At MoMA, Braco Dimitrijević Celebrates the Average Joe

THE DAILY PIC: The veteran conceptualist returns normal people to public space.

Transmissions: Art In Eastern Europe And Latin America, 1960-1980


Transmissions: Art In Eastern Europe And Latin America, 1960-1980

(Courtesy Museum of Modern Art)


THE DAILY PIC (#1455): The MoMA show called “Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980” does a great job of tracing the international appeal of conceptual art – and this piece, made by Braco Dimitrijević in 1976, shows how worthwhile and potent that movement could be. The work is called Casual Passer-by I Met at 4:30 p.m., Berlin. It’s part of an ongoing project for which Dimitrijević has photographed random people on the street, then installed their portraits in public settings where we normally see faces of the powerful, or the gorgeous, or the saps paid to look like they’re using the product some ad is selling. (See detail below.) I love Dimitrijević’s re-insertion of the average citizen into our most public visual culture, and think it stands for truly democratic values we often lose sight of.

Installed at MoMA, however, the piece also points to how museums likewise tend to privilege the great and mighty, when they need to always remember that they were founded for the sake of the people. Dimitrijević’s random sitter feels like the conscience of MoMA, watching to make sure its values don’t slide.

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