Exhibition “Theoria” by Zoran Poposki in Mala Stanica

The exhibition “Theoria” by Zoran Popovski will be opened on June 15th 2017, in multimedia centre Mala Stanica at 8.00 PM.

012 Poposki Hannah Arendt 2

Macedonian interdisciplinary artist Zoran Poposki’s latest project entitled “Theoria” is based on the principles of multilevel research in the field of cultural and social theories and practices, positioning himself as an analyst and critic of a multitude of topics relating to identity, territory, public space, etc.

His current series of post-conceptual drawings entitled Theoria which he has been focused on developing from 2015 onwards, so far contains 65 works (of which the exhibition at the National Gallery of Macedonia presents a selection of 22), and according to the author represents a series of portraits of “monumental figures from the world of philosophy, literature and art, and [his] personal beacons, from Friedrich Nietzsche and Virginia Woolf to Walter Benjamin and Judith Butler.”

The portrait as the basis of visual representation and (in this case) an impulse of signifying practice, can firstly be interpreted on the basis of the standard definition according to which it is a depiction of a character or a figure as the main subject; one of the main characters in the work that is meant to emphasize its physical and psychological particularity, but is also a representation of the memory of a person. In terms of the relationship between the portrait and the self-portrait, it is necessary to emphasize Zoran Poposki’s previous practice in which he has commonly used ” first-person spech.” In particular, the aforementioned topics of interest in Poposki are presented and perceived by the author’s appearance in his own works, upon which he has built the narrative, as well by communicating an ironic and subversive political and social view.

Zoran Poposki’s multilayered suggested narrative is initiated as his personal interpretation of the “character and work” of famous philosophers who have been the founders or have had a major influence on various reference systems of values, and are represented as archetypal images. In a formal visual / artistic sense, their faces emerge as contours from the background or have been painted on them, and insisting on the line that gets the function of a signifyer is a kind of return to drawing as one of the basic artistic elements. Combining different techniques (ink, acrylic ink, graphite, lumokolor, gouache, graphite on paper), as one of the possible reminiscences offered by the author in his drawings are the coloring books and the creative freedom to writing on “the offered forms.”

A crucial topic of interest in the ideologically-autonomous works of Zoran Poposki is the interpretation of the terms ‘culture’, ‘ideology’, ‘identity’, ‘territory‘ and ‘theory’. His latest drawings are dominated by “scattered” fragments of collective cultural memory, of art history of from different periods and regions, details of architecture, texts, ornaments, floral elements, geometric designs, shapes… In such a visualization, all the allegories, messages and values, both in their perceptual as well as aesthetic sense, by means of their juxtaposition to the totality serve to emphasize the intertextuality of the narrative.

In his interdisciplinary visual research, Zoran Poposki positions himself as an interpreter, creating an “open work” with possible networks of inexhaustible relationships present in the complex signifying powers of the images. His visual meta-language in the cycle of drawings Theoria, based on a multitude of sign structures, and conditioned by the linguistic analytical games, contexts and relationships, offers an exciting reading through the reconstructing of the models of postmodern deconstruction of narration.


Maja Cankulovska-Mihajlovska

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Retrospective exhibition “Vangel Naumovski”

We inform you that at the National Gallery of Macedonia, object Daut Pasha Hamam, on December 23rd, 2016 (Friday) at 7 p.m. the retrospective exhibition “Vangel Naumovski” will be open.

Vangel Naumovski 4The exhibition presents a hundred works from all creative phases of Vangel Naumovski. The very name of Ohrid painter Vangel Naumovski brings several associations to our mind: in our country and in the world, he is always presented as a unique example of a painter of the marvelous world of the depths of the lake and the complexity of the universe, of satisfaction, of woman and love…

His poetic images with masterly stroke capture the world on the border between dream and reality, between the earth and the universe, the kingdoms of plants and flowers, the beauty of Ohrid nymphs. The magical worlds of dreams of Naumovski originate from his relationship to nature, environment, traditions, myths, while stylistically and thematically they occupy a separate and identifiable place with specific humanistic and pantheistic feeling of the world and of man in it.

