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Within the MSU Skopje Interdisciplinary Program, in the last five years, several lectures were held from different fields of critical theory, art criticism, contemporary art and museology, as well as conversations and artists talks presenting the works of Macedonian and world artists.

The recorded part of that program for the museum’s video and audio archive, which has already been published on the YouTube channel and the MSU Facebook network, can also be streamed on our website, which has recently been placed in the Educational Programs section: https://msu.mk/lectures/

The new volume of The Large Glass Magazine No. 35/36 intends to provoke debates regarding the present challenges in critical museology. Triggered by the ‘MoCA Skopje’ collection in Kunsthalle Vienna in 2023, it represents an effort to return our attention to the critical approaches and ways of questioning curatorial practices, museum collections, gallery spaces, and audiences. The issue provides insights and appreciation concerning the relations between critical museums, self-reflexivity, the representation of cultural diversities, practices of decolonization, and museology in more-than-human worlds.

The contributors to this issue are Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Jesus Pedro Lorente, Sonja Abadžieva, Bojana Piškur, Adam Nocek, Marija Đorgović, Fiona R. Cameron, and the collective What, How & for Whom/WHW, etc.

 

Еditor-in chief: Tihomir Topuzovski

Assistant editors: Ivana Vaseva and Vladimir Janchevski

Layout: Denis Saraginovski

Pages: 150

 

Content:

6
Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius:
The Critical Museum Postscriptum
12
Pedro Jose Lorente:
Self-reflective Museums and (meta)Museographical
Reappraisals: The Special Case of
Museums of Contemporary Art
20
Bojana Piškur:
Some thoughts on decolonizing the art institutions
26
Marija Đorgović:
From a Critique of the Institution to a Critical Institution?
The Case of the Museum of Yugoslavia
33
Sonja Abadžieva:
At the Center of the Cyclone
38
What, How & for Whom/WHW
No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection
52
Fiona R. Cameron:
Curating and Museologies in More-than-Human Worlds
59
Research and Exhibition Project:
Landscape of Anxiety
102
Adam Nocek:
On the Architectures of Hospitality in
Agroecological Urbanisms
114
The MoCA’s exhibition
All That We Have in Common
Jovanka Popova
124
The MoCA’s exhibition
Bitter Sugar
Multimedia project by Gjorgje Jovanovik
Vladimir Janchevski and Blagoja Varoshanec
134
The MoCA’s exhibition
The Future as a Project
Doxiadis in Skopje
Jovan Ivanovski, Vladimir Deskov,
Ana Ivanovska Deskova, Kalliopi Amygdalou,
Kostas Tsiambaos, Tea Damjanovska, Mihajlo
Stojanovski and Christos Kritikos.
142
The MoCA’s exhibition
On Defragmentation as a Freeing Mental Space and
Societal Necessity
Vladimir Janchevski and Blagoja Varoshanec

 

The project of the fashion designer agnes b., the unique magazine point d’ironie (www.pointdironie.com/index.php) in its latest 67th edition presents the project of Leonard Hilton McGarr aka Futura, the American graffiti artist who together with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf in the 1980s became known for introducing abstraction within the street graffiti idiom.

Typically spread over eight pages, which are given to each artist invited by the magazine’s editor – well known Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist – point d’ironie in the latest issue brings Futura’s anti-war message, as the title of his project NO GUERRA reads: “NO GUERRA is a creative presentation of concepts, individuals, places and ideas. Thanks for your anti-war thoughts…”

The magazine is printed in one hundred thousand copies and distributed free of charge to art institutions and galleries in over one hundred countries worldwide. The Skopje Museum of Contemporary Art has been the only distributor for Macedonia for more than twenty years. The museum receives the magazine in a limited edition of one hundred copies, which can be obtained in the museum shop free of charge.

Lately one of the major restoration efforts of the Collections Department and the Conservation Department of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje is the conservation of one of the significant works in the museum’s international collection, the painting Virtue in Necessity by the recently deceased Italian artist Gianfranco Baruchello (1924 – 2023).

