CURATING THE PUBLIC, CURATING THE COMMON | AICA SYMPOSIUM
| Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, North Macedonia |
U Skopju je 21. listopada 2022. održan simpozij u suradnji AICA Sjeverna Makedonija i Hrvatske sekcije AICA-e, na kojemu su HS AICA-u predstavljale Silva Kalčić i Ivana Meštrov.
CURATING THE PUBLIC, CURATING THE COMMON | AICA SYMPOSIUM
The annual symposium of the Association of Art Critics – AICA Macedonia, entitled “Curating the public, curating the common” was held at Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje on October 21 (Friday) 2022., starting from 12 am.
The working session of the program includes presentations and discussion on the topic “Curating the public, curating the common”, conceptualized and moderated by Vladimir Janchevski. The participants taking part at the symposium program are Silva Kalčić and Ivana Meštrov (Croatia), Maja Ćirić (Serbia), Yane Calovski, Biljana Tanurovska-Kjulavkovski and Klelija Zivkovic (North Macedonia).
The symposium is organized in partnership with AICA Croatia and (in organising the accompanying workshop) Socio-Cultural Space “Center-Jadro” and with financial and technical support from AICA International, Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia and Museum of Contemporary Art-Skopje.
More than three decades after it became widely accepted that history finally has ended, opening a door to a unipolar world that was believed to encompass and include all of humanity, we find ourselves disillusioned and in a uncertain present – probably the most dangerous and hostile environment since the WW2.
Today we are constantly reminded that a functioning democracy depends on the public sphere – so are the practices of image-making, and more specifically the arts – being a necessarily part of what was, or we still believe is, the sine qua non for thinking the commons.
Considering capitalism and the destruction of the commons especially in the current phase of neoliberal capitalism, through the critique of the politics of the commons from different perspectives, can open new solutions not only for our economic survival but also to the construction of a world free from the existing hierarchies and divisions.
Defining commons as the shared goods and knowledges of various groups linked to movements of self-organisation and resistance, we aim at a renewed thinking of the very notion of the public and the commons: as autonomous spaces from which to challenge the existing oppressive hierarchies that control and organize the labour, the distribution of the basic resources, processes that exploit the commons and endanger life on Earth.
Before we pose any other question concerning the role of the art world, we are obliged to rethink the current debates on what constitutes the public and the commons in a pluralist democratic societies and necessarily link them with the concepts that define the curatorial work – not so much as hierarchically structured management, but as a more radical de-hierarchical focus on integration and care.
The primary function and potential of curatorial practices is to be a bridge between the artists, the specific event sites and the public, questioning both material and social relations. Considering different conceptions of the public that implies not only moving outside institutional space, such as in many different interventions and participatory projects, we can detect alternative models of interacting, both in physical and virtual space.
Often it seems that this inevitable fight for the commons is transforming the cultural sphere and cultural workers in a deviant group, a community that is indeed the last defense in encouraging critical thinking and challenging the status quo.
So, that is why we also consider as necessary the analysis of the strategies used to attract a diverse public from different socioeconomical environment and to create the foundation for dialogue, and the reception of these kind of projects in precarious social environments, and the different public that is being addressed.
Articulating the idiosincratinc artistic languages to communicate a clear message, become alarming in the light of the meme wars and cooptation of some artistic strategies by far-right groups or authoritarian regimes. Countering the dangerous fundamentalist nationalist ideas of ‘commons’ that succeeds in polarizing societies and mobilizes masses all over the globe, is of crucial importance. Some of the basic questions we would like to pose are with the role of the curator, her motivations, as well as the similarities and differences between curatorial work and various aspects social engineering; the traditions of Institutional critique and the overlapping, or blurring the line of the curatorial and the artistic; the role of technology, the access to it, and the dangers of algorithmically driven individuation and immobilization.
In a disintegrating post-globalist art world we tirelessly and repeatedly stress the importance of connectivity, mobilization, building networks and amplifying the voices to communities through contemporary curatorial and artistic practices – more specifically through examples and practitioners from the post-Yugoslav context.
