Title: An attempt to escape from a minority
Curators: Ivana Vaseva, Filip Jovanovski
Exhibition days: 27.11 – 04.12.2014
Location: Serious Interests Agency (SIA), Gorgi Peskov 6, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia.
Curatorial Platform (Zagreb), ABS (Zagreb/Rijeka/Krk), The Ignorant Schoolmaster and His Committees (Belgrade), Daniel Serafimovski (Skopje/London), Ivana Vaseva, Filip Jovanovski (Skopje)
The idea of this display of long-term, research projects, has been built on several terms: equality, collective, reading group, politicality, based on several ideas of the French phylosopher Jacques Ranciere, published in several books. The desire to delve in and think more of his concept of subjectification or the thing that emerges as a result of emancipation explained as “escaping from a minority”, which inevitably includes a process of creating a “rupture in the order of things” is something that connects this set of projects in a group.
In the frames of an educational process and in a form of the presented projects, this elaborated thought emerges in a sort of step forward towards more practical contemplation about subjectification. Still, the display in this structure is just an attempt to “read” certain practices in terms of Ransiere on a more general but supportive level while the same projects open a set of other questions and realms that contain other depths of “escaping from a minority”.
Within this collection of different archives, there are several practices such as: the annual research of the Curatorial Platform of Arts and Industries (arts/autonomous artistic world, and heteronomous at the same time), ABS’s deconstruction of the supreme position of the professor (Jacotot as an example of true emancipation, the relations of the education authority which must be dissolved), the process of subjectification and emancipation (The Ignorant Schoolmaster and His Committees), alternative form for cultural exchange and sharing (Open archives, Daniel Serafimovski), the “LIVING LIBRARIES” as a process, survey and self-education.
All together, these separate archives are reexamining the relations, constellations and correlations, taking the previous discourses in consideration and re-evaluating them in the present times. They are part of a huge library of knowledge as Borges’s narrative “Babylon Library” where the world has been visualized as a great library which contains all the books that ever existed, in different volumes and formats, and at the moment we are exactly on this particular part, reading with great focus and concentration the books we are supposed to know by heart.
* VISUAL MINI PRESENTATION of the Practicum of the Curatorial Program module of the curatorial workshop “Correlation of Art and Production” 2013/2014 which resulted in an exhibition titled”Male Worker Female Worker / Male Artist Female Artist” at the Curatorial Platform, Zagreb.
Ivana Mestrov (Slobodne Veze) and Ana “Miroslav Kraljevic” Gallery) will present the works of “Curatorial Platform” and one of its segments “The Practicum within the exhibition. The exhibition and the edition “Male Worker Female Worker / Male Artist Female Artist” deriving from the “Custodian Platform” Practicum – A program aimed at providing additional theoretical and practical education in the field of contemporary art and has been held in Zagreb from 2008, under “Slobodne Veze” led by the historians of arts and curators, Michaele Richter and Ivana Mestrov.
The works of the concrete research project is part of the curatorial program, providing the participants with access to the possible methodology, technical and theoretical tools related to the conception and the realization of exhibitions/projects in the field of contemporary art.
The Practicum 2013/2014 has been designed in partnership with the “Miroslav Kraljevic” Gallery (http://www.g-mk.hr/) and was conducted at two levels: via reading groups led by Ana Kutlesa, member of the BLOC organization and research group work on sub-topics, created and led by the curator and head of the “Miroslav Kraljevic” Gallery, Ana Kovacic. The goal of the Practicum was to instruct the participants in concrete research within preassigned topics:The correlation between art and production.
The researches of the four groups of participants have led to the creation of draft studies on this topic and they serve as an introduction into further surveys of these particularly wide and complex subjects.
Besides the presentation of this project, Ivana Mestrov and Ana Kovacic will present a selection of articles from the “Cultural Worker” magazine that features some of the aforementioned topics. “Cultural Worker” was published from 1948 till 1991 by Prosveten savor from Croatia, with an agenda oriented towards the worker’s culture and its theoretical context as well as the emancipation of the workers through culture.
* VIDEO DOCUMENTATION of the project “ABS Practice Imagined as a Class Struggle Within the Highly Educated Art Class” of the ABS Group performed at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka, titled “Class Struggle in Painting Classes” (2012).
Along with acting in the field of visual arts, the ABS acts in the complicated pedagogical relation “teacher – others”. The members of the group are part of the institutional educational process: Alan Alebic is a docent with the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka, and Ivica Blazic was a third year teaching fellow from 2009-2012 with the same Academy in Rijeka, and Ivan Svkrce is a teaching fellow with the Fine Arts Academy in Zagreb. This status defines a mediator role in the process of transferring knowledge among their superior professor status and that of the students, making them face two key issues: the way the higher educational institutions operate in the wider, European context, in a time when there are visual, cultural, gender, neocolonial and interdisciplinary studies, that is completely different from the expected education the students should acquire, in order to be able to face the current cultural and historical moment within which they realize their artistic identity.
On the sidelines of the project, titles “Class battle in the painting practice”, the ABS group has decided to perform an autocritique of its own practice, thus incite institutional educational introaction within the same student program.
Through the tactics of introversion, they have switched their positions as assistants with the subjected role of the posing model and by using their own bodies, they have been tried to set an exemple. Therefore, instead of posing as models, as the contrapost mode of Apollo of Belvedere, they offer simulations of various performances of neo-avantgarde and post-avantgarde artists from the ex-Yugoslav countries and the world. In the process of knowledge transfer within an institution, where the apprehention emanates from the prism of the empirocentric act, the ABS group recognizes the symptoms of certain historical discourse, whose matrix facilitate the aprehention process.
