All Things Flowing, Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska at Kunsthalle Wien

Collaborative work by Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska, as part of No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection a joint exhibition of Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Skopje, North Macedonia curated by What, How & for Whom / WHW (Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović) Kunsthalle Vienna, 2023

For their spatial installation titled All Things Flowing, the artists propose another look at the history of Skopje’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1966, 89 architectural projects were submitted to the open call for building the new museum. Among them, one stood apart – the proposal by Polish architect Oskar Hansen, known for his theory of the “Open Form”.

The architect imagined a transformable exhibition space, able to fold entirely and then unfold in various combinations, with hexagonal elements lifted by hydraulic-powered rotating telescopes. Oskar Hansen imagined the gallery would rise and unfurl toward the sky whenever a new exhibition opened, and otherwise be hidden below ground.

This ambitious proposal formed the initial template for Yane Calovski’s motorized sculptural installation and Hristina Ivanoska’s large-scale mural consisting of specially devised typography. The letters reference “Open Form” and engage in dialogue with works from the MoCA Skopje collection by two Macedonian artists: the painter Dushan Perchinkov and the sculptor Aneta Svetieva.

These two artists might seem like disparate choices. Yet, both of their works pointedly describe the coexisting local practices from the museum’s inception until today: Dushan Perchinkov’s paintings invoke an early modernist tradition of abstract geometric patterns, operating outside the Western canon of modern art, while Aneta Svetieva’s unrefined and expressive terracotta sculptures speak of an almost anthropological understanding of Skopje’s history.

All elements in the installation recreate a landscape that has been destroyed and reborn repeatedly. Combining Oskar Hansen’s vision of the museum with these two Macedonian artists from the collection, Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska purposefully look toward a possible retelling of the local history of art, reimagining the story of the museum, and envisioning a present bursting with potential.

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