It is not enough to say that the painting rendered by Vangel Naumovski is marked by a unique recognizability. Although a self-taught painter, he is among the very few artists from Macedonia, who also obtained the highest international acclaim especially during their most creative years. Offering authentic and distinctive artistic expression outside art trends, while always being relevant, sensitive and multi-facetedly creative, initially he was noted in the history of Macedonian (and further, of Yugoslav) art as the most prominent representative of the so-called “naive art”, determinations that were to be modified afterwards because of conclusions about his pursuit of fantastic surrealism.

The exhibition runs until 28 February 2017.

Vangel Naumovski 1

Vangel Naumovski 2

Vangel Naumovski 3

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International group exhibition “Observation without an observer”

Time and venue: Monday, 17 October 2016, 19 hrs., Cifte Amam, Skopje

The international group exhibition “Observation without an observer” is composed of works wherein presence, the human body, the figure, corporeality itself, and their “modifications” appear as both motif and “object” in terms of artistic considerations as well as the artists’ perceptions. The works not only have a subjective significance, but they also express the sociocultural issues/environments that catalyze and give rise to these “topics.”

While the “thematic” orientation was established by the curators, Dejan Budjevac and Mira Gacina, the exhibition itself includes recent works by the following artists: Mirna Arsovska (Macedonia), Velimir Zernovski (Macedonia), Ino Zeljak (Croatia), Verica Kovacevska (Macedonia/Switzerland), Julia Krahn (Germany), Tijana Lukovic (Serbia/Belgium), Marija Calic (Serbia), and Goran Skofic (Croatia).

Although quite disparate in their visual, aesthetic, poetic, and artistic language, this selection of works exhibits certain commonalities: above all, the artistic attitude to the human body/figure as a complex sensory and fluid mechanism interpenetrated by different sensations, perceptions, affections, and opinions, which can never be finally relegated to the past, i.e., they are always present…

These artists create sensory compositions – digital and tactile aesthetics suffused with an “intense realism” that distorts the “surface” between optical or haptic perception.

The artists’ recording and reviewing of certain external things or of their own variant identities generate countless motifs: the exposure of the human body/figure in the arts, man and environment/nature as a subject, the digital identity of physical space, the private and public in transition from one state to the other, the personal and the nostalgic cut off from the past, the constant reproduction of “reality” as a fabulation of the physical experience of things, religious symbols and their contemporary/alternate reading, old travel photos of unknown origin, the urban culture of man and the (transitional) role of the artist, man in the absence of man, consumerism, the high speed and fiercely dependent relationship between modern technology and human alienation, the experience of constant observation by a force of unknown provenance that is constantly stalking us…
Furthermore, these artists, with exceptional creativity, generate, by means of various techniques and media, visual content which subtly voices the quintessential question of consumer mentality, i.e., is man himself a consumer or a block of body/figure/goods that is itself consumed by the strategic marketing of the global economic and information system?

The correlation established between the disclosure of the body, the figure (either of the artist or of imaginary people/situations/stories) and the medium for the activity (video performance, video, photography, installation) results in a topical artistic research and a body of works that establishes a personal aesthetics, and a poetics of personal methods, which in turn maintain specific attitudes towards the topic “body/figure” and its staging in contemporary artistic practice.
The exhibited works “ponder” the times we live in, times in which the “corporeality” of physical and visual forms is transformed into affect-less sights and locations that fade and disappear.

