Landscape of Anxiety

Climate change and environmental challenges generate urgent situations through extreme weather conditions, loss of biodiversity, devastated environments, the uncontrolled trajectories of the exploitation of basic resources such as water and air, global growth, and forced  migrations. These conditions reference the profound and irreversible impact of human activity on the Earth, the age of the Anthropocene (Paul Crutzen), which represents a different trajectory of the Earth’s systems.

North Macedonia and the Western Balkan countries have become a pollution hotspot in Europe, due to outdated coal plants, smoke-emitting cars and faulty industries. A series of factors have threatened the air quality, the country's natural wealth, and consequent changes in pollution patterns have had environmental impacts that can potentially cause a variety of adverse health outcomes.

The exhibition focuses on these conditions named Landscape of Anxiety in which artistic practices encounter crisis situations as environmental engagements, generating tools, while influencing other interrelated agendas, such as urban planning, social inclusion and the right to a healthy environment. The event is the result of a collaboration between artists, experts, activists, formal and informal associations, and institutions; including works that enable visibility, propose or encourage solutions, or are forms of activism that involve the public around existing problems and challenges. The works of this exhibition were conceived as a result of workshops held in Veles, Bitola, Prespa and Skopje.

In the year that marks the 60th anniversary of the Skopje earthquake, the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje is presenting the exhibition of Petar Lubarda, one of the most important Montenegrin artists and one of the most influential painters in the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the years after the WWII.

In October 1963, Petar Lubarda donated all 26 works from his exhibition in Niš – later exhibited in Skopje – making him one of the first and among the biggest donors to MSU – Skopje. The museum has a total of 52 works in its collection, including 40 seminal paintings in oil on canvas and cardboard, two watercolors, and ten drawings covering two and a half decades of the artist’s career (1942-1966).

Petar Lubarda (1907–1974) studied painting in Belgrade and Paris during the interwar period, and from 1932 until his death in 1974 he lived in Belgrade. His particularly expressive figurative style, bordering on associative abstraction, brought him widespread international recognition, including one of the three international painting prizes at the 1953 São Paulo Biennale.

After a long time, the audience will have the opportunity to see all of Lubarda’s works from the MoCA Collection, together with archival materials related to his exhibitions and donations. In times of crises, disasters, and military conflicts that burden the contemporary world, we think it is important to remember the concept of solidarity on which MoCA is based and the importance of international cooperation, which are the basis for advancing the social sphere and dealing with common challenges.

The curators of the exhibition are Blagoja Varoshanec and Vladimir Janchevski. Collaborators on the project are conservators Ljupcho Iljovski and Jadranka Milchovska. The design of the promotional material is by Iliana Petrushevska.

The exhibition is organized as a result of the joint cooperation of the Ministries of Culture of Montenegro and the Republic of North Macedonia, the Embassy of Montenegro and the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje under the patronage of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia.

The exhibition will be open until March 31, 2023.

The exhibition and the catalogue are realized with the financial support by the Ministry of Culture and Media of Montenegro

The Concept for Artistic Expression


The lecture of professor Dushan Perchinkov entitled Concept for Artistic Expression is addressing the different stages of the creative process with an emphasis on the concept as something that is also part of the practical approaching the formation of the definitive artistic expression. Putting it in in the context of a complex linear, but also non-linear development of the process, the concept of visual expression will be presented through examples from the history of art, including classical and modern artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso, and Mondrian.

Vladimir Jancevski will conduct the conversation.

The entrance is free.


Dushan Perchinkov (Skopje, 1939) is one of the most significant and authentic Macedonian artists. He graduated from the Art Academy in Belgrade in 1963 and received his master’s degree from the same academy in 1966. In the period from 1966 to 1969, he worked as a freelance artist and teacher in several elementary schools. Since 1972, he has been an assistant in the cabinet for art education at the Faculty of Architecture in Skopje, and in 1980 he started working at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje, as a professor of drawing and painting, until his retirement.

In 1978, together with Petar Hadji Boshkov, Tomo Šijak, Marko Pogačnik, and the Šempas Company, he represented SFR Yugoslavia at the Biennale in Venice. In addition to painting, since 1973 Perchinkov has been actively researching the field of graphics, and his graphic maps are distinguished by sophisticated, complex, and conceptually thought-out content.

Since 1980, he has been realizing his ideas as three-dimensional art objects. In his works, Dushan Perchinkov carefully and in an original way observes the environment (the landscape, urban areas), creating soft surrealistic representations with simple signs and shapes, towards the end of the sixties he oriented towards abstract strictly geometric compositions with a pastel color, with a recognizable author’s expression of fine art. Perchinkov’s works are included in the collections of numerous museums and galleries in the country and abroad.

He is a winner of several awards and recognitions, including the “11 October” Award for painting in 1969.

The lecture is part of the Interdisciplinary Program of MSU-Skopje under the title “Dis/order In The World of Art”, which is realized within the framework of the Annual Program financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia.


This innovative project is aimed to stimulate the public awareness on the importance of the natural heritage of North Macedonia and the artistic value of biodiversity, especially after the establishment of the new National Park of Shar Planina, at the crossroads with Kosovo and Albania, which will increase the total surface of the protected area of North Macedonia to 14%.  To obtain this, the two Italian artists, Roberto Ghezzi and Antonio Massarutto, who have always been working “through” and “in” the natural environment, have come to North Macedonia to create their works in the field, in interaction with the rich Macedonian fauna and flora. The project will thus make it possible to draw interesting parallelism between the beautiful nature of the two countries.


