Greatest, largest, longest, widest, deepest, bluest, foggiest… Over the millennia, the Danube has always been described in superlatives, never as poor, unexceptional, mediocre… It has been loved, feared, worshipped, cursed, but never underestimated. The Danube, once a long-standing frontier of the Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian Empires has been dividing enemies, and in good times connecting friends. It has seen many deaths, and even more births, carried the blood and bodies of those who died in never-ending wars, and the inception, love and birth of those occupying its shores. It can be blue, grey, brown, or green, following the moods of those closely connected. You can see it just once, or it can be the longest relationship you ever had, one thing is certain, it always leaves you in awe.
The Danube connects, and divides, it has brought people together and kept them apart. Like a large vascular system, it absorbs the waste we produce, and brings life to over 230 million people, with bridges being an essential part of everyday lives for so many people. For almost 2000 years since the Romans built the first bridge at the Iron Gate, bridges have crossed the Danube like a zipper, opening and closing the gaps between its shores.
Today the Danube is spanned by a total of 130 bridges and more than 180 additional bridges in the upper reaches of the Danube. This exhibition focuses on some of them, those that are crossed by the largest number of people every day. It runs through the largest number of countries in the world. It is passing through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine, extending its basin to 9 more countries. It gives life to Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava, all of which are the capitals of their respective countries, as well as other 95 cities on its direct route.
Dejan Petrović is, among his other callings, a photographer, born in Novi Sad, a city that sits on the Danube. Spanning 50+ years, he also lived in Belgrade, Vienna, and Bratislava, all occupying the Danube’s shores. Celebrating the golden anniversary of this relationship, he dedicates this exhibition to all the people who are, have been, and will be CO:NNECTED to this magnificent river.