Among other notions, the works assert the position of human corporeality in its total opposition to the banal constructs of society, which are often absurd, illogical, and manipulative…

Dejan Budjevac, Mira Gacina

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Retrospective Exhibition of Tomo Sijak

In opening of the Retrospective exhibition of Tomo Sijak is on the 25th of december 2015 (friday), in the National gallery of Macedonia, object Daut Pasha Hamam, at 8:00 PM.

tomo shijak

Tomo Sijak (1930-1998) is one of the few authors, born in the fifties of the twentieth century, who stood out as signifiers of the avant-garde flows of the Macedonian art of that period, and the thorough presentation of his work is further complicated because of his always restless, even hyperactive, exploring spirit, because of which we can characterize him as an author with the most variations of stylistic attitudes in our country.

Sijak until the end of his life remains true to the bold experimenting action and recognizable works, through the development of modernist transfigured conception of its most innovative and aesthetically most significant “Musandra’s”, in the Macedonian collective artistic memory will be remembered as icons of art-object radiating with the aura of their transcendental power.

The retrospective exhibition and the monographic publication of the work of Tomo Sijak incorporate in itself all previous studies dedicated to this author and the most important concepts in the domain of object-art. The research project, retrospective exhibition and monographic publication are part of the program activities of the National Gallery of Macedonia for 2015. All the necessary activities for the project were fully realized with financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Macedonia.

The project at this stage includes works that are on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, i.e. the works for which during the research we were allowed access, and hindering the whole process was the permanent inadvertent (and largely careless) destruction of a number of crucial creations of Sijak, as well as the turbulent change of the private owners of his works.

The choice of works and different methodological aspects that stylistically and thematically deal with all stages in the overall work of Tomo Sijak in certain places has a role to remind and rehabilitate the certain creative stages of the author. We hope that the monographic study and a retrospective exhibition, in which a wealth of information about the work of this great master is incorporated, will serve as a factual document warning about the need for comprehensive collective responsibility regarding the cultivation and preservation of the legatees of the significant Macedonian authors.



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Systemic matrix or matrix in the system

In one state there is an exhaustive classification of organisms (institutions, bodies) that are part of the system and operate according to certain rules imposed by the highest governing elements in the hierarchical organization.

boris shemov mala stanicaWe are all part of such systems (some kind of manipulated puppets) in which we should fit, and function by set principles and norms. Often we can not fit into the molds, we feel trapped and endangered, our intellect and sound reasoning underestimated and offended, we can not breathe, so we rightfully and openly oppose, strive for our voice to be heard, to be independent, to be separated from the system, to operate as individual organisms parallel to the state. And all this is legitimate, but can we, with subversiveness, using the same (non)mechanisms of the system, the same modes and models, i.e. the weapons of the others (the opposing), to use them for our, affirmative goals on the one hand or, on the other hand, to defy, to criticize, to cynically approach them, the others, and still to be in the “framework” of the system itself? This is one of the key starting discourses for Boris Semov in his latest project “12:05″.

In this project Semov knowingly makes a multimedia, visual and performative experiment in which the point is in the conceptual synesthesia, and not in the exhibition as exhibition. He creates visual stimuli that, according to their aesthetic qualifications are perceived as an exhibition, and between the elements there is a connection and analogy with his previous opuses (nomadism, reference, collage, experimentation, synthetic, industrialism, mass, multifaceted complex conceptualization etc.). The multimedia and complexity, serve only as background as a visual art backup. By using aspects of a position of power, i.e. the syntax “I can,” Semov with art and visual attributes at the exhibition creates spin and manipulation, with the aim of achieving “hidden” purposes, and for individual needs, without notice, with prolonged action, similar to the position of power of the statesmen systems and all the levels of human manipulation to which we are witnesses. Therefore there is the drone , flying robot that is guided manually by remote control and often serves for recording (now banned for use without prior permission) at mass gatherings. Hence the “secret”, “spying”, “disturbing” nature hidden behind their use. It is the aspect of a kind of “control from above,” no matter how “from above” would be understood. Placed inside, the drone produces different, modified and dislocated juxtaposition, to the positions of power, of the manipulators and the manipulated, of anxiety or indifference, fear or ridicule.

boris shemov detal3

Boris Semov’s tendency with this project is with minimum elements or works (videos, digital graphics and performance indoors) involved to allow the concept to auto-generate in the recipient’s awareness and knowledge, without giving a “recipe” for reading the work and discourses. On the other hand, that moment of self-generating of the work is present in the process of creating the work, with emphasis on the synthetic and industrial moment. The elements of the project (video, digital graphics, drone) are generated largely by themselves (with the help of programs, applications, trained pilots), under the supervision of the artist, but not with predominant intervention by him, putting emphasis on the role of author – creator nowadays and his per sé intellectual input into the process of creating the work.