The artists’ work is divided into two phases: the preparatory and creative phase and the exhibition phase. During the first phase (from the 18th to the 26th of April – the 22 April was the international day of the land), the artists stayed in the National Park of Shar Planina. Once the most suitable site was identified, Roberto Ghezzi started to work on installations aimed at creating “naturographies” of places, which will begin to interact with ecosystems, and Antonio Massarutto started to create sculptures and installations inspired by the typical fauna of the local environment, by gathering the natural materials already present on the soil. The creative phase of the work was accurately documented and will be part of the final exhibition, together with the works themselves. During the preparation of the works, guided tours for art and design students also took place.


The second phase, to take place in October 2022 (from the 8th to the 26th), is aimed at exhibiting the works inside the rooms of the Museum of contemporary art of Skopje. A catalog will follow after the exhibition. The artists’ works may emphasize dialogue (conceptual and/or visual) with the collections already present inside the museum. A conference may also be organized, in which issues related to artists’ work would be addressed (such as contemporary art, and its relation with science and the environment).


The environmental heterogeneity produced by the predominantly hilly and mountainous nature of the territories of Italy and North Macedonia, which has led to a proliferation of ecological niches, close in space but very diversified, has meant that in these two countries one of Europe’s greatest biodiversity can still be observed today. Indeed, the Italian flora is made up of a very large number of entities, i.e. of species and subspecies, with 1,169 Bryophytes and 2,704 Lichens, and 8,195 entities of vascular plants, while the fauna is estimated at over 60,000 species. In North Macedonia, 14% of the National territory consists of protected areas. In the Country are located between 70 and 90 percent of plants are native to the Balkan countries. To date, 414 different species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals have been recorded. But the most surprising thing is that these countries, in addition to being among the European countries with the greatest floristic and faunal richness, are characterized by very high rates of endemism, i.e. the presence of species living only within their borders.



Roberto Ghezzi’s pictorial and installation production, which has always been based on a strong interest in the natural landscape (investigated both through pictorial representation and experimentation “in the field”), moves from a scientific approach of the organic reality to then take conceptual form through matter. The naturographies, in particular, are works resulting from studies and experiments on natural, often unspoiled places, and whose title contains within itself the fundamental concept of both the final result and the process. The latter is in fact an integral part of the work, in a journey to the origin of the relationship between artist and nature, where the support is a space of communion between the two. The artist creates with nature but, at the same time, oversees every phase of creation: from the determination of the initial variables, to the time factor, until the final form. Roberto Ghezzi’s work always starts from the study of the environments that will become the places for the creation of the installations. After the environmental survey (from an aesthetic, physical, chemical and biological point of view) and the drafting of an accurate graphic project, the artist chooses the material, the most suitable tissue matrix for the installation on which nature will act over time. This phase is followed by manufacturing, installation of the supports, and monitoring until the moment of withdrawal and conservation, which takes place when the fabrics complete their reaction with the environment in which they have been immersed. This modus operandi is open to several interpretations, from a philosophical, artistic and scientific point of view. In fact, we are dealing with an unusual production, bearer of mixed aesthetic canons (natural-human), symbolic valences (the artist delegating the “gestural” part to nature), ethical aspects, tending towards understanding and dialogue with the landscape and its safeguarding. The naturographies, in addition to their undisputed artistic content, enclose within itself another meaning. By their intrinsic nature as collection “matrices”, they are useful indicators for defining the health status of the aquatic, soil and air ecosystem, so that they can become a preliminary tool to be used alongside the classic scientific methodologies of sampling and laboratory analysis which can determine the quality of the environment in which we live, always represented by a complex and dynamic system. The naturographies can therefore act as a vehicle for mapping and monitoring the territory and the biodiversity that characterizes and distinguishes it. In fact, they are able to demonstrate the growth and regeneration capacities of the elements which constitute a given environment: a method of cultivation not in conditions of controlled medium in the laboratory but within the natural habitat.


Antonio Massarutto’s sculptural and installation work feeds on suggestions of the natural heritage in which he works. Indigenous materials, plant essences, organic and inorganic, but also the cultural and emotional imprint of the landscape and of the iconographic traditions connoted in the most classic artistic tradition, become both the concrete material with which he works and the matrix of an aesthetic research capable of bringing together the real and the imaginary, echoes of history with hints of the future. Massarutto connects with a place. Diving himself totally in it, he tests it and collects the subject and the essence. Therefore, he works on its expressive potential and, in an instinctive building work that descends from his deep knowledge of animal morphology, he creates chimeric entities hovered between mimesis and myth. His creatures, sketched like skeletons and primitive or more detailed forms to shape full and stately bodies, seem to play with time. Some seems a sort of “fantasy types” which, on one side, evoke the strength of zoomorphic beings from classical culture or bestiaries from medieval memory, but on the other side, in their birth from a landscaping suggestion before explicit research about the immaterial memories of the terrain, they become potential beings of post-apocalyptic tomorrow. Everything – with absolute respect of the environmental context – is realized with natural materials: ephemeral and transient. Time is therefore also what inexorably dissipates, erases and annihilates the human ability to build in beautiful and bold semblants. There is no mastery that holds. There is no glory in the art, but glory of nature that gives everything and takes everything back. Of these works, maybe, only the documents and the digital memory will remain that will feed, in a game of eternal return, the affabulatory human capacity to glimpse presences and powers in natural and virtual forms.

