geert lovink on 26 Feb 2001 07:27:35 -0000

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<nettime> Suzana Milevska: Report on Capital & Gender (Skopje)

From: "Suzana Milevska" <>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 11:04 PM

International project for art and theory
24 - 27 January 2001, Skopje

By Suzana Milevska

24-26 January Conference Capital & Gender - Museum of the City of Skopje -
Open Graphic Art Studio
25 January Marina Abramovic - The Great China Wall Walk - exhibition of 12
photographs with drawings - Museum of the City of Skopje - Open Graphic Art
26 January Public Art Project Perfect Match - City Shopping Mall
24-27  Web project workshops - Contemporary Art Center

The international project for theory and art called Capital & Gender was the
first project of such complex structure that took place in Skopje, Macedonia
that put under the same "umbrella" a conference that included theorists,
curators, art critics, managers and artists from different Balkan and other
Eastern countries  (Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, SR Yugoslavia, Slovenia,
Estonia, Hungary, Croatia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and several
guests from the Western countries, invited to discuss the four different
topics entailed within the framework of the main theme of the project: the
problem of the reflection of the capital on the gender and sexual difference
in the countries that are experiencing the shift from state to market
economy as well as the public art project Perfect Match (curated by Suzana
Milevska ) that took place in the City Shopping Mall. Also, there were web
project workshops that gathered the artists who produced projects on
internet with similar topics.

The different topics of the conference: Capital, Information and Difference,
Real Art/Virtual Money Capital in Theory and Practice, Pay- per View Art,
Gender & Management Troubles with Sex, Theory and History and Who is Afraid
of a Big Bad Capital provoked a lot of discussions about the problem of the
proliferation of money and information that is influencing the concept of
sexual differentiation in the countries where the social issues of equality
and difference in the past fifty years were structured differently than in
the Western countries.

Also, the question of sex and pornography in arts was posed because it
differs from time to time, from one culture to another so that the different
aspects and attitudes toward these problems were discussed in the framework
of different laws and cultural corporeal stereotypes in East and West.
Several presentations of cultural managers were also given that compared
different experiences in conditions of transformation of the attitude toward
culture in transitional societies.
The opening of the public art project Perfect Match took place in the City
Shopping Mall (or City Trading Center) that was built in the late seventies
and was one of the rare shopping malls in the region at that time.
Interestingly enough, although at that time the values of this society were
not turned towards consumerism, the Mall was vivid and successful until the
middle of eighties when the first private shopping centers started to be
built. It took about ten years until the government started to sell or rent
certain sections to private firms and thus enabled the re-flourishing of the
once popular ritual of afternoon shopping fever. Since the architectural
structure was flexible enough the space transformed from big department
stores to small boutiques that today make the City Shopping Mall one of the
main targets of the new rich class of businessmen of Macedonia.

The transformation of the Macedonian society and the process of transition
of the economy from socialist and state controlled to a stage where it will
be directed by the market influenced not only the production and market
relations but also the relations between different genders. That influence
was the starting point for organizing the public art project Perfect Match.
20 artists from different countries in the region are included in the
project "Perfect Match". One part of the project was also designed as
Internet project that gives opportunity to the art works to have longer life
than the duration of the exhibition. It is very important that the project
was not limited to a gallery space but that the artists were invited to
produce public art projects for the site that is connected with the main
theme: the relation between the ideal love and capital. Thus, the artists
participated interactivelly in the life of the city entering the realm of
their investigation with their creation more directly.

The themes that inspired the artists mostly derived from the changes in the
relation between the genders in the conditions of transition, when the
problems of freeing of the market, and the political and social turbulence
are reflected in the ideals and everyday life of the artists and
theoreticians in different communities. There are going to be presented
works realized in different media: photographs, photo-installations,
objects, video art projects, and  performances. The shopping is taken as a
metaphor of the eternal desire of the people to find the perfect match
through advertising anything: from cloths to their personal life. Thus, the
opening of the exhibition itself was imagined and structured as an
invitation to the audience to a shopping tour in the City Shopping Mall.

Huseyin Alptekin presented his idea that the relation between art and art
market is a very twisted love/hate relation, a kind of a strange Pervert
Match, 2001 that was presented with CD and video projection of his
paradoxical project of simulated tourist agency. Maja Bajevic with her Kit
for the Gloves to Save the Marriage, 2001 designed a unique model of gloves
especially for this project and it is aimed to save the marriage. It can be
bought and ordered from the artist:
e-mail: and it was advertised as a poster on the window of
a pharmacy. Luchezar Boyadjiev in his "... % Sex Up", 2001 put numerous
"price" labels with a certain % of increase of the sex appeal of customers
who buy female or male clothing from one particular underware shop.  The
percentage of the increase or decrease of the sex appeal of the buyer,
according to the artist, corresponded to the percentage of increase or
decrease in the price of the particular item.

Zdenko Buzek in his interactive performance Personal Contacts invited to a
chat each visitor in personal. The goal of this performance was a mutual
pleasant time in between guests and the author. The performance was inspired
by the section "Personal contacts", part of the biggest free-adds paper in
Croatia. The work by Marina Grzinic/Aina Smid Troubles with Sex, Theory and
History, 2000 was a collage made of textual and visual quotes from history,
theory and popular culture, accompanied with lots of humor and irony on
themes related to the gender differences and their influence on the historic
events, is structured as an interactive labyrinth in which you create the
history while making choices for your next click.

