Exhibition opening: Tuesday, June 30th 2015 at 7 PM
“Essence of Existence“ is art concept addressing various spheres of everyday life, life in general, existence, perceptions that differently approach the essence of the entity, of the endurance, of the functioning. Included here is the genesis of love, spirituality, food… and also found under this discourse are instances of dignity, ideology, politics, social issues. Usually, when it comes to topics related to existence, Sartre is inevitable and the existentialists who speak of the absurdity of the social phenomena, i.e. the absurdity of the essence in existence. The critical views on the everyday existence in the works of the exhibition “Essence of Existence” can also be read in the context of reflecting on the longstanding “unbearable difficulty of existence”, to paraphrase the title of the famous novel by Milan Kundera, “Unbearable Lightness of Being”, and offer different terms in the fight for the (im)possible emotional existence within the oppressive social systems.
Of course, there is also the humanistic psychology of Abraham Maslow and his frequently exploited theory of “Hierarchy of Needs”. The basis of his “pyramid of needs” is satisfying the instinctive biological evolutionary physiological human urges, and the gradual “conquest” of the different levels to the top of the pyramid is becoming more complex and rarely attainable. The simple interpretation of this theory, the arrangement of the positions and the interrelations of the different levels of needs, whereby the transition to each successive step is conditioned by satisfying every previous, becomes complicated by the basic social (in)security as a prerequisite for ensuring the basic living needs.
This concept with general tone will encompass the aspects of thirty Macedonian contemporary artists who, in diverse ways, react to the existential principles using different media for visual expression – from the classical: painting, graphics, sculpture, through installation, objects, photography, up to video projections, digital prints, performances, sound installations...
The selected artists Ismet Ramicevic, Metodi Angelov, Atanas Botev, Vana Urosevic, Irena Paskali, Aleksandar Stankovski, Velimir Zernovski, Gjorgje Jovanovic, Marija Sotirovska, Dijana Bogdanovska, Igor Sekovski, Slavica Janeslieva, OPA, Mihaela Jovanovska, collective Zero, Dimce Dimeski, Igor Tosevski, Goce Nanevski, Darko Aleksovski, Krunislav Stojanovski, Zeni Ballazhi, Mirna Arsovska, Zorica Zafirovska, Aleksandar Spasoski, Zaneta Vangeli in their creative vocabulary use elements corresponding to the main discourse of the concept, each of them touching the points of the essential of existence in different manners and from different perspectives. With this thematic intersection, we hope and we believe that we will provide one possible aspect towards the consideration of Macedonian contemporary art.
Ana Frangovska, Gorancho Gjorgjievski, Maja Cankulovska - Mihajlovska / National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje
Text: Ana Frangovska, Gorancho Gjorgjievski, Maja Cankulovska - Mihajlovska