The overall concept around the Biennial is directed toward research, reevaluation, and analysis of the phenomenon of lateness (the quality of happening after the expected time in regard to the historical development of the societal conditions in this country) seen in the frames of the art system and art paradigms as well as the way this phenomenon has been reflected in all the segments of our society including the educational, exhibition-related, production-related, the performative ones, etc. Having this in mind, the concept of lateness imposes one question: is it too late to reevaluate, continue or stop a long-established tendency in art expression or is it time to think about new strategies and perspectives?

Instead of directing the focus toward the development of visual art in comparison to the current movements on the international scene, it has been directed towards the conditions of the development of thought, the creation and transfer of knowledge, as well as the social role of art in the local context. Therefore, this concept, which will be elaborated within the frames of the discursive program of the participants from the region, within the presentations of the artists, the discussions, and the curators’ reviews included in this catalog, is based on the following questions: How is knowledge produced in conditions of prolonged inertia and institutions network blockage and underdeveloped non-institutional scene? How can this situation be overcome with inadequate technical and staff capacities for institutional memory maintenance, and simultaneous creation of historical awareness? What are the main obstacles for developing conditions for critical perception of the past and strategic projection of the future? How could we encourage youth politics/policies which will inspire the youth to transform the general apathy and create integrative platforms and solid culture-related strategy?

The Biennial of Young Artists is a logical continuation to the five-year-long event “Contemporary Macedonian Artists – Young Generation”, which started in 1967 as a response to the needs of the developed scene through an introduction of a strong-selection approach in presenting and satisfying certain defined criteria. During its existence until 1987, the organizers of the event detected various topics and directions to act: from the attempt at giving an overview of the basic indicators for development of art, to thematic exhibitions, following one general idea for (self)critical competition, well-defined and representative art vocation, to a presentation with high values and qualitative specification. Developing into a biennial event, the first four editions (1987-1993) provided the authors with the opportunity to conceptualize their own work in relation to ex-Yu and world movements, as well as in relation to the development of disciplines. In 2001, at the 5th Biennial, it was decided that a general image or a panoramic overview of the relevant movements in the art scene or young authors should be offered. That scene, created in relation to the socio-political occurrences in this country should be additionally completed with foreign artists and students from the Faculty of Music Arts (from 2005), and thematic specifications and relevant questions of the curators and organizers should be also added to the whole concept of the Biennial.

The 12th Biennial of Young Artists frees itself from the frames of strictly-defined exhibition practices in an attempt not only to present a selection of artists with their individual perceptions and current interests though visual production, but also to locate the problems which they face in conditions of non-existence of a sufficiently clear and stable contextual framework. Works of twenty young artists will be exhibited. All artwork has been created in the past few years, i.e., artwork created in the period from the last edition of the Biennial of Young Artists until now, conceptualized in the context of the artists’ presentations and the international discursive program used as the basis for defining an experimentally comparative field.

One of the goals of the Biennial is to show that there is a constant vigor on the institutional margins in terms of production and forms of self-organization created by young artists from the local scene. When there is a disintegrated and defragmented art scene, the need to look closer at the tendencies, and the encouraged and motivated energy of the young artists is emphasized. Specifically, it is important to understand whether that energy is directed towards their integrative positioning as socially aware and socially incisive individuals capable of creating and broadening the collaborative space or towards an isolated, individual creation of personal strategies, with uncritical approach to the already established modernity or market-driven success of the western prerogatives in an indefinite network of realization without criteria? This condition, which results from the interelation with the artistic nomadism, which today, apart from “looking for inspiration”, is equally conditioned by economic reasons, imposes the question: What are the prospects f young artists and culture workers, taking into consideration the unsuitable work conditions, isolation from connections and networks of galleries, the unequal distribution and concentration of knowledge, resources, funds and other factors forming the “power relations”?

The final point, and perhaps the most important one, is if we can finally get sure that it is really never too late for reconstruction and defragmentation, and if in some foreseeable future the active participants on the art scene, both within their individual work and in their attempts to achieve mutual cooperation, while keeping the relation(ship) with the institutional network which is a necessary condition for development and quality exchange, will be able to feel at home and on time.

Curators of the Biennial:

Ivana Vaseva, Bojana Janeva-Shemova, Vladimir Janchevski



Darko Aleksovski, Barski Braca (Marko Janev and Filip Velkovski), Dimche Dimeski, Ivan Durgutovski, Ana Jovanovska, Amir Karahasan, Marija Koneska, Bisera Krckovska, Ana Lazarevska, Jana Lulovska, Simona Mancheva, Marko Gutić Mižimakov, Ivana Mirchevska, Natasha Nedelkova, Dorotej Neshovski, Anasatasija Pandilovska, Vladan Petrushevikj, Ilija Prokopiev, Nikola Radulovikj, Goran Ristovski, Nikola Slavevski, Igor Tanevski, Nemanja Trajkovikj, Elena Chemerska and Zoran Shekerov


Participants in the regional discursive program:

Sofia Grigoriadou, curator (Athens, Greece); Adela Jušić, artist (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina); Ivana Meštrov, curator (Split/Zagreb, Croatia); Danilo Prnjat, artist (Belgrade, Serbia); Ana Frangovska, curator (Skopje, Macedonia).

