Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski

We are all in this alone
"We are all in this alone by Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski addresses the notion of faith in today’s concurrent and multiple socio-political conditions. 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." [...] "How can one talk about ‘faith’ with fixed and memorized techniques that have been internalized as opposed to religious dogma and even beliefs? Could this be an attempt to materialize the perception of belief in the mundane realm of life? Then, is it possible to seek hope for the future in the beauty of observance as the equations of patterns? What breaks repetitive patterns? What is the chance of the incomplete patterns to cumulate stories? Could ‘faith’ be traced with new tools derived from the past stories of incomplete patterns? Who completes patterns? Who  detects  patterns?  Who  navigates  through  patterns?  Is  the  infinity  of  the numbers equal to the chances of faith?" Basak Senova
A (reconstructed)      conversation
"We have developed a specific kind  of  collaborative  dialogue  that  culminates  from  time  to  time  with  specific works based on shared research. Our projects animate multilayered conceptual possibilities  though  the  intense  associations  questioning  the  dynamic  of  the practice inspired by accumulated knowledge, intuitive references, historical and present day political concepts. The logic of our collaborative practice is unusual in the sense that it is a result of a constant exchange of ideas and living and working together for a number of years." H.I-Y.C "First of all, for both of us exist very intimate, personal interests in particular issues that are regularly appearing in our artistic practice. We are both interested in literature, theory and art history, as well as current political organization of artists and cultural workers for self-identification in current post-communist society. Our active role in the cultural and political scene of Macedonia plays a role in the further shaping of our positions as artists."Y.C " We  find  the  basic  idea  of  religion  as  some  form  of  self-identification that is constituted in all of the sources. How we are illustrating belief when not using religious generalization of imagery and verse has been one of the key issues. To paraphrase Duchamp, art becomes the religion of the individual who believes in science. It is interesting to think if in this statement we accept with certain faith or do we remain reluctant. There is a very strong connection between all of them. Faith, saintliness, belief, procession, God, art, those are the issues that concern all of them on different level that are expressed/elaborated in different mediums (frescos, texts, objects, installations etc.)."H.I
The Works and the Space
"During the developmental stages of We are all in this alone, our collaboration followed a metabolic pathway, which was structured as modules of co-expressed individual research findings, thoughts, writings and drawings that co-accumulated over a wide range of experimental production phases. Therefore, the real challenge for us was to represent the outcome as a compact space that contains an expanded set of art production without any compromise or incomplete links. The church, as the point of departure and inspiration, has a perfect rectangular shape that is filled with exceptional fresco paintings following a sense of symmetry and order. When the project was enriched and shaped with the writings of Simone Weil; an article by Luce Irigaray; personal notes by Paul Thek; personal narratives and art production by the artists, it was first translated and applied to the 45m2 gallery space of Kunsthalle Baden Baden. With the continual expansion of the project, the challenge this time was to translate and locate the project to a bigger space at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, while being loyal to the former stages of the project. The utmost important aspect of the spatial design was to communicate the capacity of the project to achieve metabolic inter-conversions of its segments to the audience in a compact way. Therefore, an exact-sized room was located at the centre of the gallery space, allowing the audience to walk around and discover the physicality of this mathematical process. Hence, it is also important to acknowledge that the gallery space welcomes the audience with the film Detail (1999-2015) as a prelude to the project, which was a revisiting and reprocessing of Calovski’s first work on Paul Thek." Basak Senova

Yane Chalovski

"Detail" is an intimate and charged portrait of the artist filmed in 1999 as a film and again in 2015 as a text. The cigarette is made into a physical performance, at once seductive and timelessness.

Transfer and Continuum
"Conventional  historiographical  narratives  or  theoretical  analysis  of  abstract art,  minimal  art,  conceptual  art,  or  post-conceptual  art  leaves  little  room  for consideration with regard to the dimension of the spiritual. For a long time the religious overtones of the spiritual prevented its entry into art theoretical discourse." [...] "Yet, We are all in this alone, the collaborative work of Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski presented at the Venice Biennale, knowingly and deliberately enters the complex potentialities of the spiritual. They open up the question of what it is that carries faith into art. They open up the question of what it is that carries faith into life. " [...] "I  want  to  suggest  a  spatial understanding  of  transfer,  from  here  to  there.  I  want  to  suggest  a  temporal understanding of continuum, from past to present. There are a number of different connections to be made between here, there, past, present. The work addresses them  in  all  their  different  possible  connections,  both  spatially  and  temporally. Therefore, one might argue, that there is both a spatial and a spiritual continuum, and  equally  a  spatial  and  a  spiritual  transfer. " Elke Krasny
Briefly on Belief
"Yane  Calovski  and  Hristina  Ivanoska  have  found  a  way  to  make  a  built  space appear as a flat monochrome image. St Gjorgi Church in Kurbinovo is of modest external proportions, but its interior is enlarged to infinity by the figures living in the plaster that still sticks to the walls. These late Byzantine frescos, painted in the spring of 1191, embody the so-called Macedonian Renaissance: pictorial doctrine distilled into razor-sharp painterly invention. " [...] "If belief is a passion for truth that holds what we are searching for dearer than the ‘mere’ desire or possibility to find it that the search lets us experience, then perhaps I am not being shallow if I have more passion for abstractions other than truth: meaning, knowledge, beauty. And if I also have a passion for always-incomplete processes  such  as  understanding,  interpreting  or  judging,  with  their crumbled outlines and fissures and windows onto various visions, then perhaps I am not just trying to avoid clear thinking and the conclusions, or firmly held convictions, that it might lead to."  Anders Kreuger
"Our room for contemplation on one side can be seen as such in the context of Arsenale, having in mind the historic background of this complex environment and its current meaning and purpose. On the other hand, our project should not be perceived only as such. The created space We are all in this alone has its own history and identity that goes further and deeper into the meaning of faith; the faith in art, practicing art, living art, and art as an artist’s path to infinity."  Y.C-H.I
"The links between all the references are intuitive. They relate to a basic premise that faith is the necessity for self evaluation, evaluation of one’s beliefs  and  ideas  about  society  and  processes  of  emancipation,  growth,  desire, relevance or political stance and inquire into the work one creates and subsequently leaves behind. The conscious political idea of all the authors are what binds them. At the beginning of every research they are subjective reasons why some authors mean something to us. For example, I discovered Simone Weil while doing research on the personal letters of Rosa Luxemburg. I immediately become interested in her as a person and in her writings." [...] And then, when I started reading this beautiful text, like poetry in prose, “La Mystérique” by Luce Irigaray from her book “Speculum of the other woman”, I knew that I had found the missing voice. It fitted perfectly. Inspired by their texts I could now create my own little sentences, my own paper constructions, very simple and beautiful, like signs of faith." H.I

