Shop Windows Belgrade 1980, Belgrade 1999, Belgrade 2008
colour photographs
30 cm x 40 cm (3 pcs)

The work was exhibited at the 49th October Salon in 2008; it consists of photographs of the shop windows taken on the day of Josip Broz Tito’s death, then during the NATO bombing of Belgrade and after Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

It is a selection of photographs in which the protagonist of the photographic event is the Belgrade Shop Window. The first series was made in May 1980, during the national mourning days for the death of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, Days of Pain and Pride, as the local press called them. The second series was made during the NATO bombing of Belgrade, in the spring of 1999. The third series was taken on February 21, 2008, and records the situation in the Serbian capital after Kosovo’s declaration of independence on February 17.

As in many of her other works (which are usually conceived as series), her knowledge of art history and photography can be detected in this one, too: I think that the historical references for these three series with shop windows would be dada and European surrealism, and of course Walter Benjamin’s writings. For all of them, as well as for the author herself, the shop window is a place, more precisely a sign, of the consumer society. Unlike her predecessors, however, Goranka Matić shows us shop windows in the local context (Titoism, war, i.e., the period of transitional economy) and thus points to the unbreakable relations between two different ideologies, the commodity and the political, be it socialist or nationalist. At the same time, these three series can be perceived as three historical stations in the life of Belgrade.
Bojana Pejić, from the exhibition catalogue of the 49th October Salon

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: III-5-328/24.08.2018.
Inventory No. 112
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Photo Essays

This is the latest work by Goranka Matić, a series of digitalised photo essays turned into a video work, testifying to the recent historical events.

The photo documents transformed into video essays are permeated with the images of the city, of the events that now already belong to history, of life and the author’s intimate world. Goranka’s greatest interest is in life, so the truthfulness of her photo recordings inspires pain and respect at the same time. The principle of honesty and the power to be present and empathic on the one hand, while on the other impartial and reserved to just the right extent, have made her one of the most significant visual artists from this part of the world. The photo essays record the events on the streets of Belgrade in March 1991, Slobodan Milošević’s appointment as President of the Republic of Serbia, a journey by Trans-Siberian Railway, women crossing borders, and memorabilia of the author’s life.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase contract: III-5-279/08.10.2021.
Inventory No.
Photo: video frame, courtesy of the artist


Goranka Matić (1949, Maribor, Slovenia) lives and works in Belgrade. She graduated in art history from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. She took up photography in 1980 and has published her works in the magazines Džuboks, Start, Svijet, Polet, Omladinske novine, Duga, Liberation, Delo, Politika. Since its foundation in 1971, she has been collaborating with the Student Cultural Centre (SKC) and was one of the editors of the art program and curator of its Happy New Art Gallery. From 1978 to 1980, she ran the 45 Gallery in Novi Beograd. In the 1980s, she became involved in rock photography and made numerous record covers for some of the most famous rock bands in this region.

She was the editor of photography in the weekly Vreme and the daily Politika, and in 2010 she started working at the Radio Television of Serbia – Art Directorate.

She taught photojournalism at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade for eight years; a member of ULUPUDS since 1986; exhibited in the country and abroad and received the 39th October Salon Award, the Osvajanje slobode [Conquering Freedom] Award in 2002, the Politika Award in 2004 and the annual ULUPUDS Award in 2005; published the books Days of Pain and Pride and Ten Years Against; the Association of Journalists of Serbia awarded Goranka Matić with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. She is an assistant professor at the Department of Digital Arts at the Faculty of Media and Communications. Her works are part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade