>Projects >2020 >One Day You Will Miss Me, 2017-ongoing

Julia Gaisbacher

One Day You Will Miss Me, 2017-ongoing

“One Day You Will Miss Me” is an ongoing project that has been visually documenting and analysing the construction of the luxury district “Belgrade on Water” in Belgrade on the Sava River – one of the largest real estate projects in Europe – since 2017.
Since 2015, this district development project has been transforming the Savamala district with the waterfront and its old harbour, the main railway station and residential areas, as well as the entire urban landscape of the capital. The project covers 1.8 km2 with hundreds of flats in iconic towers, the largest shopping centre in south-eastern Europe and Belgrade’s new landmark – a 168-metre-high glass tower on the banks of the Sava River. The project is being managed by the Serbian government and is being realised with the help of private investor Eagle Hills from Abu Dhabi. One of the controversial aspects of the project is that it was approved by the Serbian government without a public architectural competition or a public referendum.
In two project phases, I have recorded these changes using video and photography during my six-monthly visits since 2017. In addition to this documentation, my visits also included meetings and discussions with local residents, artists, curators and activists.
The first phase of the project shows the urban and social conditions of the city of Belgrade in a b/w photo series at a time when the first residential towers of “Belgrade on the Water” were being built and later completed. With the perception of a stranger, I used the first towers as reference points to find my way around the city. In the pictures, I depict everyday life, the rapid architectural changes, protests against the government and Eagle Hills, events organised by “Belgrade on the Water” and, in general, the transformation of the Savamala district. At the same time, I also show a state of the new luxury neighbourhood that is not representative and therefore should not be seen yet.
In the second phase of the project, I took a step closer to the construction site and its impact on the daily lives of people in Belgrade. From this perspective, I focus on the discrepancies and tensions between the realities of everyday life and the highly polished desirable scenarios and subjects portrayed in the images produced by the marketing of the planned flats. Gaps and damage in the building fences provide insights and confront commercial ideal and reality. As part of the series, I have recreated details of the rendered interiors (in the form of still lifes) from these posters to point to the constructed desires of the new privatised space and the ways in which we are dictated what a good and ultimately homogenised happy life should look like. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Julia Gaisbacher, born in 1983 in Grambach near Graz, lives and works as an artist and photographer in Vienna. In her work she deals with the complex connections between social conventions in public space, architecture and representation in various media.