Behind the face on Trinity’s façade

Fiona Ridgway
Deputy College News Editor

The large picture currently on display at the front of College is the work of celebrated contemporary artist Braco Dimitrijevic entitled ‘Casual Passer-By I Met at 3.46 PM, Dublin, 2011.’

Trinity will play host to this work of art until the end of October as part of Dublin Contemporary 2011, an international contemporary art exhibition.

The Yugoslavian-born artist, currently based in Paris, is an innovator in conceptual art and enjoys worldwide renown. Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the 70s with his ‘Casual Passer-By’ series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed on prominent facades and billboards in major cities.

These portraits seek to highlight the fickle nature of a society which glorifies famous and important people. This is the first time in Trinity’s history that the main entrance has formed the backdrop to a work of art.

Dimitrijevic said to Trinity News: “I started the Casual Passer-by work in 1969 in order to question the haphazardness of historical processes.

“For instance, why we happened to know about El Greco only five hundred heir contemporaries who had little importance during their lifetime.

“So this relativity of history gave me an impulse to promote people that I would meet by chance. For me they are metaphor for unknown creativity or undiscovered creative potentials.”

There are no criteria for the subject’s of Dimitrijevic’s art: “It is random selection and I usually stop first person I meet on the street after the decision to make the work is taken.”

Dimitrijevic chose Trinity College’s facade “because of its monumentality” and because of the strong collaboration that was taking place between Trinity and Dublin Contemporary 2011.

With Dublin Contemporary, Ireland is currently staging the first international contemporary art exhibition, featuring over 114 Irish and international artists. The campus is also playing host to a series of talks, tours, discussions and performances organised by the College Art Collections and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

Included in the programme is an installation/performance that runs every Thursday and Saturday at 3pm in the National Gallery of Ireland, called ‘Hello Sam,’ which is based on the work and persona of Samuel Beckett. An exhibition on the life of American artist Alice Neel is also taking place in the Douglas Hyde Gallery.