The painting is part of a large donation of works of art by several Italian artists, donated in the mid-sixties, as an expression of solidarity with the Macedonian capital, the city of Skopje, which in 1963 was struck by a catastrophic earthquake.

In the multidisciplinary and idiosyncratic work of Baruchello – which includes painting, sculpture, film, poetry, psychoanalysis, happenings, agriculture and radical activism – the painting Virtue in Necessity from 1963 (mixed media on canvas, 190 x 200 cm inv. no. 01864), originates from the very beginnings of his artistic career when he created a group of paintings conceptually key to his further oeuvre; paintings filled with fragmentary drawings, miniature worlds scattered on the decentered surface of his canvases.

But unlike this entire cycle, which is typically painted on a white background, Virtue in Necessity stands out among several early canvases for its intense red and orange background and its distinctive drawings and symbols, which the artist himself compares to thought processes and dreams, something that is typical of the Baruchello’s oeuvre in general. 

 

 

During its existence, the painting has suffered minor damages caused in part by the changing atmospheric conditions of exposure or deposition at certain times in the past, as well as one major damage on part of the surface layer of the canvas, caused several years ago by a sudden leaking of the museum’s roof. All these factors made it impossible to include the work in occasional museum exhibitions.

Finally, with the restoration and conservation project prepared by the Department of Collections and Depot and the Conservation Department, in close cooperation with Ema Petrova Nikolovska, senior conservator at the National Conservation Center – a project financially supported by the Ministry of Culture and approved by the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments – the painting of Baruchello will soon be restored to its original state.

After the previously conducted research and chemical, microscopic, X-ray, and infrared analysis of samples from the surface of the canvas and fragments of the paint, the conservators Ljupco Iljovski and Jadranka Milčovska, in consultation with Ema Petrova Nikolovska, started the process of restoration and conservation, which in several stages mainly includes: thorough cleaning of surfaces from chemical damage with chemical means, fixing the colored layer with Japanese paper, ironing the deformations of the canvas, antiseptic treatment of the “blind frame”, injecting a binder, putting the damaged areas with restoration putty and leveling with egg emulsion that follows the original texture of the painted surface.

With the realization of the project, the Department of Conservation and Restoration confirms itself as one of the successful sectors of MSU Skopje, which after many years of stagnation due to insufficient personnel, and technical and financial support, has been on the rise for several years now and starting with the employment of conservator Ljupco Iljovski, accompanied recently by the external collaborator, conservator Jadranka Milchovska. Their constant professional concern for the condition of art objects enables the realization of one of the essential museum tasks, such as the protection of works of art and cultural heritage.

 

Gianfranco Baruchello, Virtue in Need, 1963, mixed media, 190x200cm (MSU painting collection, inv. no. 01864)

        

Tihomir Topuzovski is the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. Following the recent resignation of Mira Gakjina, Topuzovski takes the position of acting director from his previous work at the museum as an editor of the Interdisciplinary and Discursive Programs and editor-in-chief of the Large Glass Journal.             

Tihomir Topuzovski received his doctoral degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK. He also has two BAs in Philosophy and Art, and an MA in Art, and has received numerous academic achievement awards and research grants. He was also a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at the Södertörn University in Stockholm. His research is at the intersection of philosophy, politics, environmental sciences, and the visual arts. He has published a number of papers and participated in individual and group exhibitions. His latest work includes а monograph ‘Postanarchism and Critical Art Practices’ (forthcoming – Bloomsbury Academic), an edited book: with Saul Newman The Posthuman Pandemic (2021), published by Bloomsbury Academic. His other recent works are Aesthetics Technique and Spatial Occupation in Hybrid Political Regimes, Baltic Worlds, Vol. XIV:3, pp 57-63 (2021), and a contribution of chapter to an edited book: Topuzovski T. & Andreas L. (2020) Political protest, temporary urbanism and the deactivation of urban spaces, in Transforming Cities Through Temporary Urbanism – A Comparative Overview, ed. ANDRES, L & ZHANG, Y, Springer. He has organized and contributed to various artistic projects and presentations within the MoCA Skopje programs including ‘Dis/Ordering the Art World’ and ‘Landscape of Anxiety’. Topuzovski is editor-in-chief of The Large Glass Journal for Contemporary Art, Culture, and Theory, published annually by the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje.

The Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje informs that the director, Mira Gaćina, after six years of successful management as director of the museum resigned from this position for personal reasons.

 Mira Gaćina, who held the position since the middle of 2017, is an art historian by vocation, with a doctorate in production and management of cultural institutions – case study MoCA-Skopje. Gathering and successfully working with an experienced team of curators, Mira Gaćina managed to put MSU on the map of internationally recognized museums, realizing several capital exhibition projects. One of the last major international projects, which is still ongoing, is the exhibition “No feeling is final: Solidarity Collection, MSU Skopje” in the Kunsthalle in Vienna, an exhibition that reaffirms the basic character of MSU Skopje as a museum of international solidarity. The exhibition will also travel to Prague next year, and contacts are underway with other museums to expand the dimensions of this project.

The series of exhibitions “Everything We Have in Common” which included the works and personal presence of a number of relevant world and regional artists, then the collaboration of exhibition projects in Krakow, Thessaloniki and the co-partnership with Manifesta, one of the most important world manifestations of contemporary art, are only some of the successful international projects of MoCA Skopje. Here we should also mention the importance of the Interdisciplinary Program, which, together with the renewed publication of the Large Glass magazine, was very successful in the presentation of today’s relevant theoretical and critical practices. These international successes were crowned by the Museum’s admission to CIMAM (International Association of Museums of Modern Art), as well as the international award “Živa” awarded to MSU for creativity and special achievements.

During her tenure, Mira Gaćina and the curatorial team have continuously produced exhibitions including appearances and collaborations with world-renowned, regional, and Macedonian artists.

The revival of the specific solidarity character of the Skopje Museum of Contemporary Art is of exceptional importance for the enriching the collections with over a hundred new gifts from foreign and Macedonian artists and donors. During this period the museum also raised to a much higher level the importance of the educational programs as one of its essential social missions.

 

Ariane Spanier, Graphic Design Studio – Berlin, design for the new MoCA Skopje logo

 

In her statement, Mira Gaćina points out her personal motivations for taking the position: “Probably many residents of Skopje, like me, were, and still are, fascinated by the MoCA’s building, which calmly observes the City, without imposing itself.

But what is the real value of its collection, and especially of its concept, as a museum initiated and realized by the artists’s donations, I realized this over time, through my studies and comparisons with other world museums.

I accepted the opportunity to demonstrate the potential of this Museum, knowing in advance how many followers it has and considering their enthusiasm I intended to revive the pioneering ideals.

Together with the team of curators, we envisioned this Museum of Solidarity as an Open Museum, open to all generations, to all groups, to all communities, and above all, to the people of Skopje, as an integral part of Old Skopje, with all its cultural diversity, following the original Mission. But the most important thing, I think, is that we inspired a new generation of international artists to donate works to the Museum. Solidarity as a value rose above the spontaneous reaction caused by the earthquake in a museum concept, as a transgenerational connection of the artists.

Despite the fact that I will be away from the Museum for a while, I will nevertheless remain forever motivated to participate in its further development, satisfied that the Museum, after 60 years since its foundation, is once again one of the most convincing values of Skopje’s urban life.”

Highlighting some of the more significant achievements, the expert team and employees of the Museum of Contemporary Art hope that this trend of raising the levels of the institution’s work will be properly recognized and will find even greater support from the Ministry of Culture and long-term partners and supporters.

 

The educational program within MoCA Skopje expands the educational discourse with a series of lectures and workshops titled “MoCA  School” under the mentorship of the artist Nikola Uzunovski. The program starts on October 3rd, with lectures every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 8 PM (with an exception for the national holidays on October 24 and 26).

The lectures are free, but regular attending of the sessions and prior registration of the participants are recommended. All those interested can register by October 2nd at the e-mail address: info@msu.mk, with first and last name, profession and announcement whether they will follow the whole course or individual lectures.

