Freed from the obligations of an official wedding photographer, I wanted to record a wedding as a uniform visual narrative containing within itself a multitude of socially and culturally conditioned differences, but eventually reduced to one organism - a body without skin, whose form is clearly defined by its skeleton and its inner organs, and where no sign or ritual has the same meaning outside of its context. In the spirit of Walter Benjamin's "unconscious optics", the camera, in its merciless neutrality penetrates the cellular structure of things that would otherwise remain unconscious. (...)


Lived and observed, lined up in these photographs are ceremonies and rituals - old and new, and often culturologically hybrid - either crucial for the evolution of a marriage, providing for a happy family and offspring, or protection against the evil eye, or merely present in the form of practical jokes, as an excuse for showing off and partying. (...) The portraits of all these participants, brides and grooms, family members and friends - with their exultant or expressionless looks, their dignified or slouching postures, seated or in a dance trance - reveal the subtle details of human behaviour in such a sublime moment, and the different psychological states and motivations, which with their numerous nuances, confirm and celebrate the complex nature of human affinities, leaving as much room for fantasies and happiness as for failures and vulnerability. At the moment of joining of two people, they all become as one, and every such new beginning rekindles this appetite, even for those who lost it long ago. All wedding guests, as in Berger's novel (John Berger, To The Wedding, 1996), symbolically turn into a single animal, a half-mythical creature, like a satyr with thirty or a hundred or more heads. Such a creature lives for a very short time, only a day or two, and will be born again when there is something new to celebrate, because it consists of those who briefly 'got lost' in happiness and spectacle, in order to store those moments in their memory.


From the text ... To Eternity by Katarina Radovic


The project was supported by the ECF.





The exhibition 'On Heat' is an addendum to the project 'Until Death Do Us Part', a photographic record of the 'meeting of cultures' marked by a wedding ceremony of one couple, first in Belgium and then in Burkina Faso.


"The initial spasm of love as a rule finds its inspiration in something unknown; selecting partners from other cultures (...) we connect with values that are lacking in our own culture. We fall in love with the other, the ideal, because we want to run away from our own shortcomings and insecurities. Therefore, it may seem the easiest and most logical to fall in love with someone who is completely alien to us, someone who is undefined, of whom and about whose tradition and culture we know nothing."


From the text ... To Eternity by Katarina Radovic