Fauna in the collection of the National Gallery

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“From a different discourse” Fauna from the collection of the National Gallery;  Mala Statica, 7/12/2023, 7:30 p.m.

The second edition of the cycle “From a different discourse” is a continuation of the original idea of involving intellectuals whose activity is not closely related to fine art, criticism and theory, who in cooperation with a co-curator from the gallery will work on a theme that they set, and is inspired by the rich collection of the National Gallery. The goal is to approach the interpretation, systematization and research of our cultural treasure from a different discourse. For the first edition, we invited Dr. Vladimir Martinovski, professor, poet, writer, essayist, storyteller, theorist, literary translator, who proposed the topic “Mustached Man”, in November 2019.

Discussions and debating for or against changing methods and experimenting with new approaches to research and presentation of fine art, modernizing them, leaving the safe institutional zone with new, authentic topics, unusual and brave comparisons, analyzes from a changed perspective, non-standard systematizations and classifications, the introduction of multi and even trans mediality and discipline in the presentations… are only part of the many aspects that are considered and analyzed by the numerous professional collegiums of the curators at the National Gallery. Despite some slight deviations towards the new experiences of the time, institutional security and established standards are difficult to break through.

“From a different discourse” is a project that we designed with a tendency to initiate the desire for change and inventiveness and to try ourselves in unexplored domains, settings, media, in order to approach different, new, modified readings, systematizations and classifications of cultural wealth with which the National Gallery has. The introduction of an external “curator” who is not of direct artistic provenance, i.e. an intellectual whose broad academic interests indirectly include the visual arts as writers, philosophers, directors, actors, we think will offer a different accessibility, non-standard subject matter, a specific panopticon of viewing methodologies in research or presenting works from our collection. The invited curators work in close cooperation with internal curators – curators in the gallery, and as a result of their fruitful work, these sessions of the project “From a different discourse” will emerge over many years.

Aiming that such perspectives of seeing things “from a different discourse” will contribute to new insights and new readings of art history, and at the same time will be interesting for art lovers, we look forward to every new opportunity to extract different works from our depots, and thus the works themselves will continue their main purpose – to communicate with their recipients and communicate a certain attitude.

The second edition, “Fauna in the collection of the National Gallery”, is a concept conceived by Ivan Dzeparoski and is focused on the ecocritical and faunocritical imagination in contemporary art.

In his text to the exhibition, Dzeparoski writes: “What has been happening in the last decade or two in the spheres of theory and aesthetics is undoubtedly the appearance of a kind of theoretical “animal turn”, related to the former linguistic, postmodern, postcolonial, gender or digital revolutions, because leaving the world of animals on the margins of philosophical, anthropological, sociological, literary or artistic research is no longer possible today, and the emergence of a series of multidisciplinary research shows that the separation of the human world from the animal world brings a series of political, ecological, ethical and bioethical problems that require a rethinking of the treatment and representation of animals in the literary, and hence also in the artistic works of the past and of today. On this plan, of course, it should be pointed out the appearance of a large number of works dedicated to this issue, among which several accomplishments stand out, of which I point to two: the book by the authors Klingender, Antal and Hartan under the title “Animals in art and in opinion” and the volume prepared by Enenkel and Smith entitled “Early Modern Zoology: The Construction of Animals in Science, Literature and the Visual Arts”, a work in which these issues are very successfully thematized”.

The exhibition will feature about 80 works from the rich collection of the National Gallery and from the Yugoslav and Macedonian national treasury of masterpieces, including: Ivan Meštrović, Krsto Hegedusić, Milo Milunović, Ivan Generalić, Vesna Sokolić, Rico Debenjak, Olivera Kangrga , Nikola Martinoski, Lazar Lichenoski, Boro Mitrićeski, Tomo Vladimirski, Dimitar Pandilov Avramovski, Vladimir Georgievski, Petar Mazev, Vana Urosevic, etc.

Organization of the exhibition: Dr. Ana Frangovska.

Ivan (Ivica) Dzeparoski (1958, Skopje) is a poet, philosopher and translator. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, where he obtained his master’s degree and doctorate. He is the author of twenty-five books, namely: six poetry books, eleven books in the field of aesthetics and cultural theory, two poetry anthologies and six theoretical-essay selections. For his work, he has received the awards “Young Fighter” (1984), “Dimitar Mitrev” (1993), “Paradigma” (2009) and “Miladinovci Brothers” (2016). He works at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje as a full-time professor in the subjects: Aesthetics, History of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Culture. He was and is the head of the Institute of Philosophy (2004-2009; 2013- ) and secretary of the Macedonian PEN Center (1999-2001; 2008-2014). He also deals with translation: William Blake, James Joyce, Joseph Brodsky, David Hume, Edmund Burke, etc. He is also the winner of the “Grigor Prlichev” award (1993) for poetry translation. His poetry and some of his essays have been translated into over a dozen foreign languages worldwide. Poetical works: Pictures from the exhibition; Eclogues; Songs; Will to thought; The Rapture of Europe; The light of Mount Athos.

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