Untitled (Tell us godly Simone of the waiting till the savior come again)
Hristina Ivanoska

Hristina Ivanoska

Paul Thek
"Paul Thek was someone I discovered very early in my studies in Philadelphia, in the mid 1990s. It influenced me right away; I was falling hard for what I thought I understood of the work and the man behind it. There was something toxic and sexy and honest and strange and foreign and God knows what else in there that stirred my interest and made believe in his iconography, his positions, his attitude, his work ethic and manifestation of solidarity in practice. " [...] Strange, but to me he has been a sort of interlocutor. So, any chance to dig up some personal archive of a collector, I ask for anything on Paul Thek. I was lucky to discover one folder in the Egidio Marzona collection that belonged to his art gallery  and  handler  in  Paris  ARTSERVICE.  In  it  there  were  letters  and  notes written back and forth between Thek and Benedicte, the gallery manager. They are so informative about his whereabouts during 1971-74, his state of mind and the purpose of his work during this time." Y.C
 "Yane’s artistic practice comes from a very complex mindset. At first glance some of his constructions/installations might look simple because the things (object, drawings, prints, photographs, videos) are very carefully selected and organized in a way that makes you feel comfortable (at the beginning).  When one  goes  deeper  into  the  content  to  understand  the  meanings  and  the  links between the things, one realizes that the creator of this set has a talent to twist the things in an unusual way. He is in a constant search for a new approach to tell a story, sometimes very personal and painful, at times a story that reflects our collective body. His concepts are never closed, his ideas always evolving. He is like an archivist dealing with one massy archive, persistent in his effort to keep things massy while finding something extraordinary that, at least for a moment, will shine a new light on an old story. " H.I  " Hristina’s  concern  with  historical  narratives  of  women,  the undocumented histories of activism and solidarity, has lead to always discovering new  forms  of  actions  –  drawing,  sculpting,  writing,  filming,  speaking,  direct activism.  So,  her  practice  is  multidimensional.  She  is  very  attuned  to  what  is happening around her but also within her. Her art is very personal and powerful, communicates with the audience who always seem to be engaged with her work. The works do not shy away from also being visual and are carried out with the confidence of someone who can draw, paint and sculpt." Y.C
Artist is not a civil servant
Hristina Ivanoska
The Future of Faith
"One has to have faith. It is the necessity, impossible yet indispensible, in order to open oneself to a being otherwise than being – to time and a future-to-come as the very becoming of being. Faith is the necessity as the Law that announces the promise of an event that cannot be calculated in advance, an event that goes beyond reason, beyond economy and expectation, excessive and indeterminable, yet one that dislodges us from the confines of the prison house of our present, and tears it apart from its inside, making impossible any enclosure, dis-enclosing the movement of hope as the movement towards the open. " [...] " And yet one has to have faith so that critique would be possible. One has to have faith if responsibility is to be possible. One has to have faith for democracy-to-come." Slavcho Dimitrov
Credits: Story

We are all in this alone
Pavilion of Republic of Macedonia
56 th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
Sale d’Armi Arsenale

Artists: Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski
Curator: Başak Şenova
Commissioner: Maja Nedelkoska Brzanova, National Gallery of Macedonia
Deputy Commissioner: Olivija Stoilkova
Deputy Curator: Maja Chankulovska-Mihajlovska
Curatorial Assistants: Jovanka Popova, Begüm Satıroğlu
International Communication: Özgül Ezgin and Oya Silbery
Graphic Production: Erhan Muratoğlu
Technical Drawings: Ivan Peshevski
Production: Impresa Edile SGG srl
Pavilion Coordinator: Giada Pellicari

This project was realised with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of
Macedonia and additional support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
of Macedonia and the Consulate of the Republic of Macedonia in Venice.
ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin also contributed to the realisation of the pavilion.
We are all in this alone book was published by the National Gallery of Macedonia with the Support of Art Rooms, Kyrenia.

All the excerpts - The Book of the Exhibition, edited by Basak Senova
ISBN: 978-608-4693-58-1
(c) The editor, authors and National Gallery of Macedonia

Credits: All media
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