The video consists of material of intercut footage, filmed with the drone, or extracts from certain mechanical actions whose dynamic and visual synesthesia attracted the attention of the author and somehow fit into the artist’s systematic discourse. The surrealism of the artificially staged footage is irreversible; it creates irrationality that underlines the attractiveness of the psychological chaos, of the systemic without a system. The changing of roles, i.e. placing already known conditions in a new context are particular incursions into the systemic pattern, and the background author atonal music (author Damjan Tsvetkov Dimitrov), manipulates the recipient with stimuli that do not give concrete data and narrative, but they divert or attract their attention.

The photographs – digital graphics obtained with collages of scenes from video materials. Semov uses digital application that confuses giving information that is not appropriate for that program. He shows the materials with a panoramic picture of every single (digitally-generated) as a synthesis of the film. Grouping all the panoramic images together creates a new group “panorama” of a lot of information and the crowd, which as dynamic and visually aesthetic play has long interested the author.

12:05 from Boris Semov on Vimeo.

The performative element of the drone (its presence and maneuvering as an aesthetic element in the exhibition), for the recipient who has no previous knowledge will be a non-artistic act by itself, because it has no inversiveness of meanings in its functionality (it is used to record), there will probably be no discursiveness for it and no authorial intervention (the maneuvering is by third parties). But the act of changing the location of its use, the psychological moment of control and the intrusion inside are some kind of appendices of the conceptual decision of the author to declare this element as part of an art project, and moreover as a key element, a knowledge that the observer will acquire by being the active accomplice in the performance of recording with the drone whose maneuvering, on the other hand, can be interpreted as an industrial ballet.

Pleading to telling “nothing,” to creating an exhibition “with exhibition as a general basis,” to achieving tension and moment of anticipation (even the title 12:05 is seemingly insignificant, and according Semov, is an aspect of anything goes, however is an element that suggests a countdown, and thus something uncertain what follows), Boris Semov creates a project that is current and philosophical. He initiates discussions about important social and socio-political issues, treats the aspect of the system regime, also touching to institutional critique, and actualizes the discourses of art and authorship today, in affirmative and critical connotations. Hence the project “12:05″ once again confirms the complexity of the creative process as an imperative in the need for artistic existence of Boris Semov.

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“Retrospecive of the abstract photography” by Osman Demiri

Exhibition opening December 2nd 2015, 19:00 hours, object Chifte hamam. Open till December 8th 2015 …

osman demiri

The provocation of the not entirely uncovered
on the mini retrospective of abstract photography by Osman Demiri

The abstract, not objective, experimental, or also known as conceptual photography is a means of creating visual, dramatic images and relies on primordial sensations for form, shape, color, curvature, rather than on the sense itself. It has no direct connection with the subject in literal form or with the world of the object, but what has been created depends on the good photographic equipment, processes and materials, and especially on the concept. Abstract photography can isolate a fragment of the natural landscape in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, and it can be deliberately performed to create a seemingly unrealistic appearance of real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadows, textures, shapes and/or forms to convey the feeling, sensation or impression. The image can be produced with use of traditional photographic equipment like camera, darkroom or computer, or it can be created without using the camera, by directly manipulating the film, the paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations.