Regional discursive program and presentations by artists – participants in the Biennial of Young Artists


15.03 (Thursday)

17:30 – 17:50 – Introductory remarks by the curators;

17:50 – 19:50- Presentations by the artists – participants in the Biennial:

– Marija Koneska; Barski Bracha (Marko Janev and Filip Velkovski); Ana Lazarevska; Dimche Dimeski; Zoran Shekerov; Simona Mancheva;

Darko Aleksovski.

19:50 – 20:30 – Presentation “Permanently curious, some thoughts on art education and discoursive practices in contmporary art” by Ivana Meštrov (Split/Zagreb)

20:30 – 21:10 – Presentation “The story of the magical mirror” by Ana Frangovska (Skopje)

21:10 – 21:30 – Discussion with the two presenters and the artists


17.03 (Saturday)

17:30 – 17:50 – Introductory remarks by the curators;

17:50 – 19:45 – Presentations by the artists – participants in the Biennial:

– Bisera Krckovska; Jana Lulovska; Nemanja Trajkovikj; Vladan Petrushevikj; Ilija Prokopiev and Marija Hristova (PrivatePrint); Nikola Radulovikj; Nikola Slavevski; Goran Ristovski.

19:50 – 20:30 – Presentation “Artist talk and presentation of selected works” by Adela Jušić (Sarajevo);

20:30 – 21:10 – Presentation “TWIXTlab: an initiative between contemporary art, anthropology, and social reality, in the context of Athens today” by Sofia Grigoriadou (Athens);

21:10 – 21:30 – Discussion with the two presenters and the Artists


20.03 (Tuesday)

17:30 – 17:50 – Introductory remarks by the curators

17:50 – 20:20 – Presentations by the artists – participants in the Biennial:

– Ana Jovanovska; Igor Tanevski; Dorotej Neshovski; Anasatasija Pandilovska; Elena Chemerska; Ivana Mirchevska; Natasha Nedelkova;

Amir Karahasan; Ivan Durgutovski; Marko Gutić Mižimakov.

20:20 – 21:00 – Presentation “Work (in art) – is change possible?” by Danilo Prnjat (Belgrade);

21:00 – 21:20 – Discussion with the presenter and the artists.


Sofia Grigoriadu (Athens, Greece)



The publicity given worldwide to the so called “Greek crisis” seems to have rapidly turned Athens into a privileged, sometimes “exotic” destination for “crisis” tourists, as well as for many foreign artists, curators, anthropologists and other social scientists.

In this realm, documenta 14’s interest in “learning from Athens” brought the city into the spotlight of the international art world.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of collectives, artist-run spaces and independent projects have been emerging. Among them, TWIXTlab is a long term project, situated “between and betwixt” 1 contemporary art, anthropology and social reality. It adopts the form of a laboratory in order to propose or to support interventions in everyday life through workshops, seminars, screenings, presentations, discussions, and research projects. To better understand the complex and controversial role of documenta in the local context, TWIXTLab has initiated a two-year independent, international research program entitled “Learning from documenta”, in collaboration with several local and international partners. The program’s second phase, “Athens Arts Observatory”, aims to conduct a mapping of the contemporary Athenian art scene and a recording of its evolution.

In her presentation, Gridoriadou will briefly describe the context in which TWIXTlab was founded and is still functioning today. Discussing these two programs, she will also focus on TWIXTlab’s interests and activities in relation to Athens and the changes that have been taking place in the city, its image(s) and the artscene.


Sofia Grigoriadou is a Phd student in Social Anthropology (Panteion University, Athens). She holds an MFA degree from the Athens School of Fine Arts. She is a graduate of the A.S.F.A. (2013) and the Philosophical, Pedagogical and Psychological Department of the University of Athens (2006). She has participated in various exhibitions, conferences, research and artistic projects in Athens, Edinburgh, Istanbul, and Beirut. She has co-curated and co-organised artistic projects and exhibitions. She has organised and carried out artistic workshops and educational programs, worked with children with disabilities and taught at the A´painting workshop, ASFA. She collaborates with artists and anthropologists in the framework of TWIXTlab, an art project situated in between contemporary art, anthropology and the everyday.


1) twixt: shortened version of betwixt, which means in between, neither the one not the other. The social anthropologist Victor Turner used the phrase betwixt and between in order to characterize the intermediate out of three stages of the rite of passage as ultimate transitional, subversive and creative moment of societies’ lifetime.


Adela Jušić (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)


For the 12th Biennial of Young artists, Adela Jušić will talk about position of artist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, her experience at the international art scene, and present selection of her works from 2007 till present.

