The increased international presence of the Museum of Contemporary Art, that intensified in the past several years with exhibition projects, guest appearances within the various discursive programs, inter-museum and professional networking, as well as the presence of museum projects in the most prestigious world magazines, such as Artforum, Frieze, e-flux and etc., opened space for greater visibility of MoCA Skopje and incentive for new contributions in its international collection, created on the principle of solidarity. After the donations of the Russian collective “Chto Delat”, the Dutch artist Jonas Stahl and the German artists Jana Dettmer and Monika von Eschenbach, the museum recently received ten new gifts – drawings and collages – from the renowned Polish artists Artur Zmijewski and Pavel Altamer, works created as a result of their “open studio” concept; a collaborative process of creating “live” collages realized in one of the galleries of the museum in the period from July 1 to 15, 2022.
During two weeks of joint work, the artists created collages on cardboard using acrylic paints and visuals from old history books, geographical atlases, maps, posters, photographs, educational charts, anatomy illustrations, etc. Visitors were invited to bring some of these materials, and thereby contribute to the creation of the works. The resulting collages are dense layers of expressive and surreal imagery. The collages are devoid of direct political activism or social criticism characteristic of the art of these artists, and instead, they represent the spontaneous and improvising painting activity of two friends. The friendship between the two artists dates from their studies in Grzegorz Kowalski’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. They have realized numerous joint projects, residencies and workshops worldwide.