Osman Demiri is our contemporary photographer, who began conquering the Macedonian photographic scene with his inventive and exceptionally aesthetic visual solutions through abstract, i.e. conceptual photographs. He explores photography all his life, the photography viewed through different lenses with different motives, interests and technological prerogatives. He also works with documentary photography and reporting photography, and objective photography, but where he feels safest and achieves the greatest closeness to art is exactly the abstract photography. He has created a sufficiently large stock of conceptual photographs which he has already grouped by series and cycles, which indicates that he thinks and creates systemically and thoughtfully, not just instinctively and without premeditation.

With Osman Demiri the magic of the unknown at times creates images that resemble the canvases with portents from Informalism, Op-Art or Surrealism, in other the colors, shapes and light make excellent poster-design solutions, whereas other photographs have purely conceptual aura and offer an associative, metaphorical syncretism. Demiri does not use computer finishing and does not use the magic of electronic transformation and transmutation, but all his images are obtained first-hand, with manual or digital camera, without subsequent finishing.

The line and form with the excellent choice of selected frames create the sensation which, if needed, has a pronounced voluminosity and three-dimensional fullness, while in other solutions the precision of freezing of the fragment gives a poster two-dimensionality, as if the forms are made with computer programs and tools. The line, depending on the whole concept to which Demiri strives, in some cases creates a certain “new geometry” of the image, or on the other hand, the round line creates a surreal softness of the image, leading to new ideas and associations that have nothing in common with the reference object, and are independent art agglomerations.

The light and shadow, although crucial in photography in general and especially in abstract photography, for Osman Demiri are specifically crucial in creating the drama, stressing the form, color, texture of the objects involved in the image. They shape the content and the “succulence” of the image. The application of light without shadows has no meaning. The shadows are not simple dark mass that borders the light. On the contrary, the shadows are live entities such as the light. The shadows shape the light, they direct the attention to the light. They also create an additional visual game offering the sensation, the geometric or rounded transfers and spatial compositions. They create an aura of prolonged action and successiveness, as well as an indication for the forthcoming process, i.e. they are actors of the dynamics.

On the other hand, the texture itself, as a principle, is emphasized by the form, the shadow and the light, and of course the color. In Demiri, it plays an important role in the visual finish. Obviously it is one of the important preconditions for defining the visual expression in our author, forming some kind of artistic solutions exemplary of the photography of Informalism, related to the “painting of matter”.

The color in turn grabs the viewer’s attention and stimulates the viewer’s perceptual system. It also serves to keep the viewer’s attention for a longer period of time. If the eyes of the viewer are wandering, the color tends to turn the attention back. Demiri uses saturated or intense colors, depending on the goal he wants to achieve. Sometime the achromatism (black-white, grey) dominates at the expense of texture and intensification of the light-shade, whereas sometime an intensive monochromatic image is essential for achieving the idea. He uses contrasting colors to increase the drama of the image.

Abstraction and emphasizing, as well as blurring and sharpening are commonly used photographic techniques to achieve the desired concept and realize the idea. In Osman Demiri these mechanisms in the use of photography are common, along with zooming, i.e. the macro photography. The compositional drama in achieving a focal center by means of sharpness and clarity is accentuated with abstraction and blurring of the rest of the compositional whole, complemented by colorful contrast or textural opponency.

These general descriptions of the creative engagement of Osman Demiri are specific qualifications of his photographic credo in the field of abstract photography and cut across all his photographic cycles with variations from one to another depending on the reference discourse that is an incentive to generate a given conceptual whole. In “Secret”, the sign is placed on the enigmatic compositions that offer hidden associations and create mystical distances from the “truth.” The title itself “Light and Shadow”, indicates an overriding interest in the conceptual whole, and it is a visual game and emphasis with accentuation of the contrast induced by specific blend of details or fragments of light and shadow on a particular motif. The dynamics and rhythm in these photos is emphasized, as well as the linearity which offers the direction of interest in the work. The red hue dominates in “Red Dreams,” with all its nuances. The forms and other elements and principles are used in favor of the color. In “Dialogue and Compromise” the line also dominates determining the abstract impact, but the balance between the forms and shapes, contrasts, light and shadow, texture is on the level of dialogue or achieving compromise and harmony of the elements.

