When an event is held at the Madlenianum theatre, it is the sign that visitors are going to reveal and experience a specific, intriguing and good-quality project. At the end of September, Prince Michael Karađorđević, alias Prince de Yougoslavie, held his first exhibition of photographs at the Madlenianum salon called the Belle Époque in Belgrade.
Son of Prince Alexander (son of Pavle) and Princess Maria Pia, daughter of the last king of Italy Umberto II, inherited their interest in the environment, the curiosity of the world in which they lived, which have brought him the discovery of "his" Serbia. As he grew up in the small town of Versailles, being the nearest neighbour of the immense garden of the castle with the same name and often visiting Florence, Portugal and Switzerland, Prince have absorbed the stories of his ancestors. After graduation, Michael decided to try to fulfill the „American dream “, by living in Florida and New York.
Prince Michael of Yugoslavia, who has an extraordinary work experience in finance and who has worked in the global business company in Geneva, discovered his passion for photography in 2009. He bought Leica digital camera and 35mm lens and has begun to capture daily images of his surroundings, as well as Serbia.
- During my previous visits to Serbia, I discovered a completely unique world that has showed on my photographs all the diversity of its inhabitants’ lives. Wishing to get to know it better, I took my Leica and started to capture everyday life – says Prince in the exclusive interview for the „Turistički Svet“.
Everyday life in the lens
Before he presented his work in Belgrade, Michael had opened his first exhibition in Geneva. Then the exhibition in the Serbian Embassy in Bern followed where Swiss artist Peter Maurer (who speaks Serbian very well) introduced him to Emir Kusturica, who invited him to organize the exhibition in Serbia.
- I have a daily shooting discipline. I always choose a certain topic, like „urban perspective“and then I choose objects to shoot – reveals Michael.
And indeed, at the exhibition in Madlenianum, you could see the two opposing ideas: photographs with Western European rational thinking and Michael’s views and conclusions about people in Serbia: „Remembering the past“– the photograph captured in Oplenac, „Opened door as an invitation to enter or exit. Where will the tram take us?” captured in a Belgrade’s tram, „Red-white tiles that decorate the market“– about the beauty of the roofs of the Zeleni venac green market, „There is a connection between the sky and the earth. We just need to find the stairs“– the story of the famous stairs of the Belgrade’s Aero club.
About Belgrade and portraits in black and white
His natural observation of life is seen in the choice of subjects, everyday objects and products made by a person, as well as in living beings and the Mother Nature. We could say that Michael’s photographs are unique, since they are limited to only 7 copies.
And here is what his Leica discovered in Belgrade:
- I seem to me that people in Belgrade are witty, that they love to live in the community with a very firm social network. For me, the fact that Belgrade has been destroyed more than 50 times is unbelievable! I discovered the National Museum with its art treasures. When I visited it, they let me in without the ticket after I found out that my grandfather Prince Pavle built that building and together with friends, donated countless artwork! – says Michael Karađorđević, expressing great pleasure, revealing to us his planes for the near future.
- I like shadows, black and white photography and I am preparing to make portraits in that tone – he hints.
Since photography is the universal language of communication, we expect Michael’s philosophy of photography to surprise us once more!
Article was published in the magazine Turistički Svet, issue number 90.