Adela Jušić (Bosnia and Herzegovina 1982) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Printmaking, University of Sarajevo in 2007 (MA), and holds an MA degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe from Sarajevo and Bologna Universities, 2013. Jušić has presented her work in more than 100 international exhibitions (Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain; Videonale, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Image Counter Image, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany, Balkan Inisght, Pompidou Center, Paris). She has participated in many artists in residence programs (ISCP, New York; Kulturkontakt, Vienna; i.a.a.b. Basel, Museums Quartier, Vienna) and in numerous panels, workshops and conferences. She received the Young Visual Artist Award for the best young Bosnian artist in 2010, Henkel Young Artist Price CEE in 2011, and Special award of Belgrade October Salon in 2013. Her works are part of many private and public collections. She is a co-founder and has participated in cultural projects at the Association for Culture and Art Crvena, since 2010, and is one of the creators of the Online archive of Antifascist struggle of women of B&H and Yugoslavia. The artistic practice of Adela Jušić is permeated with her personal experience and memories as well as politics and feminist discourse. A lot of her work investigates historical violence against women, participation of women in the Antifascist struggle in Yugoslavia, recent Yugoslav wars, and the unpleasant reality rooted in them.


Ivana Meštrov (Zagreb, Croatia)


This lecture will highlight some questions about the state of art education these days from the perspective of historical overview, as well as from personal experience as a lecturer of art history and theory within academia and informal and non-institutional educational frame (Curatorial platform program co-founded in 2008 in Zagreb, Mediterranea XVI-Young Artists Biennial Errors Allowed in Ancona co-curated in 2013, long term collaborations with Academies of Fine Arts in Split and Zagreb).

Ivana Meštrov is a curator and art historian from Zagreb, Croatia. Presently, she is a lecturer at the Department of Art History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Split. She is one of the co-founders of Slobodne veze/Loose Associations contemporary art practices as well as of the educational platform Kustoska platforma/Curatorial Platform.


Danilo Prnjat (Belgrade, Serbia)


The aim of the discussion “Work (in art) – is change possible?” is to open a conversation with the audience and participants in the context of the Biennial of Young Artists, on the subject of production relations within which the work of young artists is located, as this field is increasingly transformed towards the targeted “self-sustainability” based on work in creative industries or the production of a specific type of goods for the art market (art collections).

The conversation will include a brief introductory presentation with a reference to the historical framework within which the work of artists as a specific type of worker / producer is constituted in relation to the contextual determinations through which he passed. A dialogue form, followed by examples from the \ current ways of self-organization of artistic production will seek to uncover the mechanisms through which these dominant models operate. The purpose of the discussion is to jointly and collectively (as an only possible way to think about change) try to open a new work horizon in art which would involve work on social emancipation that will not reproduce existing political relations and will not be based on exploitation of any kind.

Danilo Prnjat (Montenegro 1982) is a visual artist who lives and works in Belgrade. He participated in many group exhibitions, conferences, conversations and implementations of (artistic) projects that explore the politics of participatory practices and collective work. In his work, he strives to overcome the established boundaries of art, as well as the relations between art and social reality through intervention in the field of economics. He is currently a Phd candidate in the final year of the PhD in Communication / Art and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School (EGS) in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. His critical work, based on the analysis of liberal culture, is published primarily on the portal “Dematerialization of art”.


Ana Frangovska (Skopje, Macedonia)


Once upon a time there were young artists from Macedonia who have always wanted to be reflected in the magical mirror in the city that gave all Macedonians different perspectives for themselves. Passing by the mirror, looking at it, they saw themselves as academically highly trained artists who had a lot of knowledge in multimedia, as an excellent basis for self-identification in art. Again, glimpsing in the mirror, they saw wide range of wonderful possibilities for cooperation with colleagues, curators, institutions, the Ministry of Culture, various cultural organizations. For the third time, the mirror showed how they travelled around the world without financial constraints and visited the most current and contemporary exhibitions, they communicated and became a part of significant artistic networks, creating works that did not show technical and technological impotence … the mirror offered many more glorious images, but it showed them a twisted notion and a great discrepancy between the expectations and the possibilities. The story of the mirror is only irony, but is it that the essence of the problems of the young artists lies in some of the cynical visions in the mirror and in the social context in which we exist, or it lies a little bit in their ambitions, their will and sacrifice?

Ana Frangovska (Skopje 1978) is a curator and a creative and dynamic art professional with fifteen years curatorial, educational and research experience in the contemporary visual arts. She works as a curator at the Macedonian National Gallery for the past ten years. She has effective public relations and presentations skills, and ample experience in written communication, planning and conducting art marketing campaigns. Selected international curatorial projects: ‘Essence of Existence’, exhibition of contemporary Macedonian art, Art Center Lauba, Zagreb, Croatia, 2015; ‘Utopia’, international conceptual exhibition, Multimedia center Mala Stanica, Skopje, Macedonia, 2015; ‘In Search of a Common Ground’ (together with Bojana Janeva – Shemova and Ars Acta), exhibition of eleven contemporary Macedonian artists, Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan; ‘Transfiguration’ – conceptual group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, Czech Center Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014; ‘Bread and salt’ – conceptual group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, Porcia Palace, Vienna, Austria, 2013; ‘Silentiopathologia’, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, Pavilion of Republic of Macedonia at the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy, 2013; ‘Black and white or not’ group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, CAM Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Napoli, Italy, 2013; ‘Perception’, MC Gallery New York, USA, 2012; ‘Crucial in choice” Flemish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium, 2008; ‘Eastern neighbours’, Babylon Cultural Center, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2006; Retrospective exhibition of Nove Frangovski in Taksim Sanat Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006; ‘Art exchange’ 2004, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, Los Angeles, USA, 2004; 10 Macedonian artists at the Autumn Salon, Paris, France, 2002, etc.

