Belgrade Raw - Soho Square - 10th May 2024

Sarah Kravitz ( our sister gallery)  is pleased to announce Approximations curated by Elaine Tam.The first solo exhibition of image-based work by Serbian collective Belgrade Raw(est. 2009) in the UK, programmed to coincide with Photo London 2024.Spanning image-objects, installation and an archive, the exhibition confounds bothsole authorship and classical presentations of images. Contra neatly-boundcompositions and resolved photographic narratives, Belgrade Raw instead takes as its primary material the open-ended, daily incidents of urban life in their native Serbia.

In its intention to convey ubiquity, simultaneity and synaesthesia, Approximations activates photography through what the collective refer to as a'visual cacophony': an immersive event of image-encounters.

It’s exciting that Belgrade Raw will be showing in the UK for the first time- what

do you hope Londoners will take away from this show?

Our photographs will offer a breath of fresh air, particularly in a time where the world faces the challenges of censorship and a tendency towards presenting a sanitised version of reality. We’re passionate about portraying authenticity and believe in the enlightening power of the unaltered image. Our work is about peeling back the layers to reveal the raw truths of our society, capturing the often overlooked details that tell a deeper story of our world. We challenge viewers to appreciate the candid, unscripted moments of everyday life.

Your primary material captures the quotidian and offers viewers vivid snatches of life in Serbia’s capital. What draws you to these visual moments?

Belgrade is a city saturated with the vibrancy of life and noise, demanding to be seen and felt. The once orderly socialist architecture now serves as a backbone for the spontaneous, improvised structures that seem to spring up day by day. In this chaotic and clamorous environment, finding frames to capture is like rummaging through a flea market for treasures. Each moment holds a potential story, reflecting a visual cacophony where life unfolds in raw, unexpected ways. It's in this improvised visual chaos that we find the most honest expressions of the city—each photograph a curated slice of Belgrade's unique narrative.

This exhibition will feature your Eastern Bloc archive, collected over the past decade- how has the collective’s style changed over the years and what changes in Serbia has it perhaps caught on camera?

Over the last ten years, our collective's style has evolved as new members have joined, each adding their unique but aligned vision to our work. This dynamic has enriched our visual expression, reflecting the diverse voices within our group. On the streets, the public's reaction to photography has also shifted. It's no longer unusual to see a camera, which sometimes leads to misconceptions linking us to the sensationalism typical of tabloid imagery. Nonetheless, we remain committed to capturing the genuine essence of Serbia's changing landscape.

Are there any images of the city that Belgrade Raw’s photography seeks to disrupt?

Belgrade Raw disrupts the simplistic narratives often attributed to cities like Belgrade, with its rich, complex history. We move beyond the idyllic postcard views, delving into the real city—the backstreets and the daily lives of its inhabitants, where old meets new in stark contrast. Our work seeks to uncover these silent, everyday dialogues, fostering a deeper connection and appreciation for Belgrade's diverse narrative.

Members of the belgrade raw collective are: darko stanimirović, nemanja knežević,luka knežević – strika, milovan milenković, andrej filev, aleksandra mihajlović, mane radmanović, dušan rajić, jelena mijić, saša trifunović and dejan golić.