12.00 – 12.15 Vladimir Janchevski: Introduction
12.15 – 12.30 Klelija Zhivkovikj: Design for resurgence
12.30 – 12.45 Silva Kalčić: Examples of Extended Curatorial Practices in Contemporary Art
12.45 – 13.00 Yane Calovski: Makedonium: Dramaturgy of the Unfinished
13.00 – 13.15 Biljana Tanurovska – Kjulavkovski: Unsettling the Settled – Curating the commons as disturbing the normative
13.15 – 13.30 Ivana Meštrov: Tuning with, a rythmoanalytic approach to the decade long collective and public art curatorial practice
13.30 – 13.45 Maja Ćirić: Curating (and) NFTs
13.45 – 14.00 Discussion
Klelija Zhivkovikj: Design for resurgence
Through analyzing the literature and contemporary design practices, the research process is aimed at questioning the long standing conviction that the design methodology is a problem-solving one, and creating a theoretical and conceptual framing of its field of action in order to establish it as an artistic discipline which concerns itself with the world shaped by the mass consumption, extraction and distribution of resources. By making visible the entanglement between the design profession with industry, and therefore with the processes of extraction and distribution of resources and the development of the human species in relation to the more-than-human world, this research will offer a perspective on creating a design methodology towards kinship, interdependence and resurgence.
Silva Kalčić: Examples of Extended Curatorial Practices in Contemporary Art
The aim of the presentation is to present, examine and contextualise curatorial practices in contemporary art, more comprehensively in Croatian art history. The history of curatorial practices is a relatively little studied area in Croatian art history, while it is increasingly present at the international level. The objective is to address this important subject at the crossroads of art criticism, theory and practice, with examples from exhibition history and contextualisation of curatorial practices in art-historical research.
Yane Calovski: Makedonium: Dramaturgy of the Unfinished
Calovski will talk about his experience as an artist and researcher and will present the work Makedonium: Dramaturgy of the Unfinished, a collaborative project with Hristina Ivanoska. Inspired by the research of archival documentation from the process of making the memorial complex “Makedonium” (later renamed to “Ilinden”) by the authors Jordan and Iskra Grabuloski, and given by the family to the State Archive in Skopje, the project of Calovski and Ivanoska is long-term and takes place in several stages. The authors’ book of the same name, published in 2021 as the initial act of materialization, was realized in collaboration with the graphic artist Neda Firfova. It consists of the specific archival materials that the authors encountered for the first time in 2017, representing a substitute for the real and living memory open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, from which emerges a new artistic material: the dramaturgical text If а Stoy is Present by Ivanoska and the digital spatial installation Restrained Space (Affected by Your Actions) by Calovski. In the book are also republished several texts by other authors, such as Bojan Ivanov, Sonja Abadzieva, Antoanela Petkovska and Keith Brown, who in different time periods and from different aspects wrote about the monument and refer to its social, aesthetic-artistic and historical importance. Calovski will also refer to the second phase of the project, which will be realized in 2022, and that is the film that adapts Ivanoska’s dramaturgical text and is directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska. The final and third act of realization is a sculptural installation that captures the unfinished room for projections of historical materials, cocieved for the basement part of the monument itself.