One specific are the several pure conceptual collages organized with a certain conceptual causal consequentiality and supplemented by short text associativity, which offers the recipient routes for interpretation of the work, encountered in several cycles.

In the works of Osman Demiri simulacrums are shaped rather than realistic representations and spirituality dominates. Although some visual elements seem recognizable, the final effect is dynamic and completely abstract. These photographs instigate the viewer to read behind the scenes, while the poetic and universal forms initiate the sensual sensors.

Introducing “The New Vision” in photography, Moholy-Nagy wrote: “… it can not be so simply said to be irrelevant if the photography creates ‘art’ or not. Its basic laws and not the opinions of the art critics, will supply all the basic methods of proving its future value.“ This “new vision” in photography is not only confirmed as extremely important and valuable for the development of contemporary photography, but it also creates new simulacrums and new versions, as in our example with Osman Demiri, confirming the artistic impact of photography in contemporary art in general.


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Aleksandar Kondev – Retrospective

Aleksandar Kondev (1950) is one of those Macedonian photographers and artists whose work is indellibly linked with the development of the photographic art in the country. We are also at liberty to say that Kondev’s work is an integral part of the highest achievements of Macedonian photography starting from the second part of the 20th century up to today.

kondev postavka 7

He has been an active force for the past five decades in the varied and divergent trends that have shaped Macedonian photography, while his work is an important testimony to the overall development of this art in Macedonia.

The circumstances of his life, but also his clearly defined love of photography, has lead him relatively early (1969, though during the period 1961 – 1969 he was among the first to work in animation and film) to decide that this will be his main profession. This determination has not waned to this very day!

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Looking At Nothing – Desire In The Future in Mala Stanica

Looking At Nothing – Desire In The Future

looking at nothing

The international group exhibition Looking At Nothing (Desire In The Future) is an exhibition realized in order to present in one space the video achievements from authors from our region who intensely and focused deal with the audiovisual, with the power of visual cultures and media and their influences, i.e. “the video as an opportunity for reconsidering and critique of one’s being” – Rosalind Krauss.

The exhibition consists of works by artists who in their visual aesthetic, poetic and artistic language and cultural sensibility have close or similar “tendencies” in terms of “video image,” i.e. recording of certain conditions and perceptions from the physical/creative reality and turning them into visual “muteness” and framed “silences” of the things themselves…

The exhibition Looking At Nothing (Desire In The Future) is consisted of works by the authors Ana Adamovic (Serbia), Tanja Deman (Croatia), Mirna Arsovska (Macedonia), Davor Sanvincenti (Croatia), Goran Skofic (Croatia) Tihomir Topuzovski (Macedonia), Vladimir Nikolic (Serbia), Marko Markovic (Croatia) and Aleksandar Spasoski (Macedonia).

Curator of the exhibition is the art historian Dejan Bugjevac.

looking at nothing 2Concerned are multimedia authors from the region, with significant creative activity and recognition on the international art scene in the last decade, who usually realize their concepts and constructions through media such as film, sound and video projections, photography, video installations and audiovisual performances.

These authors create aestheticized “conditions”, “movements”, “images” and “shots” beyond the usual dominant treatment of the visual language, which is usually filled with psychosocial sequences and informational content and messages from which the viewer in a pragmatic and highly aggressive manner should be relaxingly “upset.”

All videos at the exhibition are “emptied” from their original sound content and represent “pure” moving images and visual shapes and reflections, in which the viewer can enjoy in their sometimes seductive vibrating surfaces.

These works intertwine the personal (domestic) memory, the ambient poetics of repetition that thoroughly trivializes the idea of “thematic beginning and end” of the work, the static silence of the video image, the subtle aesthetics of the “unimportant” that requires activation of multiple senses… They are about tactile and slow “anachronistic” notations, that regardless of the ideas and concepts of the authors, at times act like aestheticisms of “some past and exhausted times, which perhaps have not occurred and that should occur.”

