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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 97 | volume XVII | July-August, 2014



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 97July-August, 2014
Gallery Reviews

Sunrise at Sunset – Post-apocalyptic Stench of the Transition

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Sašo Dimoski

Izgrev (Sunrise) hotel, a building paradigmatic for its overdimensioned proportions, intended for mass tourism that used to be promoted as part of the ideological matrices of socialism, was aopen on 1 September 1979, with a big celebration attended by all distinguished party and state officials at that time.
    

Originally constructed as a hotel and restaurant service enterprise at the tourist location of Kališta near Struga, in 1991, during the privatization process, it was transformed into a shareholding company in mixed ownership, and then sold to the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). The latter rented it to a private company which had a financial affair several years later. After the participants in the affair were detained and following the court case against them, the facility was returned to MPC. At the moment when the black and white photographs that are part of this exhibition were made (2011-2012), the facility was ruined, stripped to its walls, without any movable property or equipment.
    Paradoxically, it was originally opened at the end of the tourist season (which lasts for very short at that coast of the Ohrid Lake anyway), but also at the beginning of the end of the ideological and political system that had created it. From this very beginning, it seems that this building has been destined to also symbolically show the fall, i.e. the non-functionality of that system. Communism, although deeply humanistic in its ideological matrix, has proved to be practically inapplicable due to its unexpected capacity to really produce absolutism, totalitarism and general corruption. I felt that Izgrev, as its material, and yet symbolic depiction reflects this degradation – built with an idea of a building that was supposed to be an architectural, economic and tourist pride, it was actually practically inapplicable, economically unprofitable, comprehensive project that has never come to life.
    

As many other grandiose projects of the decaying system, Izgrev gradually turned into a deserted, devastated, empty facility in the 1990es, deprived from any attempt to establish its original function, but also from any possibility to be restored or redesigned. Imprisoned in the social process of “eternal transition”, from a facility with a use value it has turned to a facility with a historical value, i.e. it has become a relic. Or, in other words, it has become a monument, a work of art.






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