Blesok no. 60, May-June, 2008
Gallery Reviews

Young visual artist annual award “DENES”

DENES 2008

DENES 2008

The Contemporary Art Center – Skopje, in collaboration with the Civil Society Foundation in New York, since 2002/2003, has established an annual award for best young artist in the Republic of Macedonia under 35.

This project is based on lack of such opportunities for artists in Macedonia, the non-existence of such kind of awards, the professional interest by the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Faculty for Fine Arts in Skopje, as well as the need to expose contemporary Macedonian art to a wider audience in Macedonia and abroad. The initiating of this award creates a competitive structure around the award and strengthen discussions among institutions and young artists. We wish to emphasize that the award achieves its purpose by exposing young creativity to a widened circle of public, the offering of new opportunities to participating artists; and by including a number of various fine art institutions and professionals in an annual and impartial process of reflection and decision making.

The process of awarding it consists of several phases:
– Selection of awarded artists
– Group exhibition of the 4 artists in Skopje
– Residency in USA for the First awarded

The method of the selection was divided in two phases:
– Nominations of artists, by renown art critics and artists in Macedonia
– Final selection of the awarded, after the reviewing of the nominations by the Board for the award.

The project is financially supported by:
• Foundation for Civil Society – New York
• City of Skopje
• Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia
• The Contemporary Art Center – Skopje

Members of the Jury: Dejan Bugjevac, Katerina Bogoeva, Hristina Ivanovska, Boris Petrovski, and Jane Čalovski, have assigned DENES 2008 Award to Ana Ivanovska, for her work Tunnel.

Tunnel – Ana Ivanovska

The “Tunnel” installation imposes communication of the work of art with the observer, positioned with enough tendentiousness to entrap and transform the gallery space. The curving movements and the transforming power of the tunnel, spreading and narrowing the expanse, are causing sensations, intuiting movement and sensibility. The recipient is burst, even reluctantly, into a labyrinth of impressions created through the language of visualization.

    The Tunnel is constructed of emotions. It is an emotion of a kind. It represents an equivalent to the feminine nature – unpredictable, cyclical, reliant, variable, intuitive. The discovery of this feminine nature is the real life power of the tunnel. Nevertheless, the holistic nature of this work of art would have remained incomplete as such, if the active principle, the masculine one, was omitted; this direct contra position of the passive – feminine. The symbols of the masculine nature are, thus, unobtrusively fibered into this artistic structure.

    The specific characteristics of the working material, such as rope and the process of knitting, is another resemblance in correlation with the feminine sensibility, through the traditional knitting, although newly transformed through a structure assembling around a contemporary appearance.

    The feminine principle is being eternally associated with the fertility. The subconscious longing for retreating to the womb, as well as the need to feel secure and protected, exists in the life of all people. The seed of fertility is being implanted in the tunnel.

    The different experiences and interpretations are awakening the desire for contemplation through the close contact with this work of art. It is an open question of the unknown: Where we come from and where we are going. That is, the far forgotten latent memory of the holy act of giving birth and the inevitable human fate, “the light behind the tunnel”. The tunnel can be experienced like a healing process, spiritual renewal and an illumination of the already existing truths. Yet, all of these remains open for the observer and his/her emotion.

Pyramids in h=0 – Slavčo Spirovski

“The effort” to actualize basic elements of an art exhibition is maybe the shortest description of this project of mine!
    This work consists of nine technical drawings of my sculptures (created by all means and standards) printed on plotter paper, ordered one next to the other, thus creating a surface (an upper surface of a pedestal) where 27 sculptures are placed (computer edited photographs of my sculptures and their shadows). These are downsized to an illusion of presence, to silhouettes with no focus on a detail, but accompanied with its own shadow they present certain image of the previous state.
    The sculptures (computer edited photo presentations) are transferred into another media (graphic films) which spice up the whole work with its transparency.
    The surface-pedestal “built” with technical drawings is additionally segmented through color gradation, visually “ruining” the floor and presenting “negative” spatiality in three segments.
    The drawing used in the exhibition (in my opinion) has unique purpose: to add an element of additional “ruining” of the given surface with its linearity.
The intrigue or contradiction appears from the very title: is it possible for a sculpture “to think” without its height, if the shadow (the illusion) is proposition enough for three dimensionality, if the tone gradation may create visual spatiality, if the drawing (no matter how it looks like) is enough to emphasize or to ruin a surface?…

Western Balkans (daily newspaper for one invented region) – Tihomir Topuzovski

The project “Western Balkans (newspaper for one invented region)” relates with the invention of Western Balkans – announced at the summit of the European Union in 1998. The newspaper is a publication project that includes a series of photos and handwritten texts focused on the assumptions on the region of the Western Balkans. The newspaper explores various pejorative representations of the Western Balkans region. Additionally the project has aim to embody the prevalent set of representations which are produced about Western Balkans and, what is more important, to show contradictory nature of the inner structure of these depictions. In the final instance these representations do not correspondent with the conditions and identities in the region, but exists as a created projection of an invented region.

The Bags of Laughter and Forgetting (Exploration into New Grid Systems) – Neda Firfova

Bag prototypes, 31x36cm
Silkscreen print and washable markers

My ongoing project and research is focused on the modularity of language by making a parallel with the possible existing modularity within the Roman and the Cyrillic alphabet. As a result, I have been involved in the creation of modular font and grid system where all the letters are designed in accordance with one `containing` shape. In contrast, the thinking was such that the repetition within typography and text could be treated as a pattern in itself, and perhaps emerge as a “meaningful” pattern. Uniting the two ideas, I designed a grid system by repeating the “containing” shape over and over again until it become a pattern, allowing the user to fill it in with text. Parallel to the design of the specific grid, a fitting typeface was designed, so that the grid now offers the possibility to write all lowercase letter shapes in its contours.

The Bags of Laughter and Forgetting are some of the prototypes where the function of this grid system can be seen in an amusing manner, where the concepts of forgetting and remembering are being touched upon. They are imagined as reminders in the daily life, where their owner can design them each time, by writing down something they need not to forget. Even though the bags are private objects, they gain a new life in the public where visible to many people, the ideas they carry are open to associations and can be re-defined. The owner however, has to be aware of that and in some cases might want to come up with certain codes, handwriting or new language readable and legible to her/him only, just as the concept of the grid in itself suggests.

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