Blesok no. 54, May-June, 2007
Gallery Reviews

Young Visual Artist Annual Award


DENES 2007

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

The award is to be annual. The process of awarding it consists of several phases:
– Selection of 4 finalists
– Group exhibition of the 4 artists in Skopje
– Residency in USA for the winner

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

The winner of the first prize receives a residency covering the travel and stay expenses to the International House in New York for 6 weeks.

The Contemporary Art Center is responsible for the preparation and organization of all domestic activities, whereas the Foundation for Civil Society is responsible for the residency in the USA.

The Jury (Oliver Musović, Hristijan Panev and Atanas Botev), decided to grant DENES 2007 award to Boris Petrovski for Distortions.

Vera Kovačevska: Everyday Art, the Art of the Everyday

In this one-year project with a previously determined timeframe (03.01.2005-03.01.2006), the artist meticulously, and often obsessively, described what happened each day of the year and what her thoughts on it were. Sometimes in less and sometimes in more detail she illustrated different situations in her life (e.g. preparing an art festival application/exhibition, looking for a job, being ill, travelling abroad, etc.), noted her mundane “rituals” (e.g. eating, sleeping, watching TV), and discussed about current topics (e.g. the Macedonian art scene, artists’ professional development, war against terror, visa regime, etc).

The final product of this project is the 365 unique cards, including text and photograph (taken or found by the artist), one for each day of the year. In September 2006 this project was presented in the Museum of Contemporary Art-Skopje where the artist gave one card (in an envelope) to each visitor and then mailed the remaining ones to close friends and colleagues in several countries in the world. Through the act of sharing and accepting a “gift” from her the audience became a direct, not just indirect, (part of the audience was recalled in the card’s content) participant in the making of the artwork.

Velimir Žernovski: Welcome to Skopje

Welcome to Skopje is a series of paintings created with acrylic on canvas; it is the first segment of a broader long-term project that Velimir Žernovski has been working on in the past two years. The concept of Welcome to Skopje is a response to the almost non-existent promotional initiative of the capitol. In such an environment, the artist takes responsibility in his own hands and attempts to promote parts of his hometown that he considers attractive at the moment and reflects city’s condition.

Nikola Uzunovski: Unsaid (wish)

See this picture, well it’s not the picture, it’s not even the “installation,” … well I don’t know what it is! The public did not tell me what they wish for! The cake with the candle was there, the matches were there, the people were there, but everyone light their candle for oneself and thought about something else.
One of the curators said this is not a cake! It’s too small (maybe his wish was to have a bigger cake?) My mother was angry because I didn’t bake the cake…

Two artists were blowing the candle one after another saying “It's my Artwork now!”
If you could see the wishes the people made…

Close your eyes make a wish…

Boris Petrovski: Distortions

Changed Conditions

In his video performance Distortions, Boris Petrovski is visually presenting the process of mutual effect through which the city and its citizens are going every day. In fact, it is a video documentation from the performance that artist did walking with a piece of tinplate in his hands on the “Macedonia” square.

Petrovski uses tinplate as reflecting space that becomes temporary witness of interaction between incidental passersby’s figures and surrounding buildings. Modified faces and bodies are reflected on the smooth and distorting surface simultaneously with altered fragments of the city space and its objects. Thus, the tinplate surface becomes a metaphor of performing process within the reciprocal urban transformation.

(Suzana Milevska, an excerpt from text)

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