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Davor Džalto

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Title: Davor Džalto  
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Subject: Serbian philosophers, List of University of Freiburg people, Serbian artists, Art historians, Ignatije Midić
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Davor Džalto

Prof. Davor Džalto (Давор Џалто: born May 17, 1980) is an artist, art historian, theologian and philosopher of liberal orientation born in Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is also known as one of the most important Orthodox Christian thinkers in the world today.[1]

Davor Džalto

He graduated from the School of Art in Niš. His academic career started in Belgrade where he received an MA from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy in the history of art. In 2004 he began writing his PhD thesis at the Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany (mentor Professor Dr. Angeli Janhsen), where he defended it successfully in 2006, becoming the youngest doctor of philosophy in the humanities in Germany and the South-East European region.[2] Since 2007 he has been a university professor of history and theory of art and of Orthodox Christian theology and religious studies. As a visiting and honorary professor he has taught at various universities in Europe and the US, including University of Prague, Indiana University, Fordham University of New York and the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade. He is professor at The American University of Rome, and the chair of the art history and religious studies departments. He is also the president of The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity.

His work is based on examination of the relations between personhood and authorship, especially in the postmodern and globalization context. He has formulated a theory according to which art represents an expression of the personal identity of the human being, having an existential importance. That way he contributed to the revision of the postmodernism, actualizing the question of possibility and meaning of the art creation. He continued to further develop theological concepts of John Zizioulas and philosophical statements given by Nikolai Berdyaev, implementing them on the contemporary historical and cultural context. He also examines the concept of "simulacrum" in relation to the human person and its ability to create.

He also works in various media artistically including video art, performance, painting, and sculpture.

His work has been presented at numerous exhibitions internationally. He has taken part in many conferences and seminars, having peace and inter-religious backgrounds. It is also held that he played an important role in South Eastern Europe in promoting peace, reconciliation and cooperation between religious communities, primarily because he has contacts among all important religions and religious leaders in the Balkans and in Europe. He was directly involved in many initiatives during his engagement in the Pax Christi office in Belgrade. He has written a number of articles and theoretical texts. As an 18-year-old student he published his first book, On Writings as an Artistic, Historical, Social and Cultural Phenomenon. He is a founding member and the art director of the Flexible Art Network and vice president of the Christian Cultural Center. He lives and works in Freiburg, Münster and Belgrade. Based on the Aesthetik der Absenz, formulated in German-speaking art circles, he recognized and explained the phenomenon of "absence of body" in twentieth-century art. In 2007 his name was added to the list of 100 most influential people in the world, originating from the South Eastern European region.



  • Verbal and Visual Marking of Space – Performance-installation (2000)
  • Funeral of an Author – Video-performance (2002)
  • Creating... – Video (2003)
  • The Red Army – Video (2003)
  • Icons in Black Forest – Action (2004)
  • Meditation with Icons and Serbian Coffee in Japanese Garden (in Freiburg) – Performance (2005)
  • Absent Body of the Artist – Actions (2006)
  • The Body of the Artist – Photographs (2006)
  • One and Three Pyramids – Installation, Belgrade (2007)
  • 10/30 – Retrospective art exhibition, Belgrade (2010)
  • Facing New Faces of Icons – One-man exhibition, Greifswald (2011)

Selected articles

  • Who is an Author (Artist)? (2003)
  • Totalitarianism and Totalitarianisms on Serbian Way to European Union (2004)
  • Significance and Meaning of the Process of Global Integrations (2004)
  • On the Meaning of Church Art (2004)
  • Human Face between Mask and Person (2005)
  • On the Horrible Sin of Nationalism (2006)
  • A Comparative Research of the Space Issue on the Examples of the "Lamentation" Composition from Nerezi and Giotto's "Lamentation" from the Arena Chapel (2006)
  • Techne vs. Creatio: The Inner Conflict of Art (2010)
  • The (In)Stability of Memory (2012)
  • Beauty Will Destroy the World (2012)
  • Religion, Politics, and Beyond: The Pussy Riot Case (2013)
  • Ikonen neu:gefasst oder über das Menschsein in unserer heutigen Medienkultur (2014)


  • On Writings as an Artistic, Historic, Cultural and Social Phenomenon, Niš: Đorđe Krstić School of Art (1998)
  • The Role of the Artist in Self-Referent Art, Berlin: (2007)
  • The Testimony of Icons (Svedočanstvo ikona /in Serbian/, Ikonen legen Zeugnis ab /in German/), Belgrade – Tainach: Christian Cultural Center, Sodalitas (2008)
  • Decem concepti et termini, Belgrade: Faculty of Culture and Media (2009)
  • Plus Ultra: Essays in Culture, Communication and Faith, Belgrade: Otacnik (2011)
  • Res Publica, Belgrade-Požarevac: Diocese of Braničevo-Department of Education and Culture (2013)
  • The Human Work of Art: A Theological Appraisal of Creativity and the Death of the Artist, New York: SVS Press (2014)


  1. ^ (
  2. ^ (Ksenija Pavlovic, 10/30 Exhibition Catalogue, Belgrade: 2010, 5–6)

External links

  • Museum "Presence"
  • The Role of the Artist in Self-Referent Art
  • The Testimony of Icons
  • Christian Cultural Center
  • A Short Biography and Critical Exposition of Arworks (in German)
  • 100 Most Influential Serbian People in the World
  • "Techne vs. Creation" Article
  • Res Publica
  • IPST
  • Religion, Politics, and Beyond: The Pussy Riot Case
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