The program aims to sharpen general education, knowledge and interest in visual, especially contemporary visual art. The program of “MoCA School” is aimed, first of all, at the students of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the students of History of Art and Archeology, the Faculty of Architecture, as well as the students who study design, fashion and anyone interested in the contemporary and have an affinity to get a sharper picture of art. 

 

More details about dates and the subjects: School programs

Using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Microsoft has developed The Sol LeWitt App. dedicated to the art and work of the influential American artist Sol LeWitt, the pioneer of minimalism and conceptual art, an artist who is also represented in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje with his donation of a portfolio with two significant series of prints.

 

Sol LeWitt, Location of Lines, 1975, etching on paper, set of five prints, 45×45 cm each, MoCA Skopje collection of prints

 

The application is a guide in an engaging and interactive way through LeWitt’s extraordinarily productive and thematically diverse body of work, such as:

– virtual tour of his working studio in Chester, Connecticut, which is usually closed to the public;

– mapping and scanning some of his wall drawings executed in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia;

– the exploration of LeWitt’s life that shows the global influence of his art;

– the app also offers a collection of articles that shed light on 6 of LeWitt’s working topics, as well as never-before-seen audio, video and sketches from LeWitt himself.

The app was developed in collaboration with Sol LeWitt Estate and is conceptualized and curated by Lindsay Aveilhé.

The Sol LeWitt App is available for free on Google Play, App Store and Microsoft Store App.

 

 

Collection

 

 

Catalog from the exhibition:

Petar Lubarda: From the MoCA Skopje Collection

Publisher:

Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, 2023

Authors:

Vladimir Janchevski, Blagoja Varoshanec

Text:

Marija Petrovic, Vladimir Janchevski, Blagoja Varoshanec

Photography:

Robert Jankuloski, and the documentation of MoCA-Skopje

Graphic Design:

Iliana Petrushevska

Language:

Macedonian and English

Cover and dimensions:

paperback bound, 23,5 x 16,5 cm

Pages:

60

The award “Most Successful Artist and Work” at the 14th International Biennale of Young Artists thematically titled “Awakening” was equally awarded to Serhat Emrulai (North Macedonia), for his installation entitled “Between” from 2022 and to Nadja Kračunović (Serbia), for her video performance “Hydra” from 2023. The prize consists of solo exhibitions in the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje, which will take place in 2024.

The jury consisting of cultural theorist Slavcho Dimitrov, and curators Bojana Janeva and Vladimir Janchevski, explained its unanimous decision saying: “When making the decision for this year’s winner of the award for the most successful artist and his/her work, the consideration was additionally influenced by the overall practice of the artists represented at this Biennale and their potential for the realization of a more significant step through an independent presentation at MSU Skopje. Hence, in the works of two award-winning artists, Serhat Emrulai and Nadja Kračunović, and their use of various media and well-developed conceptual postulates, the jury saw deep sensitivity and subtlety in addressing, analyzing and presenting various social, political and cultural issues relevant to the present.”

 

Nadja Kračunović, Hydra, 2023, video performance, 17:08

 

“Hydra” by Nadja Kračunović is a performative video displaying several months of investigation in the field of the personal, authentic, intimate female voice as a resistance to the patriarchal landscape. The highly developed conceptual arrangement through the supporting role of sound, the voice in the form of a scream, whisper, or silence, the multifaceted visual meanings, the collective work with other artists, as well as the simultaneous clear and strong message to the viewer make this work an overall biennial achievement.

 

Serhat Emrulai, In-Between, 2022, installation, 140x100x200 cm

 

Serhat Emrulai’s installation “Between” addresses the question of time through the continuous cacophonous sound of the spinning of teaspoons, where past and present are marked by continuous anticipation. Sharing a personal impression, a childhood memory of an ordinary daily life routine, the author signifies the collective human need for connection, a significant change always expected from the future, concentrated in the moment/s of waiting. Also, this work answered the question posed by this year’s biennial theme, how artists experienced the pandemic restrictive period when the whole world was hostage to a time filled with waiting for the moment when things would change.

This year’s 14th Biennale of Young Artists was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in the period from April 6 to May 26, 2023