Traces of my mother
“Gallery Bartselona”, Belgrade
3-15. September 2018.
My mother passed away on September 16th, 2017 in Belgrade. She fell in Višegradska Street, fractured the back of her skull and succumbed to her injuries within 24 hours. I thought about her passing and how it will soon be forgotten that she ever existed.
I could not visit her apartment for half a year. She was the last one to touch any of the things in there. I finally decided to go and to photograph everything just the way she left it, and in a way, extend her presence. That’s how “Traces of My Mother” was born.
I’ve observed frozen scenes during those two days, and in a way, spending time with my mother inside her space.
In 1991, I gave my mother a music box, as a present for March 8th – Women’s Day. Ten days later, I started mandatory army service, while war started a few months after that. I have heard from my sister that mother spent her nights winding the music box over and over again, until my return.
Her desk houses: a cigarette box – present I got her for one of her birthdays, medication, reading glasses, and old camera… She used to buy cheap old camera from flea markets for me. I was grateful every time, would thank her for the gift, and usually toss them away after she left. This old camera was obviously the last one she bought. I will keep it this time.
There is photo of Tito in the hallway, right next to an Orthodox icon. Mother was brought up as a communist, and when that religion fell apart, she looked for a replacement. I am not sure that she was successful in that endeavor.
Her apartment is full of toys – which she also found at flea markets. She would bring them home, wash them, then gift to little children on the street. I think not having any grandkids made her sad, but she never complained.