Blesok no. 65, March-April, 2009
Gallery Reviews

Sketches for Sketches

Sašo Popovski / Ivan Džeparoski

(S.P.) How to draw a self-portrait? If you have lost your image?
How to paint emptiness? Abstractly? When it is so real?
How to paint nudity? When nudity is merely a bone?
Is the loneliness a landscape, and the brush a straw in the whirls of pain?

(I.Dž.) How do you write an auto-biography? When you are not the same any more? Is the first auto-biography ever written, St. Augustine’s “Confessions” of the 4th century A.D., a psychological self-analysis of the previous life of a non-believer turned believer? And could we say the same thing about “the self-portrait”, “the emptiness”, “the act”, and “the landscape” as St. Augustine did about the “time” in his “Confessions”: “I know very well what time is, if nobody asks me; but when somebody does, and I try to explain, then I am confused”.

(S.P.) Shadows glow in the darkness.

(I.Dž.) Nietzsche’s Zarathustra comes out at noon, when there are no shadows and everything is clear! But, if he came out at night, would his shadow glow in the darkness?

(S.P) It is best to freeze the emotion at the very beginning of creating the canvas, not to narrate it there. Danger of being illustrative!

(I.Dž.) Fake exposure of emotions in a creation, in a work of art, is the same as giving away emotions on All Souls’ Day. And the food there is always cold and it never tells anything about the living, but it is there only for the dead. Frozen food from the deep freezer, cold art from a cold illustrator! Kalte Kunst has always existed.

(S.P.) At the end you become part of the landscape.

(I.Dž.) “Death will come and it shall have your eyes”, Césare Pavesse wrote.

(S.P.) I’m preparing an exhibition. Currently, the colors of my paintings are being translated in several languages, for a catalogue. A little afraid of critics who can’t distinguish terracotta from an unwashed person!

(I.Dž.) “The artist is a sultan who bathes with the most beautiful woman from his harem”, says Théophile Gautier, and then adds: “and a critic is a eunuch who stands besides them and observes what his master does with the beautiful woman”. But, this is not all. Oscar Wilde enhances the lasciviousness of the comparison in intention to partially defend those who don’t distinguish “terracotta from an unwashed person”, and says that a critic should not be compared fully with a eunuch, since he is a “person who takes part in the bathing”. Authors and critics. Translations of translations published long time ago.

(S.P.) Candles are romantic if you are taller then them.

(I.Dž.) To be romantically taller then death, to achieve the unachievable, to present the non-presentable, that is the post-modern sublimated.

(S.P.) We are a variation of our selves. What if all variations meet?

(I.Dž.) We are a theme. We are both a theme and a variation. We are, if we succeed to meet our selves, sublimated as Bach’s Goldberg variations in G-major. The other of the same.

(S.P.) Theorist attacks by extreme groups of critics.

(I.Dž.) The critics are capable of being extremely possessive and jealous. Nothing odd, since they are just like deceived husbands: last to understand or find out the truth.

(S.P.) The shadow lasts longer then the man who casts it.

(I.Dž.) Plato said that reality is a shadow of the world of ideas, and the art, as replicating of the reality, is “a shadow of the shadows”. Yet, the work outlives the author.

(S.P.) I find one thing missing in his art. The art!

(I.Dž.) When there is an author – there is no art, when there is art, there’s no author. Historians said we should not fear death, because when we exist – it doesn’t, and when it is here – we are gone!

(S.P.) The mirror reflects itself.

(I.Dž.) The lullaby mirror is the theory of reflection.

(S.P.) Ripped from the galleries’ entrails, the conceptualism dies.

(I.Dž.) The entrails’ door should be closed, so the concept doesn’t escape. And if it is already out, it will merge with the silence.

(S.P.) Installation: chicken in a microwave, eggs in a box, spread out cook on the wall.

(I.Dž.) It is hard today to find good handy men. They all have gone abroad to master the art of installation. And later on, when they come back, they will install (themselves) in a museum or an art gallery.

(S.P.) Lack of talent and ambition: an old love couple.

(I.Dž.) More then a century and a half ago, the Danish philosophy lyric Søren Kierkegaard said: “Our time creates ‘a genuine sale’ not only in the world of trade, but in the world of ideas, too. Everything can be acquired for such a ridiculously low price, therefore now there is a big issue of whether, at the end, there will be anybody left willing to make an offer”. Nevertheless, even today the lack of talent and ambition are not exposed and are permanently offered on the art market. Nudism of bad taste.

(S.P.) In the galleries, people with their noses up release freon.

(I.Dž.) Freon, as it is well known, is the greatest destroyer of the earth ozone layer. It is ecological to recycle all things (and persons) that release freon. Ecological awareness will protect galleries from pollution.

(S.P.) The evening sky is like an old black and white film, in which most of the stars are already deceased.

(I.Dž.) It is sad and gloomy to look at the black and white sky; even Dürer indicated this a long time ago in his cooper etching “Melancholy”. But there are also color films with stars that seem to be immortal. To my eyes comes, and makes me happy, the colorful Van Gogh’s “Starry night”, with “a dozen of cigarette butts that glitter in the sky”.

(S.P.) Hope, that drawing on the sand on a beach.

(I.Dž.) Neruda wrote a hundred of love poems and a hopeless one. A hundred drawings on the sand on a beach and one hopeless wave. Less is more.

(S.P.) Are you the best scatcher? Same as with God: you haven’t seen him, but you believe he exists.

(I.Dž.) Tertullian, eighteen centuries before Beckett, tried to prove the existence of God by absurdity: Credo quia absurdum est (“I believe because it is absurd”). The best absurdity: the best artist, the best poet…!

(S.P.) Coans – armatures of the spirit.

(I.Dž.) Belts – armatures of the body.

(S.P.) Orphan paintings in the galleries.

(I.Dž.) Orphan books in the libraries.

(S.P.) The beautiful is always on the run.

(I.Dž.) It is tiresome to be always on the run. It was not by chance that Koneski wrote: “Beauty, you are tiring me already!”

Translated by: Simeon Serafimovski

[Vasko Serafimov: Music for the Exhibition]

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