Curator: Zlatko Teodosievski , National Gallery of Macedonia
Assistent curator: Ana Frangovska , art historian
Artists: Aleksandar Stankovski, Zaneta Vangeli, Slavica Janeslieva, Atanas Botev, Dijana Tomik-Radevska, Robert Jankulovski, Ismet Ramicevic, Jasminka Novkovska,Ibarhim bedi, Marijeta Sidovski, Angel Korunovski, Macedonian Art Video - Anthology 1985-2005.
FURIOUS HISTORICAL ECHO
What is the European audience expecting to see actually, what does it want to see? A complex question with numerous dilemmas and countless additional questions, probably liable for serious sociological analysis. But, the present experiences in this kind of presentations of the Macedonian art in Europe still point to certain indicators. One of them is the exhibition “Dialogues: the Macedonian Art Today”, set up by the National Gallery of Macedonia and shown in Paris in 2003. On that occasion Philippe Davet, a critic at the renowned “Le Monde”, featured the Macedonian art as “… a furious echo of the historical turbulences”, which includes “… artworks unexpectedly furious for that region”. Davet was even more specific when he said that “the Macedonian artists … show artworks that are chiefly furious, some of which are gloomy humorous, making your blood freeze”, pointing that “the youngest ones, those born in the 1960s, are the ones who hit the hardest".
Therefore, the approach of Davet is, normally, one of the legitimate possible measures for the occurrences that are the most characteristics, the most specific, the most representative on the Macedonian art scene today! What's more, this approach of his was corroborated two more times - in Rome and in Podgorica - where the display of this exhibition also had considerable success.
Based on this, the author of this text will , rather boldly (because he is also the promoter / curator of the mentioned exhibition), state that he almost completely agrees with the conclusions of the critic from “Le Monde”. And having in mind this particular exhibition, and considering the fact that in the past few years nothing has substantially changed on the Macedonian art scene, he will now offer a concept-continuation based upon this particular representative circle - upon the younger generation of Macedonian artists who really “hit hard”!
Since the idea for this exhibition is focused on the period of the past fifteen years – which also imposes a kind of strict ideo logical -politica l discourse - I suppose that it (the idea) is based on the attitude that the changes in Macedonia (and in the region) had an essential influence on the changes of many things in the art, as well . It is also true, at least as far as it refers to the so called committed art , for the art that is principally dealing with the current reality. And it is in this domain where, especially in the past ten years, the younger generation of Macedonian artists dominate with their particular interest for dialogue, comment, conclusion, considering… for the segment of the reality we usually call everyday, that is, actuality. Their art can be resumed also as an art of positioning, since it is based upon the committed attitude towards the role of the artists and their art in the society. More precisely, these artists are ready to undertake individual responsibility and publicly declare their own attitude on a number of essential socialissues of local or global importance. This is a relatively new situation in the present Macedonian fine art, when the artist assumes an active position on his/her own and quite overtly and explicitly, often furiously or extremely ironically, treats the current circumstances in the society. The actuality, that is, the commitment of their artistic _expression tackles the most urgent issues (not only) of the Macedonian reality: war-survival ; identity-globalization; democracy-totalitarism, etc. What is also interesting is the fact that part of these artists often reach for the past, the history, the “tradition” … actualized and committed again in the contemporary context!
Of course, it would be unjust not to mention that along with this “actua l stream” in the Macedonian contemporary art scene numerous artists of the younger generation coexist, yet taking their creative interests to utterly different directions.
National Gallery of Macedonia