Biljana Tanurovska – Kjulavkovski: Unsettling the Settled – Curating the commons as disturbing the normative
In this presentation I will propose and contest my thinking on perspectives allied to question of curating public and commons in art which are primarily for me interrelated to the problems of – how we work, or what are the labour conditions, how we relate the artworks to the working environment and among themselves, and how through those rhizomatic relations we (can) produce new social imaginaries in the art spaces as in the social realm. It is to think on principles of curatorial work that can not only present but also unfold the problems of public space, its devastation, disappearance of it, problems of democracy, etc. and perform the social imaginaries of commons, togetherness and conviviality in which art works are created and encountered. Curating the common or public is to unsettling the settled or disturbing the normative, normed, or shaking the body of verticality, putting it on the floor, symbolically but also literally, or make it horizontal, as to unlearn and rethink, thus (re)creating the ‘body in common’. I will try to explain what is curatorial ‘body in common’ through suggesting principles of work related to certain notions from several thinkers, such as publicing, transindividual, method of compliant, and will go through several examples of works and events which I relate to them, and which are proposing artistic as well as curatorial practice in which ‘body in common’ is appearing: examples of choreographic format by Bojana Cvejic, choreographer Christine De Smedt and filmmaker Lennart Laberenz, in the Spatial Confessions program; Institutions Need to be Constructed a hybrid format of a film set, performance and temporary residence by BadCo; One three, some and An Analogue Campaign, performances and actions by Danae Theodoridou, and examples of festivals of Kondenz and Locomotion 2011, as well as Co-existing festival.
Ivana Meštrov: Tuning with
Tuning with, a rythmoanalytic approach to the decade long collective and public art curatorial practice
Maja Ćirić: Curating (and) NFTs
NFTs are a form of cultural actualisation that commons started from below. Does the logic of transformation of value, inherent to NFTs, also transform professional curating? NFTs are supported by a two-fold dogma consisting of disunity with the traditional art institution and immateriality. However, while NFTs are not massively transforming traditional art institutions, they did bring some innovation in the methodology of curating. This is precisely because curating NFTs are not about replicating the usual power structures.
Klelija Zivkovik is a transdisciplinary designer based in Skopje. She investigates the role of design in shaping social and ecological realities by using prototyping both as a research process and a production format. Her most recent work “Prototyping tenderness: a personal log of a dying world”, an art book and exhibition commissioned by Private Print Studio, documents her inquiry into tenderness as the quality of a boundary between two beings, a being and its environment etc. In 2022, AIKA Macedonia awarded her the Ladislav Barisic award for her research project “Design for resurgence”, mapping contemporary design practices and intersectional ecology towards developing a design methodology which concerns itself with the world shaped by mass extraction and consumption.
Silva Kalčić obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb. She graduated in Art History from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb (MA). She currently teaches at the Department of Art History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, also at the Film and Video Department, Arts Academy of the University of Split. She also works as curator, critic, editor and theorist of contemporary art, architecture and design. She is the author of the visual culture textbook entitled Art in Suspense (2005) and also the book The World toward the Labyrinth. Essays on High Modernism and Postmodernism in the 1970 and 1980 (2017). She is the president of Croatian section of AICA, since 2019, and of HRV-InSEA, since 2022.
Yane Calovski is an artist, researcher, cultural activist, and a co-founder of Press to Exit Project Space. His interdisciplinary practice is built upon potentials of archiving by converging and augmenting a method similar to the immediacy of drawing. Calovski’s concerns range from the ways we analyze, understand and archive objects situated in the site-specificity of various cultural and political geographies. He has exhibited in individual and group exhibition at Kohta Konsthall – Helsinki, Museum of Contemporary Art – Zagreb, Guangdong Museum of Art, Malmö Konstmuseum, Bunkier Sztuki – Kraków, Bauhaus Foundation – Dessau, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Salzburger Kunstverein, Tate Britain, European Kunsthalle, Baltic Art Center, Contemporary Art Center Vilnius; Drawing Center, New York, and other venues. Calovski’s work is part of numerous public and private collections including Philadelphia Museum of Art, Van Abbemuseum, Deutsche Bank Collection and Art Telekom Collection. Collaboratively, with Hristina Ivanoska, he represented Macedonia at the 56th Venice Biennial (2015). His work was featured at the Helsinki Photography Biennial (2014), D-0 ARK Underground 2012, Manifesta 7 (Bolzano, 2008) and Manifesta 3 (Ljubljana, 2000). Calovski has been awarded a number of residencies and fellowships including IASPIS Residency (2018), ORTung Fellowship (2012), Allianz Kulturstiftung Fellowship (2004) and Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2001). He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1996) and Bennington College (1997), and attended the studio programs of CCA Kitakyushu (1999-2000) and the Jan van Eyck Academy (2002-2004). He lives and works in Skopje and Berlin.