The Museum of Contemporary Art together with the Project Space Press To Exit organizes the lecture by Alenka Gregorić, art director and curator at the City Art Gallery in Ljubljana.

One of the oldest and most developed organizational structures in the art system is the museum. The basis of the professional operation of the museum: strategy related to the collection, program, exhibition activities, communication with the public, publishing, education, and marketing, representing part of a coherently built vision. But today, when museums seem to show particular interest in marketing ways and means of promoting collections and contents related to them, it is necessary to be aware of the dangers of marketing-oriented approaches in the creation of museum strategies. Considering the pitfalls of Western models of art institutions, the most striking element should be mentioned – museum architecture, which has triumphed over museum content since the nineties. The 1990s was a decade when “star architects” designed museums that promoted a model of architectural dominance, where architectural design competes with and even dominates the contents of a museum building, rather than complementing it. Terry Smith describes this type of architecture as “destination architecture”, architecture for entertainment or an amusement park, where the goal is to transform contemporary architecture and art into an attraction. In addition to attractive “selfie-friendly” architecture, this type of “stunning” museums also offer free access to a range of amenities that the museum offers as an integral part of its interior: socializing rooms, restaurants and shops.

In the West, museums were built as a new type of amusement park, following the model of shopping malls. In the countries of the former Yugoslavia, shopping centers were built as new amusement parks. As a result of the constant lack of funding for museum buildings, most museums in the region have, paradoxically, avoided the dangers that come with Western trends – a museum model with infrastructure for leisure activities and urban plans for the renewal of neglected city districts by building attractive museum complexes in the role of new amusement parks.

In this way, most museums remained “trapped” in old or outdated architectural buildings that do not allow modern approaches in architecture, forcing them to focus on their collections, exhibition activities and the theme of the content. As a result, they are relatively unattractive to international art tourism and its ever-increasing audiences, but find their place on the world map of significant art institutions, as a result of their outstanding programs and concepts arising from their exhibition strategies. Many museums in the region of the former Yugoslavia have created and developed curatorial and exhibition programs addressing their specificities, as well as analyzing and critically evaluating established Western examples.

Alenka Gregorić is an art historian, curator and writer. From 2003 to 2009 she was the director of the Škutz Gallery in Ljubljana, and from 2009 the art director and curator at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana and CC Tobacco 001 (both spaces part of the Museum and Galleries Ljubljana). In 2009, she was the curator of the Slovenian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, as well as the co-curator of the 28th Graphic Biennale in Ljubljana. In 2011 she was a co-curator (together with Gilit Eilat) of the 52nd October Salon in Belgrade, and in 2014 she was one of the curators of “Curated from_Vienna”. She has curated numerous solo and group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. In addition, she is the author of numerous essays, reviews, and columns published in artists’ books, catalogs, and other publications, and has been an editor of catalogs and artists’ books. The subject of her interest is the responsibility of those who create contemporary art, as well as cultural institutions and their role in contemporary society.


The event is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Skopje.

Extension of the horizon line:

The thrill and excitement of linear drawing

This for us sophisticated “theme” is relieved of deeper theoretical elaboration and has a reduced intensity of spectacularity. This is due to the paraphrased “exact” definition: the depicted object should be reduced to the performance with only the line, i.e. the contour, while shading is avoided, and more precisely, in painting, linearity is the way of expression in which the dominance of the line is emphasized, on the contour and of the plane as a marked surface.

The mentioned “regularities” contained in the partially interpreted definition bring us closer to the finality of a conceptual drawing that synthetically and precisely appears in itself as a rounded work. Now, despite the use of diverse material, which opens up possibilities for countless combinations, it mainly devotes itself to assumed artistic realizations based on quick, spontaneous notes, characteristic of the so-called. sketches or drawings. This use of minimal means of simplified moves initiates the crucial moment – the essential. From there comes the idea around the linear drawing in which it can be accepted as a sign or as an extension of the signification of the figurative or abstract representation, the illustrative or the narrative. In this context, the concept of the exhibition was gradually formed, for the reasons of not increasing the volume of the presented works, but also with the intention of ensuring the functionality of the unified coverage of the visual discourse of the modern and postmodern. Therefore, we continue to pay attention to the problematic lures of artistic expression, what with expanded views related to media, but also to phenomena as subspecies (for example, letterism or linearity in music, etc.).

Works with a multimedia character (1948-2017) by 56 Macedonian visual artists are exhibited.

On this occasion, the Museum continues the series of study exhibitions related to its collection, with a museological and individually curatorial approach. The idea is to point out some references to the area ​​depicting the view, but also to the general environment in Macedonia. The beginning is clearly marked by the works of the founders of modernism in Macedonian art. The postcard as a constitutive content in these works of art in which it appears as a complex of sights, symbols, and meanings touch the multiple critical areas that carry out theoretical excursions through the history of contemporary art, respecting the regularly mandatory aesthetic categories, but also those which declaratively move away from them.


