Days of Pain and Pride, Goranka Matić Collection
Beograd Ušće 10, Serbia
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Provenance and cultural activities
The work ‘Days of Pain and Pride’ by Goranka Matić was created in unusual circumstances. The art history graduate started this project on May 5, 1980, the day after the death of Josip Broz Tito. From May 5 to 8, Matić walked the streets of Belgrade and photographed shop windows displaying photo portraits of Tito decorated with a black ribbon as a sign of mourning. This was also Goranka Matić’s first work as a photographer: a series of photographs resembling postcards and showing the shop displays of bakers, butchers, grocers, hat sellers, hairdressers and perfumeries, all arranged with one addition – the president’s photograph.
The album’s title, ‘Days of Pain and Pride’, is ironic, referring to the press media at the time that relentlessly ran the story of the death and funeral of the SFRY’s lifelong president. At the very moment when Tito’s funeral was the leading and only story in the media, assuming the dimensions of a spectacle, the artist decided to participate in this event from an outsider perspective, from the margins, recording the adoration of the Marshal’s image in all its ideological conflict and the absurdity of the kitsch aesthetic. The photo portrait is displayed like an icon, decorated with a black ribbon that in the orthodox, folk tradition represents an expression of mourning for the deceased. The absurd character of these gestures of devotion is also reflected in the carnival atmosphere of the street displays, as the image of the leader pops up among fruit and vegetables, loaves of bread, cuts of fresh meat, shirts and skirts...
This conceptual work of photography by a woman artist, produced in the strongly controlled conditions that characterise totalitarian regimes, was seen by the public for the first time at the 1995 exhibition ‘Days of Pain and Pride’. In the course of those intermediate fifteen years, society had changed and the work was viewed in another context. The horrors of the 1990s, the hunger and wars, had contributed to shift the perspective on ‘Days of Pain and Pride’ which was now viewed with nostalgia and connected with memories of better, more prosperous and peaceful times.
Description of content
The work comprises 38 photographs taken by the artist in 1980 and developed in 1992. The work was purchased by the Collection of New Art Media at the Museum of Contemporary Art with funds provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia in 2007.
- photos: 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- all closed to the public
Dani bola i ponosa [Days of Pain and Pride], Vreme knjige, Belgrade, 1995.
Branislava Anđelković, Branislav Dimitrijević, Jelena Vesić, “Goranka Matić - Tiho teče Sutjeska” [Goranka Matić - And Quiet Flows the Sutjeska], Muzej savremene umetnosti, 2003 (katalog of exhibition at the Museum for Contemporary Art Belgrade)
Author(s) of this page
- Ristivojevic, Senka
Velimir Ćurgus Kazimir, “Deset godina protiv: građani Srbije u borbi za demokratiju i otvoreno društvo, 1991-2001” [Ten Years Against: Citizens of Serbia in Fight for Democracy and Open Society, 1991-2001], Medija centar Beograd, 2001