive neighbourhoods, specialised beauty salons, fashionable architecture, and other subjects are presented as distorted adverts. The much less attractive processes of gentrification, security, and maintenance are outlined through more detached photographs of construction sites, fences, surveillance cameras, and domestic help.

The distribution of wealth in Serbia is not that different from global patterns of ownership. There are striking similarities between the Serbian nouveau riche, situation in the ex-Yugoslavia region, and in Third World countries. It seems, however, that the bond between the criminal world and parallel state structures has produced a whole new class of “big business” whose lifestyle now permeates contemporary Serbian culture.  [MV]


Verzija na srpskom

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