Nada Prlja: Adan In The City Of Fire

Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje

27. December, 2019 – 21. February, 2020

Under the influence of global crisis, where the feeling of possible end might not be only imagines, Prlja questions number of questions which reflect our current way of being, but also working as an artist.

For example, she questions – how and what to create when all resources are becoming used up and the production of any new goods is seen as excess? Will this newly created situation influence work by artists and will it change the way we evaluate cultural production. This could be extended further into thinking will the current crisis influence on the fact how we evaluate our production, even human beings.

Exhibition AdaN in the City of Fire searches for the solutions for a new creative methods, methods that could be more appropriate for the world we live in. In order to examine new methods, Nada Prlja creates alter ego – a graphic novel character AdaN, who would introduce, in a series of Graphic novels how to create works of art in newly created situation. AdaN, offers three models of creation: ‘borrow’ – reflect the history in a subversive manner, re-use materials and ideas, even your own work and finally de-artify – make possibility for your works of art to be reused for other purposes. The graphic novels that individually explain each of those postulates, are published in three graphic novels and will be distributed in regular intervals during the duration of the exhibition. The first graphic novel (a Pilot), that features the creation of AdaN, will be presented during the exhibition opening.

Nada Prlja, Sculpture, 2019 (integrated into the installation: Jordan Grabuloski, Sculpture, 1966, stone, 30x40x15cm., loan from the MOCA Skopje), metal profiles, concrete, stone, cast fragments, metal dust, wood, glass, ready made objects 280x280x280 cm.; Photo © Ana Maljanovska / HO1000D

A resume of those ideas and attempts to modify ways of working and observing the culture, Prlja takes us to 3030, in order for the visitors of the exhibition to sharply cast an eye on our own civilisation, which has according to AdaN’s storyline disappeared in 20.02.2020. The new civilisation from 3030 discovers Adan’s secret hideout where the artist has collected, created, recreated, etc. works of art before the doomsday, storyline explained.

In a style of On Kawara (who recorded every day on painting canvas), Prlja (AdaN) hand painted years and places of natural catastrophes, whose number has increased since 2000,  in a fear of the end of the world. This work is entitled ‘Disaster Diary’, and the painting of the words and numbers is made directly on Prlja’s work ‘Bad News’ from 2004, where black squares on empty paper show the amount of advertisements in a single newspaper. Prlja (AdaN) see the work from 2004 as irrelevant, therefore repaints it with more current and burning topics, by exercising the idea of ‘reusing’ of the artist’s own work.

Daniel Serafimovski, Past Perfect, 2016 /2019 (Two photographs), 42x55cm.
Courtesy of the artist; Photo © Andrijana Tilik

The last installation in the gallery space combines the work by Nada Prlja, Olga Jevric and Daniel Serafimovski, here the artist moves the discussion toward concrete observation of our city Skopje (EjpokS), Jevric represents the crumbling urban space due to the causes of WWII, Prlja represents the neglectance of our of urban space in Skopje, by collecting and joining together concrete lumps left on the streets of Skopje, while Serafimvoski records records most current modifications of the city of Skopje.

Finally, in most visually subtel work ‘PradaNada’, Prlja reshapes shirts made by famous fashion designers, Prada, Burberry, Equipment, etc. in order to question our system of values and the production and consumption in an act where the branded shirts become sheets of fabric.

About the artist: Nad Prlja received an MPhil research degree from the Royal College of Arts, London (2002), after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Skopje (1997).

Nada Prlja was the artist representing Republic of North Macedonia at the 58. Venice Biennale 2019. She also took part in following Biennales: 7th Berlin Biennale; Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain; 5th Moscow Biennale (Film Program); IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo de Arte ContemporáneoBuenos Aires and Santiago de Chile; 28th International Printmaking Biennale, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

She has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows in Europe, USA, Japan and Macedonia.