Macedonian Pavilion at 56th Venice Biennale 2015
Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski
We are all in this alone
9 May–22 November 2015
Preview: 6–8 May
Opening: 7 May, 3:30 pm, Arsenale – Sale d’Armi
Arsenale – Sale d’Armi
Curator: Basak Senova
The project references a number of intricate sources: a fresco painting from the church of St. Gjorgi in Kurbinovo, painted by an unknown author in the 12th century, as well as writings by Simone Weil, Luce Irigaray, and personal notes by Paul Thek dating from the 1970s. While searching for political values in the representations of formal aesthetic and literary sources, the work carries a specific urgency to articulate ways we continuously engage and disengage the past from the present while questioning the notion of faith.
Hristina Ivanoska’s drawings and objects are inspired by the texts of Simone Weil and Luce Irigaray. Weil questions her faith in God, considering it as a personal decision and path that one goes through alone. On the other hand, Irigaray explains the emotional and inexplicable (love) relation toward God in her essay “La Mystérique” (from the book Speculum de l’autre femme, 1974), asking: “But how does one tackle these things, even if one feels passionately about them, if there is no sense of vocation?”
Yane Calovski’s drawings and collages refer to recently discovered correspondences of Paul Thek in the Marzona Collection in Berlin, addressing the difficulty to survive while creating, producing and maintaining one’s own work and keeping faith in the idealism of collaborative production.
Additionally, addressing the value of hidden poetics in the details positioned well beyond the mundane clichés of one’s own need to produce language, Calovski literally paints invisible (erased) icons, procured through the physical disposal of the image as a religious symbol.
The We are all in this alone project is accompanied by a book, edited by Basak Senova. The book analyzes, reads and records the venture of the project with texts by the editor, Maja Nedelkoska Brzanova, Elke Krasny and Sebastian Cichocki, including a conversation between the artists and the curator. The contributions of Anne Barlow, Ksenija Cockova, Slavcho Dimitrov, Branko Franceschi, Omar Kholeif, Anders Kreuger, November Paynter, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, Dirk Teuber, Jalal Toufic and Eyal Wiezman embody different perspectives on faith and are accompanied by drawings from the artists. The book was designed by Erhan Muratoglu and published by the National Gallery of Macedonia with the support of Art Rooms, Kyrenia.
Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski have collaborated non-exclusively since 2000 creating works that often address historical and theoretical hypothesis as context-based scenarios. Ivanoska (b. 1974, Skopje) addresses established social roles and norms defined by the conventional social and political systems. Calovski (b. 1973, Skopje) is interested in reactivating, rather than fictionalizing, existing inconclusive modernist narratives. Their works have been presented at various institutions including Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2014), HDLU-Croatian Association of Artists, Zagreb (2009), ŻAK | BRANICKA (2008), Kronika, Bytom (2007), and other venues. Their works are part of Deutsche Bank Collection, Art Telekom Collection, Van Abbemuseum, Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, among other collections.
Basak Senova, the first foreign curator appointed to the Macedonian Pavilion, has also curated the Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Recently, she curated D-0 Ark Underground Project Biennial, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Helsinki Photography Biennial 2014 and the Jerusalem Show VII.
Image: Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski Chapel (We are all in this alone)(2014). Photo by Michael Belogour, Courtesy ŻAK | BRANICKA.