The date of the “birth of modern” in Macedonia in 1925 (late or provocative enough for our environment) marked the beginning of contemporary Macedonian art. Our history of art constantly tries to demarcate the moments of the somewhat earlier accepted profiling of profane or sacred painting, without any specifically defined artistic tendencies. We have accepted and mastered them, in this case only with signs that have an illustrative Beat worldview.


So through certain classical modalities, which leave behind or neglect the mimicry of literal meanings, this exhibition concept was started, stimulated, first of all, by the specific works from the collection of MSU, Skopje. The titles of the presented samples often initiate the theme of the exhibition, at the same time opening the possibility to add connotations derived from their visual impression, more or less tied to the concrete realization. We also treat the details used as key templates as benchmark inserts, especially when the status of the work is set to varying degrees in a role to distance itself from traditionalism, encompassed in a broad framework, with the intention of opening a relaxed attitude towards the world. D. Shumka’s amphorae, Svetieva’s cart, Stefanov’s packed ceramics have the clear purpose of demystifying the archeology of our environment. Such examples are frequent, but at least lacking in the almost clear remittances for associativeness of the subject entity, for example in Shijak’s musanders, Shumkovsky’s verandas, Anastasov’s gates, Mazev’s monastery landscape, Velkov’s bridal jewelry, Shemov’s Oov smoker, iconic challenges Kondovski’s, Lozanoski’s tobaccos, Risteski’s Nivjeto, Gegoski’s similar landscape vedutes, Beqiri’s Blace, B. Nikoloski’s dot, etc. Ornamental depictions, tied to ancient characteristics, mark the art of a generation that is not burdened by any time interval. The works of Tsapev, Kondovski, Grchev or Vrentsovska are united in the established….? visual conception.


The implementation of relatively “fresh” events on the art scene complements the thought tied to the real view of the “appearance” or representation of Macedonia. However, we often find him in the relation of regional events, as a kind of reaction to P. Nikoloski, B. Maneski, N. Prlja, Vangeli, etc., but also as individual examples that possess close visual reflections.


From there arose the dilemma of how to determine the title of the exhibition and how to follow the itinerary of the exhibition. In the collection we find examples that do not neglect the concrete, mostly landscape view and register the moments in a certain period tied to the past century. As an example, we were first served by the works of foreign authors who mostly only experienced the atmosphere in Macedonia in a moment: Hisleitner, Svechnjak, Stancic, Teleri, Augustincic, Gert… For each of them there is a story, an imaginary representation of our space. Around 1932 Emi Singer Hisleitner, a painter from Austria, traveled the Balkans, so in Skopje she painted them with a record passion, choosing the old Turkish core of Skopje, which she later gave away. The Croatian painter Vilim Svechnjak, who is known as a member of the Zemja group, had a similar trip after the war, in 1948. stayed in Skopje and routinely registered the old architecture of the city. Stancic was inspired by the earthquake and painted the destroyed center of Skopje. Telleri prefers the Yugoslavia-Macedonia relationship and through a symbolic representation determines the difference between these two locations. Augustincic, loved to ennoble the image of Tito. Tito was the president of SFRY, who for almost half a century, and even today, is a cult figure in our environment (by the way, the two documented interventions of Bužek: Tito-Bužek), so he donated this sculpture. Although with a manner of academic realism, he emphasizes the striking features

Mihajlo Arsovski was born in Skopje on 9 July 1937 to a family of left-wing photographers, who moved to Zagreb after World War II. Towards the middle of the 1960s he had already started creating his distinctive visual language by fusing collage, photomontage, typographic quotes, frequently underscoring precisely the pictorial and visual impact. He is one of the most authentic pioneers of 1960s graphic design, recognised for his bold visual solutions, whose innovativeness can be identified even in present-day Croatian designers. By compounding images of high and pop culture he is certainly the originator of postmodernism in graphic design. His oeuvre is typified by his explicit personal views, resistance to conventional rendition, and his brave critical distance from the fine arts scene of his day.

Arsovski’s Posters

As an art form, the poster is a work of the street – it belongs to it. The poster reaches its apogee on the city billboards, purpose-built concrete blocks, and fences. Yet, from amidst this mélange, the poster should be functional so that its role is performed clearly; it must attract, direct, arouse interest in a particular group of people, and reach the wider public. A poster must inform, educate, induce sighs, provoke certain emotions. A poster is a play on signs, symbols, messages… It is here that Arsovski demonstrates a seriousness in this play, imposing stylistic forms, photomontage, collage, as well as bold typographic solutions, through a play on consonants and vowels. His posters evince the influence of the Swiss style through the play with whiteness, or the so-called “white space”, as well as the influence of the Polish school, especially on his theatre and film posters.

Of course, at that time Arsovski did not need to impose himself by means of his expression per se in the way that designers nowadays have a need to be imposing and strive for an ever greater visual shock. On the other hand, he also offered quite intriguing renditions and entirely unexpected links between words, letters, and signs. Intertwined in his play is the expressiveness of colours that shapes the entire content, inspired by ‘60s pop culture, thus weaving them together into colourful posters. These elements can be discerned in the works selected for this exhibition.

His creation for the Pop ekspres newspaper (1969) foreshadowed the future graphic language of the culture magazine, which would emerge during the 1990s.
The interpretation of his designs is made difficult by his ironic and negative attitude towards his own work.