Hristina Ivanoska/Yane Calovski for Everything Matters, Inc. exhibited their
Blanket for fun and/or emergency (prototype), 2001 construction with mass
produced accessories in poly-acrylic, cotton, and wool  and video projection
of their original product which usage was demonstrated during the opening.
Slavica Janeslieva in her work Love and Interest, 2000 presented the actual
story about the marriage of her grandparents. It deals with the traditions
of the Macedonian families to set up marriages during the last centuries and
is actually the image the artist had memorized when she heard the story.
Zoran Naskovski/Jelena Jocic in their interactive performance Swing, 2001
reminded the audience to the forgotten ritual of swinging known from many
cultural traditions as a ritual of seducing. The project Looking for a
Husband with EU Passport, 2000 by Tanja Ostojic is an internet project
( consisting of  messages
that were sent to her private e-mail address as answers to her provocative
request put on Internet for a longer period and of a poster exhibited in
windows of photo-shops. RASSIM © presented his Corrections, 1999, the video
project that is actually a video documentation of the long-term process of
working out and transformation through which the artist transformed his body
in art project. During this project the video was shown in a specialized
store for working-out equipment. Dejan Spasovik's Counselor for Choice, 2001
was also an Interactive performance with cell phone, advertisement and stand
that was based on the usual need for advice for shopping during the process
of choosing adequate cloths that already exists as a job counselor in the
big departments stores abroad. The artist was available in person and on his
mobile (070 516 203) for any advice or information on  different models,
prices, numbers...

Ana Stojkovic's Match Maker Game, 2001 is a web site project - interactive
game ( that is
based on the facts that there is no precise translation parallel for the
word love in the Japanese language. Love is differentia specifica of the
Christian religion and culture while in traditional Japan it does not exists
as a concept. In the China language it exists but it is not recommended to
utter it personally and directly. In his Skopje Singles, 2000/2001 the
artist Igor Tosevski has photographed men and women of different generations
who leave alone investigating their habits, ambient and reasons for the
choice they have made to separate from their family.

Violeta Capovska in her video project Mothers' Group, 2000 deals with the
concept of Mothers' Group that is relatively unknown in the Macedonian
context. It derived within the Western societies as a result of the lack of
family support in general to new mothers in the big cities. The young
mothers are usually the most lonely and isolated part of these social
groups. The idea for this project derived from her personal two-year
experience in one of such groups in Melbourne. Monologues of 8 mothers are
recorded from different cultural backgrounds, while they express their first
motherhood experiences.

The invited participants of the conference were: Huseyin B. Alptekin, artist
(Turkey), Ljubica Arsovska, Editor in Chief of Culturen zivot magazine
(Macedonia), Dotothee Bauerle-Willert, art historian (Germany), Jara
Boubnova, curator (Bulgaria), Luchezar Boyadjiev, artist (Bulgaria), Zdenko
Buzek (Croatia), Danica Dakic, artist (BiH), Marina Grzinic, artist and art
theorist (Slovenia), Eleni Laperi Koci, art manager (Albania), Suzana
Milevska, curator and art theorist, (Macedonia), Svetlana Racanovic, art
manager (Monte Negro, SRY), Sandra Sterle, artist (Croatia), Katalin Timar,
art historian (Hungary), Olga Zhuk, cultural and art manager (Ukraina),
Zaneta Vangeli, artist (Macedonia)

Participants of the exhibition: Huseyn B. Alptekin (Turkey), Maja Bajevic
(BiH), Zdenko Buzek (Croatia), Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), Violeta
Capovska (Macedonia/Australia), Danica Dakic/Sandra Sterle (BiH/Croatia),
Marina Grzinic (Slovenia), Hristina Ivanoska/Yane Calovski (Macedonia/USA),
Slavica Janeslieva (Macedonia), Kai Kaljo (Estonia), Zoran Naskovski/ Jelena
Jocic (SR Yugoslavia), Rassim © (Bulgaria), Dejan Spasovik (Macedonia), Igor
Tosevski (Macedonia), Tanja Ostojic (SR Yugoslavia), Ana Stojkovic
(Macedonia), Tatjana Vujinovic (SR Yugoslavia)

Pictures can be downloaded from

Organizors and Contacts
Suzana Milevska - Curator
Open Graphic Art Studio
Mito Hadzi Vasilev bb, 1000 Skopje
Tel. +389 2 114 742
Fax. +389 2 115 367

Melentije Pandilovski
Contemporary Art Center
Orce Nikolov 109, 1000 Skopje
Tel. +389 2 133 541

Pance Velkov
Association for Evaluation, Promotion
of Heritage and Heritage Education
Ivo Lola Ribar 74/4-9, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
Tel. +389 2 374 176

The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Macedonia
Soros Art and Culture Network Program - Cultural Link Component
Kultur Kontakt - Austria
Pro Helvetia - Réseaux Est-Ouest

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