Gjorgje Jovanovik: Bitter Sugar

19/09/ 2023 – 16/02/ 2024

The project Bitter Sugar by the Macedonian artist Gjorgje Jovanovik is conceived in two parts, a spatial installation and animated puppet shows, designed as fragments of current reality and contemporary life, which contain signs, conditions, and situations questioning at the same time the local context and the influences and interdependencies in the global flows.

Conceived as a “total work of art”, the project will use a rich iconographic fundus and a complex network of relationships, combining several artistic disciplines (visual art and experimental film, animation and music), focusing on deepening the interconnections between these art forms, as well as on exploring the possibilities of creating new artistic content. With this project, Jovanovik integrates his entire creative practice, which includes the most diverse media and forms of expression, from drawing and installation to performance. The project represents this synthesis and builds upon the experiences of the historical avant-garde, especially the Dadaist and Surrealist interventions, in an attempt to transform and utilize them in the contemporary context, burdened with the challenges of (post)pandemic political and technological reality. The interweaving of the real and the surreal and the extreme meeting points is also reflected through the fusion of various genres. In the spatial installation comprised of a large number of painted pictures and objects and the animations that activate it, Jovanovik tries to create a multidimensional narrative network through which the numerous protagonists and the different situations they find themselves in are transformed to another level, as a sum total of our chaotic contemporaneity.

The video animations are a collection of poetic, humorous, and tragicomic stories, based on Jovanovik’s ideas, as well as upon short stories by several representatives of the newer generation of Macedonian writers (Rumena Buzharovska, Petar Andonovski, Aleks Bukarski etc.). Dealing with the uncertainty and the ignorance through personal stories, troubles and tragedies, the fate of people on the margins, they are showing extremes of human behavior in the struggle to break stereotypes in patriarchal society, and the quest for acquiring justice and freedom.

The multilayered and multisensory artistic intervention of this complex project, aims to open a space for re-examination of interpersonal relations, and to speak about the conditions at the local and global level determined by numerous crises and existential uncertainty.

Gjorgje Jovanovik (born in Skopje in 1980) has realized multiple projects that focus on the issues of integration and disintegration of contemporary man. He re-examine interpersonal communication in the context of the general situation of redefining universal values, man-society relations, and consumerism as a key factor of modern life style, politics as a factor of disintegration of the cities, states, and families. Using no limits in media he has worked on installations, performances, objects, videos, collages, and paintings in order to achieve a transformation of the artistic dimensions of his individual expression by following up the fluidity of the contemporary context.

He has had several solo exhibitions in the country and abroad, including: “Decapitated” – Prima Center Berlin (Berlin, 2020), “Chocolate Drops” – Hoast Gallery (Vienna, 2018), “Radio Free Skopje” – Center for Contemporary arts (Skopje, 2015-16), “Inventions for you, wonderful people!” – Museum of Contemporary Art (Skopje, 2014), “Confessions of a cake eater” (Rovinj, 2013), “The fragmentary archive of the artist from the country in transition” (New York, 2010), “It’s Complicated” (Graz, 2010) etc.

Art Residencies: IAAB – Basel, TICA – Tirana, La Cité internationale des Arts – Paris, Watermill Center – New York, “Apartment Project” – Istanbul, ISCP – New York, CCN – Graz.



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