Biljana Tanurovska – Kjulavkovski is cultural producer, researcher and a curator at the intersection of dance, theatre and visual arts performance. She is co-founder of Nomad Dance Academy platform (NDA) (2005-) Kino Kultura (KK) – project space (2015-2020), and program director of NGO Lokomotiva, Skopje (2003-). Currently she works on Archive of dance and performance in N.Macedonia as part of NDA project (Non)Aliened Movements; she is course leader of “Curatorial practices and context” at Stockholm University of Arts and co-mentor of the Critical Practice (made in Yu) program. In the past two years, she co-curated the exhibitions “REALIZE! RESIST! REACT! Performance and Politics in the 1990s in the Post-Yugoslav Context” in 2020 at the MOCAM Ljubljana and “Ecstatic Bodies: Archive of Performative Queer Bodies in Macedonia” at the Skopje Pride Weekend festival 2022 and co-curates festival program for dance on MOT festival in Skopje. She teaches and is author and editor of texts, journals and book “Modeling art and cultural institutions”. She holds PhD from the Faculty of Drama Arts in Belgrade. She has been awarded with the 2021 AICA Macedonia “Ladislav Barishic” Award for the collaborative research “Political Performance as extended field in Macedonia in 90s”, among other. Lately she is interested in research on feminist institutional and curatorial approaches in performance, theatre and choreography. She is a mother of Nika, daughter of Vera and granddaughter of Danica and Neda.
Ivana Meštrov is an independent curator and art writer based in Zagreb. She obtained her MA of art history at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris and attended curatorial programme at Ecole du Magasin Grenoble. She presently manages visual arts programmes at Galerija Događanja & Cultural Center KNAP and co-curates activities of Galerija Zoja Dumengjić at Split Clinical Hospital Center. Lately she curated public art campaign for World Refugee Day 2022 across Croatia, co-curated Ostrale Biennial of Contemporary Art (Atemwende, Dresden, 2021.) and 41st edition of Split Salon (Not definitely lost to each other, Split, 2021.). Her recent writing and co-editorial projects include: Nicole Hewitt, This Woman is called Jasna-a sketch for a historical novel in cinematic form, Pangolin Zagreb, 2022.; Biblioteka 0 općenito- texts for everyday resistance within the neoliberal realm; Ana Hušman, A Person without a House is Homeless, what is a House without a Person? Nada Kareš and Vjenceslav Richter Collection MSU&Pangolin Zagreb, 2021.; David Maljković et al, With the Collection, MMSU Rijeka, 2020; Nora Turato in Villa Ružić, MMSU Rijeka, 2020.). She is a founding member of Slobodne veze/Loose Associations Contemporary Art Practices, regular contributor to Croatian Radio HR3 and a member of Executive board of AICA Croatia since 2019.
Maja Ćirić is an independent curator and art critic. After the digital turn in 2020, she became more involved in phygital (physical + digital) projects, conferences and exhibitions in the hybrid field of art + science + tech. She also curated in the metaverse. She was the curator of the 20th Biennial of Art in Pančevo, Serbia, the curator of Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale, in Tirana (2017), and has been both the curator (2007) and the commissioner (2013) of the Serbian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Maja holds a PhD in Art Theory (Thesis: “Institutional Critique and Curating”) from the University of Arts in Belgrade. Her speaking engagements, among others, were/are at MAC VAL (2017), Centre Pompidou (2018), and MNAC Bucharest (2018), AICA Serbia Conference (2021), Zlin Digital Exhibition Design Conference (2021), Interact Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (2021) and IKT Conference (2021). She contributed to Flash Art, Obieg, Artforum, Artmargins Online, Arts of the Working Class, springerin, Third Text. Her areas of expertise span from the geopolitical and the curatorial through curating as a practice of institutional critique. She currently works as an art consultant.