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La Grande Galerie 01

Date: 2004
Support: Photography
Dimensions: 100 x 128 cm
For her photo series La Grande Galerie (2004), taken as part of the project, Danica Dakic engaged Roma from the refugee camp in Plementina to pose in front of a large-scale reproduction of the painting Imaginary View of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre as a Ruin by Hubert Robert (1733-1808). Dakic's work derives its aptness from confronting two different conceptions of ruin: in Hubert Robert's depiction of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre in Paris in picturesque decay, the museum is transported into a timeless realm, which transfigures his conception of culture into something awe-inspiring. In the photo people stand in front of this painting who have been reduced to living lives deprived of all rights, reduced to bare existence. Yet the way in which these Roma stand there and gaze at the observer reveals their dignity. Thus in a further sense this work is not only a critique of the politics of exclusion but also an expression of the fragility of human existence.
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