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Virtual Gallery of the Regional Museum of Jagodina

Author of the exhibition: Jasmina Trajkov


Zoran Marmaković was born in the middle of the last century in central Serbia. He spent his late childhood and youth in Jagodina (at that time – Svetozarevo), where during his studies he came into contact with the city’s photo scene at that time and became a member of the “Vuk Karadžić” Photo-Cinema Club and the Photo-Association of Yugoslavia. He participated in numerous club and federal exhibitions, where some of his works were awarded, and in 1988 he organized the first solo exhibition of diapositives in the gallery of the photo club in Svetozarevo (Jagodina).

The move to Salzburg (Austria) brought with it a long break in his photographic work, as well as the loss of almost all his earlier works. A few of his photographs are believed to still exist in private collection in Canada. His return to photography happened in parallel with studying religious pedagogy, which opened up new perspectives for him and significantly influenced his further photographic work.

Zoran’s photographs were exhibited at group exhibitions in several galleries (Salzburg Cathedral Gallery, 2016; Embrach Photo Gallery in Zurich, 2022; The Leica Gallery in Salzburg, 2023, etc.). Despite a certain aversion to presenting on the Internet, at the persuasion of a friends, in 2022 he presented 36 of his works in the field of portrait photography created in the period from 2016 to 2021 in the form of a virtual exhibition “Among friends and other great people”. More than 1,500 people visited the exhibition in a few months.

Zoran Marmaković lives and works as a teacher of Orthodox religious studies in Salzburg.

Instagram: @moranzarmak

Zoran Marmaković began photographing as a high school student in 1980, and first started exhibiting his works in 1985. He said that he was a passionate photographer, which he confirmed by returning to his passion – photography – after a long break imposed on him by moving from his native Jagodina to Salzburg (Austria). People and their destinies occupied him as the main subject, so he dedicated himself to portrait photography. The people he photographs are not professional models, and he chooses them not because of their appearance, but because each of them has his own story and his own world. However, Marmaković does not show his audience the hidden side of his models in an obvious way, but invites us to discover it ourselves from their looks, wrinkles or facial expressions. He also consciously excludes the environment that might provide additional information about the people he photographs. The observers themselfs are invited to interpret these portraits in their own way.

Another important detail of Marmaković’s photos is that they are made in black and white, and this is again not accidental. the color has been removed to highlight the subject’s emotion and expression. Thanks to modern media and social networks, today’s man is used to vibrant colors, sharp details, unrealistic, beautified representations of the human face and body. There is more and more information, especially visual information, and people devote less and less time to it. It’s just one moment of distracted attention, like or dislike, and you’re already moving on to another image, text, advertisement. Zoran Marmaković opposes this trend with his photographs. Black and white photos require a little more engagement from the viewer. There is no color that would distract the attention, so the viewer can focus on other aspects of the photo, such as the subject itself, texture, shapes, composition… Zoran goes further and sometimes deliberately avoids the sharpness that modern technology allows.

Developing this idea, Marmaković turns or rather returns to analog photography. He is working on a project called “Let’s talk about you”, where in an intimate conversation with the people he portrays, he wants to discover their life stories, as well as the emotions behind them. His goal is to capture those subtle, hidden and subtle feelings of his models and record them with his camera. The author himself wrote the following about his specific approach to the model and what is the essence of his photographic work:

“There are several billion people living in the world. And every human being has a unique, unrepeatable life story. Every life story shapes the human soul. And every soul is different from others. Despite this diversity, they all have something in common: each person carries a divine spark and spirituality, because each of us is the image of the living Creator. The subject of my photographs is the diversity and uniqueness of the human being. I try to present that through my digital and analog works. Maybe someone, inspired by my works, will start to see the people around them with different eyes. And who knows – maybe he will love them as his relatives. Observing and photographing people is part of my life story, which shapes my soul. Through this work, my soul develops and grows. What could I wish for better than that?”

At this virtual presentation of the work of photographer Zoran Marmaković, we presented two virtual exhibitions. Both have portraits as their subject, but the first exhibit showing digital and the second analog photographs from project “Let’s talk about you”. We sincerely thank Mr. Marmaković for his kindness, helpfulness and cooperation during the preparation of this presentation.

Digital photos

„Let’s talk about you” (analogue photos)