Milomir Kovačević Strašni
Milomir Kovačević is a very interesting photographer, especially valued by his colleagues who have nicknamed him “Strašni” (“The Terrible”). Although I do not know the original story (that accompanies any nickname), I think that this “dangerous” attribute, Milomir’s nickname which everyone voices with a fond tone and facial expression, is a very good description of Milomir the artist. Passionate about photography to the extent that he completely subjects his personal life to it, enthusiastic about the meaning of photography to the extent that he neglects much that makes up the contemporary mode of existence, scorning danger and the discomfort of marginal modes of existence, all the time remaining benignly honest and directly deep in his feelings for man – he really is “Terrible”. In the world outside of Bosnia, placing the attribute “terrible” in a context of “good” creates confusion. Is it hard to explain the ironic Bosnian relationship to a “strong” word? As far as I know, in Paris, the artistic individuality of Milomir “The Terrible” has opened up the way to an understanding of this linguistic game.
All his projects are full of the humane, the warm. Sarajevo dans le coeur de Paris (Sarajevo in the Heart of Paris) is a project and a book that Milomir comments on in the following way:
“…The project for the exhibition Sarajevo in the Heart of Paris has been maturing in me for a long time. From the very beginning, I was aware that it can not be accomplished without the participation of all those who have been a part of Sarajevo and who, for different reasons and in different ways, have found themselves today in the heart of Paris…The idea to photograph an object that ties each of the subjects to Sarajevo appeared simply on its own. Because what can be more dear to a person than an object that reminds him of the past, the city he grew up in, his family or some unforgettable moment?... Although, today, the number of exhibits has reached a symbolic figure of a hundred and fifty photographs, I aim to continue with this project as long as there are people who wish to participate and who will contribute their own personal artefacts… Of course, my personal story is there as well…”
This good man, a spontaneously wise artist, has created a universal picture of nostalgia. In people from Sarajevo residing in Paris he found collaborators for creating his work. He has gathered a brigade of co-authors for a paradigmatic artistic story on the depth of human memory. A minimalist approach in the artistic treatment of the objects that illustrate individual memories of home and Sarajevo shapes this into a warm and intimate picture and at the same time opens up an artistic space for an authentic, individual and spontaneously inscribed memory of the participants – owners of the objects. A kind of symbiosis of image and words makes you read the exhibition and view the book.