According to Jasna Galjer, the authoress of his monograph, “some of his works are in museum depots and private collections, but no systematised catalogued inventory exists, and even the available facts are scarce, while many of his works have been lost in the meanwhile, which adds to the issues faced by art history in the present”.

Arsovski has also designed several books, graphic maps, album covers, and magazines, where the lavish expressive typography is complemented by strict functional solutions that represent some of the highest achievements in local design. In his creative ideas for the ITD Theatre from Zagreb, where his oeuvre contains more than 200 posters, by employing total design for the first time, he managed to establish the visual identity of the theatre.

Mihajlo Arsovski played a key part in the education of numerous young Croatian designers during the ‘80s, such as Mirko Ilikj, Dejan Krshikj, Nikola Gjurek, etc. This was a period when no appropriate education in typography existed in Croatia.
This great artist, who broke stereotypes, raised his voice against the communist society of the time, rarely appeared at the exhibitions where his works were displayed, declined the lifetime achievement award in Zagreb, deserves to be paid all due respect, to be shown gratitude for his vision, and to be given a promise that he shall not be forgotten.

“The Macedonian art scene can and should learn how to broaden its curriculum, both artistic and educational, as a foundation for its future development. Arsovski at Home is an idea that I had established in my mind in 2014. Its final implementation at the MCA makes me particularly proud, because this is how the recent history of the Museum is being written, as part of the newly opened Department of Architecture and Design, which will offer a museological processing of works in the fields of design and architecture and their appropriate treatment. It is never too late…” – said Laze Tripkov, Director at Museum of Contemporary Art.

The possibility of making chosen and quality collection of contemporary artworks, created by artists from this country and abroad with different esthetic and artistic orientations, has been an action of the Museum since its establishment. A collection of such type contains specific features that distinguish it from other such museums and contribute to it being especially important for this South Balkan region. The collection’s characteristics are supplemented, enriched, and edited with the buyout – a basic activity of the museum, as well as with the donations of the artworks. This exhibition “Acquisitions – donations 2012-2016” serves this purpose, by exhibiting the works to the public, the works that have been bought out or donated for the past five years. I can freely state that this time special attention is paid to contemporary Macedonian art creation and its presence in the collection, some of which is part of the continuous presentation at the MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). We would like the physiognomy and the action of the basic tasks of the museum to continue in the future with even further achievements and novelties, with organizing exhibitions of applied art, industrial design, and contemporary architecture not only from the domestic but also equally from the world art stage. One of the most important messages and motivations is the buyout of the above-mentioned.

41 art works have been bought out, by Macedonian authors only, while 27 art works have been donated – 20 from Macedonian authors and 7 from foreign authors.

Here we can include the voluminous and significant donations from the Mihajlovic family, the creation of the caricaturist Delcho Mihajlov, who counts 2072 caricatures in media with ink and watercolor on paper, all reproduced in his monograph, part of which will be exhibited at this exhibition under the title “Acquisitions – donations 2012-2016”.

We want to encourage the initiative to enrich the MoCA collection through the significant collectors and the large number of individuals who support the activity and mission of the museum to gather, study, preserve and present the important art works from different periods and years. The individual reactions of numerous artists, which include significant names of the contemporary Macedonian and foreign art, are especially exciting. Their contribution is remarkable, not only because of its value, but also because of its volume. It should be noted that the principles that guide this action seem to be well though and suitable for its further lasting, because they arise from some durable ethical and humanistic aspirations of the modern advanced humanity and the contemporary artistic awareness.

The museum, as an institution with broader international actions whose purpose is an international binding, apart from being responsible for maintaining and taking care of the Macedonian art creations, always has to tend not to neglect the buyout of foreign works from foreign authors, in order to enrich and encourage the contemporary growth of the international collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Republic of Macedonia.

Iva Petrova Dimovski


Purchased acquisitions

Slavica Janeshlieva-Bachvarska,Bonach, Bogdan Grabuloski, Goce Nanevski, Igor Sekovski, Gorazd Poposki, Lena Stefanova, Mirna Arsovska, Boris Shemov, Tode Ivanovski, Antoni Maznevski, Bedi Ibrahim, Ladislav Cvetkovski, Miroslava Mikica Trujkanovic, Borche Bogoevski, Dita Starova, Mihail Korubin,  Gordana Vrencoska,  Vasil Vasilev, Aleksandar Ivanovski-Karadare, Atanas Atanasoski, Stojče Tocinvski, Jasminka Novkovska, Ivan Velkov, Jovan Šumkovski, Blagoja Manevski, Dušan Perchinkov, Zhaneta Vangeli, Kiril Gegoski, Stanko Pavleski


Zhaneta Vangeli, Toni Shulajkovski, Željka Momirov (Serbia), Ljubomir Vučinić (Serbia), Aleksandar Stankoski, Sokrat Lafazanovski, Ivan Blazhev, Darko Aleksovski, Henry Moore (UK), Harold Stevenson (USA), Nada Prlja, Başak Avci (Turkey), Olga Kulišev (France), Simon Uzunovski


Cover photograph: Nada Prlja, Local Global, 2007, installation with record players and printed vinyl records

photo credit: Anita Palcheska