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Bas Princen
Belgrade 60-90

This series of photographs is calm, visual evidence of the parts of Belgrade built during its two most intense periods of construction: the 60's and the 90's. They show the city as the extreme result of planning after World War ll, as well as un-planning during the recent Milosevic's rule. Varying in density, typology, ideology and esthetics, these two polarities share something in common: harsh reality and the truly extreme means of becoming a city. These views indicate the important difference between Belgrade and the West, where Princen comes from. Belgrade looks as if it is being constructed without any discussion, debate or idea of its maintenance - raw and brutal. Princen's lens give this discord a quiet, observant view and 'softness' that they are missing in the actual spaces. They point to an inverse nature of the city from a place that may be a collection of ugly buildings within a density that makes the city beautiful - a city which is an agglomeration of potentially beautiful individual buildings, crammed together in an unlikely and brutal manner…


Bas Princen is a Dutch photographer living and working in Rotterdam. He has exhibited on the subject of the contemporary city in various group shows, including Belgrade-Den Haag at The Stroom gallery in The Hague. His most recent solo-exhibition was at the Netherlands's Architecture Institute in March 2003.

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