These artists in their videos deal with that residue/shortage/surplus that does not conquer, does not fascinate, does not dramatize and does not have pretensions, but allows a different “slowness” of reality and transience of things? A different reflection, which is neither nostalgic nor interpretative, but is different time-spatial approach versus the hysterical flow of time, which today more and more is exclusively connected to the concept of speed.

In this manner, these works allow us an opportunity for a different understanding of the visual space and of the things happening around us.

Dejan Bugjevac

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Exhibition – Blagoja Manevski and Jovan Shumkovski in Sofia

Retrospection by Shumkovski and Manevski – exhibition part of the annual programe of the National gallery of Macedonian will be open on monday, November 16th 2015 in the Cultural centre of Republic of Macedonia in Sofia, Bulgaria at 18:00 h.


Ana Frangovska

Blagoja Manevski and Jovan Shumkovski are among the most validated and key names in the generation of the Macedonian contemporary scene. They are representatives of a generation of artists who started their activities from the mid-eighties and towards the end of that and the following decade conducted shifts and modernization of the visual artistic expression at the national level. Their “revolutionary” accomplishment overflowing through the contents and the conceptual discourse, as well as through the technical and technological innovations of that age is the reason for the guidelines followed by the next coming artists in the creation of the Macedonian art panopticum. Today they are the main link in the educational system (as professors at the Faculty of Fine Arts) and in modeling the profile of the future artists.

Even though they are very different in their expression, they often exhibited together since they are very similar on a spiritual level, always carrying the spirit of time and relevance. The exhibition Retrospections is not their retrospective, although the title probably carries such associations, but in fact it is a matter of reminiscences with works that haven’t been exhibited or with synesthesia whose analogy can be found in the former ideas, concepts and works. A kind of diving back in order to give a new sonority and recency today and now.

shumkovski manevski  8

Jovan Shumkovski with a part of his cycle of works entitled “Recent Past and an Anticipation” (selected according to the space in the Macedonian Cultural Centre in Sofia), namely with the works “First Plate” and “Epitaph,” he goes back to his previous and not-exhibited realizations in which there is a blend of several retro elements, namely an interesting mix of concrete – as a material that reminded him of his childhood and of his father’s deeds with which he grew up and breath the spiri of the creative act, in which he “encaptures” elements as traces of a time, event, moment, presence (very specifical for his visual expression), and the other is a spectre of interests that have always interested him, such as discourses on space, city, proportionality, elemental inter-dependence and, of course, the social input in such causality.

Blagoja Manevski in the drawings “Anxiety” and “Stillness,” in some way, brings us back to his “Logical Images”, but also to former drawing experiments in which the generated element of line (plastic or drawing) is crucial. It creates the content of the work, builds the space of the work itself, but also occupy a certain space, following the former intention of the Minister for Physical plastic transformation of two-dimensional pleats of the work in building three-dimensional element of the given space. It creates the content of the work, builds the space of the work itself, but it also occupies a certain space, according to the former intention of Manevski for spatial plastic transformation of the two-dimensional pleats of the work in a three-dimensional element of the given space. Unlike the previous free lines shaping the “volume” of the drawing, this time the author uses a linear, pleading to the introduction of the industrial element – i.e. the involvement of the machine element in our social life, not only in terms of technology, but also in terms that we ourselves become machines blindly “pumping out” certain imposed rules. The linear repetition up to a complete fulfillment of the entire space creates chromatic differentiations that give direction to the action.

Retrospection by Shumkovski and Manevski is an interesting interlacing of the past and present in their individual developments, but also the past and present in a broader social context. Hence their always interesting relevance and freshness.