With this posing act they incite the question: who has the right to set exemples in the teaching practice- because setting exemples is very important, afectatious event which allows tranformation of the art practice into a creative practice. By introducing this practice, ABS group aims to simulate collaborative work with the students. The supervisors are put in a position of meeting the needs of the students in this concrete cultural-historical moment. The intevention within the educational process of the institutions has been handled by voluntary cooperation between the students, with permission of the supervisors, primarily because the sitting has been perceived as art.
This project has been launched in Milan at the Nuova academia di belle arti within the Learning Machines project, in Rijeka at the Academy of Applied Arts and in Ljubljana at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, whereas the works have been showcased at the CIZ Gallery in Rijeka, the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Zagreb, NABA Milan, Gurini Gallery and MAKRO in Rome.
* INSTALLATION OF THE PROJECT “Living libraries, Process – Research-Interpretation” by Filip Jovanovski, Ivana Vaseva
This mini-installation represents a moment of the process and research within the project “LIVING LIBRARIES: Archives of Civil Disobedience” which took place in the course of 2014 in Bitola, Tetovo, Gevgelija, Prilep and Kavadarci. The installation consists of reading sessions, productions, discussion groups, library of books and video data of public events. Its aim is not to present the working process, but to open the archive for new lectures and interpretations, estimates, which revive reality by establishing physical contact with the archive.
* INSTALLATION of the project “Open Archive” of the architect Daniel Serafimovski
OPEN ARCHIVE is a project by Daniel Serafimovski (arkitekt MAA and Senior Lecturer at the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University), a collaboration with Serious Interests Agency (SIA), Skopje.
OPEN ARCHIVE is an art-architecture archival project first exhibited as an installation at the Museum of the City of Skopje (06.05.-01.06.2014) as part of BIMAS 2014, XVII Macedonian Architecture Biennale. The exhibition started with an Open Call to the citizens of Skopje, to contribute material towards an archive whose aim is to slow down the process of the loss of collective memory about the City of Skopje. The archive is also intended as an alternative platform where various research and documentation related to the city (and in particular in relation to its architectural and cultural heritage) could be gathered, archived, shared and made available for discussion and debate, critique and reflection. Skopje is a City which has undergone a series of traumatic transformations – including the devastating earthquake of fifty years ago, the socio-political changes at the beginning of the 1990’s, and the more recent interventions that define ‘Skopje 2014’ project. The city is fast losing its sense of identity, with numerous valuable buildings rapidly replaced or transformed beyond recognition. The city’s rich modernist heritage, entire areas of the city and its general spirit are under threat, and a general sense of loss and powerlessness is ever-present. In this current climate, the need to unearth, gather, document, collect and share research to enable critical thinking regarding the disappearing city, is a form of action/ reaction to the present reality.
For the duration of the initial exhibition of the Open Archive at the Museum of the City of Skopje, the Open Call was open to architects and urbanists, to artists and writers whose work has been informed or inspired by the city and life within it – but also to ‘ordinary’ citizens who may have developed a particular independent interest, formed a specific collection of books, photographs, maps or postcards. The collected material of the incrementally growing exhibition, was displayed on a long central table and two long walls within the installation. The exhibition ‘concluded’ with a Public Debate, a ‘performance’ element adding to the interactive and discursive ambitions of the project and exhibition format. The participants of the debate included Risto Abramovski, Minac Bakalcev, Nikola Gelevski, Svezdan Georgievski, Vlatko Korobar, Ivan Mirkovski, Maksim Naumovski and Daniel Serafimovski. The conversations regarding the planned third phase of the project, the publication of a City Book (a book about the city, to include a selection of the collected work from the Open Archive), have been ongoing since the exhibition, and the project has continued to grow, with new contributions and ideas for its expansion and further development.
The current inclusion of the Open Archive as part of the project ‘Zivi Bibilioteki’, curated by Filip Jovanovski and Ivana Vaseva, displays a selection of the collected material in the forms of files, book, drawings, photographs, maps and other works as part of an installation resembling a public reading room sited within the gallery space of SIA, the Serious Interests Agency in Skopje (and currently the ‘permanent home’ of the Open Archive). A further exhibition in Skopje, during summer 2015, will include research projects conducted together with students from the Architecture faculties of the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius and the UACS in Skopje, where Serafimovski is currently a Visiting Professor.
Contemporary art has an intense interest in the archive, both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. This ‘archival impulse’ as Hal Foster calls it, raises questions regarding the possibilities of truth, testimony and mourning through the archive. The work of artists such as Gerhard Richter, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Benrdt and Hilla Becher illustrate the powerful potential of the archival form as a witness of the artist’s research and creative process (Richter’s ‘Atlas’), or as a depository for both realised, unrealised and unrealiseable utopian projects (Kabakov’s ‘The Palace of Projects’ or ‘Momument to a Lost Civilization’).
Aldo Rossi’s theory of ‘Analogolous Cities’, regarding the complex relations between the personal and the collective, and the city as a true collective work of art, underpins the Open Archive project. The city is a living archive of the art and architecture of its people, its culture and soul. In order to enable a true sense of historical continuity, each layer and dimension of the city deserves to be researched, documented and appreciated, rather than erased and denied. Focusing on one hundred years of the city of Skopje, this archive project is an invitation to fellow citizens to participate in a collective effort of its re-evaluation.
– MINI – INSTALLATION self – education bulletins published in the course of 2011, 2012 and 2013 by The Ignorant Schoolmaster and his Committees in Belgrade.
***The group ABS from Croatia, during this day, is visiting the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje within the drill lessons held by the teaching fellow Slobodanka Stevceska, M.A. (Paining Program of Studies) in the frames of their project “ABS Practice Imagined as a Class Struggle Within the Highly Educated Art Class”.
OPENING NIGHT – Photo by Zoran Sekerov