Prize Winners at the 13. Biennial of Young Artists

A unanimous decision was made by the panel of judges Iva Dimovski (Art Historian), Velimir Zernovski (visual artist) and Jane Calovski (visual artist) to award the “The most successful artist and art piece” at the 13th International Biennial of young artists “Passion for wandering” equally between Natasha Nedelkova (R. North Macedonia) for her contribution titled “Tissues of identity”, video, 2020; Darko Aleksovski (R. North Macedonia), for his piece “Never Not in Love, a spatial and video installation, 2019 and Driton Selmani (Kosovo), for the sculpture titled “But No But (or reverse), 2019.For the first time, this award was presented to three artists and artworks which the panel of judges considered as the most impressive, corresponding to the overall theme at the Biennial. The award includes an independent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art.Moreover, this decision points towards the need for a wider representation of young artists at museum exhibitions, to support the development of their artistic efforts and also emphasises the need for a more critical and fundamental focus and contemplation of the topics that these young artists are ready to take on and share with the public.With all this in mind, the panel of judges wish to congratulate all of the artists taking part at this year’s exhibit and at the same time emphasise the high level of production and conceptual relevance of the exhibited artworks. Furthermore, the judges wish to emphasise the fundamental connection of the “Passion for wandering” concept (with Artan Sadiku, Jovanka Popova, Blagoja Varosanec and Iva Dimovski as the curators) with the powerfully effective model of dispersed locations at which the Biennial took place, which introduced new possibilities for presentation of artworks and vibrant connection with the audience. The judges had this to say about the selected pieces: The intimate nature of the narration and the clear visual language of the “Tissue of identity” video by Natasha Nedelkova which was exhibited at the Museum of Macedonia find a way to easily capture the subjectivity of identity in terms of the urban transformation of Skopje. The artist’s authentic voice in this piece is a tool that guides the viewer to experience our own presence, muddled and concealed in public space, released only in “therapeutic temporary space” in the fragile nature of intimacy. The spatial and video installation “To be alone with you” by Darko Aleksovski which was presented at the building, home to the Macedonian Hydrometeorological Service, is the most developed and mature piece by the artist to date. The architecture of the building where the installation was presented only contributed to the experience of this palpable and analogous material. The metaphoric properties in the image of the wave that continuously returns is engaged in a discourse with the concept of shared intimacy as an act of release. The beauty of this piece is precisely in the abstract sense of time and its repetitiveness, where feelings that have been experienced at one-time clash with the present contact with the audience. The sculpture “But No But (or reverse)” by Driton Selmani, an artist from Kosovo, contemplates the idea of deconstruction of social, political, and cultural perceptions embodied all around the artist. He defines the sculpture as a reconstruction of personal convictions, expressed in visual artifacts based on his own beliefs and doubts. This piece is impressive in its own simplicity, the manner in which Selmani has managed to remain true to the concept of materialization of the immaterial things, that is simultaneously ephemeral and monumental, clear and abstract, personal and social, a feeling that implies a parallel presence and absence. In 2022, the selected artists will have the opportunity to exhibit their work independently at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje with the support and funds from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia’s annual program.