Dublin Contemporary @ Trinity
Braco Dimitrijević is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of conceptual art, and a leading innovator in the field of art in the public realm. His work is motivated by an exploration of the manners in which history is constructed, and in particular, the role of the individual in this process. Dimitrijević created the first instalment of his "Casual Passer-By" series in 1971, and has repeated this process in locations worldwide over the past four decades, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. His series utilises advertising media such as billboards, banners and public transit vehicles to display the faces of strangers whom he encounters and subsequently photographs in the street. The vagaries of chance, the whims of history, and the fickleness of celebrity are all suggested by these anonymous yet iconic portraits. Enmeshing the monumental with the quotidian, ‘Casual Passer-By’ deals with ideas of memory, dignity and transience in a direct and powerful manner.
For further information please download his biography by clicking here (pdf, 392kb)
Trinity College and the Visual Arts
The university has been a patron of the visual arts for centuries, and in more recent decades, the outstanding support and passion for the College Art hire scheme established by Prof. George Dawson and a group of students in the academic year 1959-60 resulted in the significant growth of the modern art collection. This led to the setting up of courses in the History of Art and Architecture, the creation of the Student Visual Arts Society and Trinity Arts Workshop, the opening of a Department of the Visual Arts in 1966 and the concept of a university gallery available to the campus and wider community. Trinity’s Exhibition Hall opened its doors a few months before the first ‘Rosc’ exhibition in 1967, with which members of the College staff, Prof. Dawson and Prof. Anne Crookshank, were involved, and for which Trinity students from the College Gallery volunteer committee were asked to be guides. Students from across the College disciplines continue to participate in volunteer groups to organise the hire scheme. From 1967 onwards, they have also helped stage such notable and cutting edge exhibitions as ‘Banners by American Artists’, the only solo exhibition of Picasso in Ireland, the kinetic art show ‘Light in Movement’, and ‘Pop Art: American and British’, highly anticipated by the Irish visuals arts community at the time. Furthermore, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, with the Arts Council of Ireland, have always involved the student body in the work of the gallery since its inception, currently taking the form of a student internship.
Trinity has a longstanding and continued tradition of commissioning portraits to commemorate individuals who have been, and continue to be, key to the history and future development of the institution, the nation, and the progress of international research across many disciplines. It is appropriate that Trinity College should come together with Dublin Contemporary 2011 in the commemoration of this anonymous figure, selected by Dimitrijević, who could be considered representative of the individual and the communal self. A university is both a coming together of individual experiences and the creation of a communal whole. It is fitting that the location of this new work should be an institution that places at its core the value of the individual and an institution that aims now more than ever to collaborate creatively with the city. It is hoped that this bold statement might, in part, be interpreted as an invitation to everybody to explore their relationship with Trinity College - whether as alma mater or familiar landmark - to analyse the artist’s concept and intentions, and, by virtue of this connection, to investigate more the College itself by exploring life beyond the archway that forms the setting for this unique artwork where College and city meet.
A passion for the visual arts burns on at the heart of Trinity College; we hope that the city will join us in our current celebrations with Dublin Contemporary 2011.