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Aleksandar Kondev Retrospective Exhibition

Aleksandar Kondev (1950) is one of those Macedonian photographers and artists whose work is indellibly linked with the development of the photographic art in the country.

kondev izlozba_25


Aleksandar Kondev (1950) is one of those Macedonian photographers and artists whose work is indellibly linked with the development of the photographic art in the country. We are also at liberty to say that Kondev’s work is an integral part of the highest achievements of Macedonian photography starting from the second part of the 20th century up to today. He has been an active force for the past five decades in the varied and divergent trends that have shaped Macedonian photography, while his work is an important testimony to the overall development of this art in Macedonia.

The circumstances of his life, but also his clearly defined love of photography, has lead him relatively early (1969, though during the period 1961 – 1969 he was among the first to work in animation and film) to decide that this will be his main profession. This determination has not waned to this very day!
When we look back now at his 9 solo exhibitions, participation in over 40 group exhibitions at home and abroad, as well as a number of national and international awards, all this without a doubt makes Aleksandar Kondev a doyen of Macedonian art photography, a true representative of its development and modern heights and achievements within the national art and culture.

kondev priroda__04Kondev has a grasp of the essence of photography and knows its history well. He is aware of its roots and close ties with painting, as well as of its reputation as the most mimetic and realistic of the arts, but also as the most superficial (Sontag). Still, this doesn’t stop him from devoting nearly his whole life to it. This can only be done by someone who believes in its intrinsic values. Like many long tenured photographers of his ilk, his interest in photography covers a broad thematic range. However, in Kondev’s work there is an underlying primary vocation, an “inherent orientation”, an initial, yet essential determination: first for “classical photography” (without an expressed inclination for experimentation and innovation), which continues in the priority he gives to several thematic units: life photography (including the sub-themes of children, portraits, street photography, etc.), urban themes from everyday city life, social and environmental themes, landscapes, structures (macro-photography), etc.

Kondev states that “the magic of photography is hidden in the process of creation. Though it is not visible, yet it radiates from its every part!” He is a believer in this magic, which can easily be seen in his works. This whole “new world” which opens up to us in Kondev’s photographs is just that – his magic. As seen through his lens, processed through his consciousness in a flash and offered to the spectator as his sublimate of reality, as a veritable visual challenge posed by his creative imagination.

The creative journey undertaken by Kondev represents a 50-year patient trip through the world with open eyes, the world seen as a visual challenge for his own personal perception, his interpretation and understanding of the things that surround us. Its focus needn’t be on historic events or social turmoil, ballyhooed travels or celebrities, but rather all the things that pass through his lens receive his personal stamp, his own point of view and manner of representing what he has seen. That is, in fact, the only way to set out on journey to become an autonomous artist, to build upon one’s own experience and photographic knowledge and principles, which in his case fortunately has lead him to an impressive career and to national prominence.

His photography cannot be reduced to a gimmick, trick or special effects. It’s even less an obscure and inaccessible personal narrative. Kondev believes in good photography, whatever that means. Yet, those who know and love photography know what exactly it means. It is well thought out, even though it is captured in a flash, it is elaborate though it occurs in a part of a second. In Kondev’s case, good photography is life photography – one that follows the esthetics of Cartier Bresson – but also, as it was already pointed out, photography that likes to set new the boundaries, which is not an easy thing to do these days.

Aleksandar Kondev today is the only active representative left of the generation of Macedonian photographers that modernized Macedonian photography in the 1970’ and 80’s, a generation that introduced a different esthetics and new horizons in the approach to this art. Furthermore, Kondev and his generation succeeded in putting photography on equal footing with all the other arts.

However, his photographic work cannot be positioned only in historical terms and context. His works within the context of the national photographic art can be seen as a testament to the stability and continuity of his expression, as well as the development of his personal esthetics which has stood the test of regional and worldwide art standards. Kondev’s photography at same time can serve as a living breathing manual for his younger colleagues, a professional and esthetic guide when embarking on the ever unpredictable and unknown photographic wanderings.


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