May 31, 2007

"Here" - video performance

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Zoran Poposki's Here is a video performance (6:37 minutes, produced by Jane Stefanov) about the relationship between personal and collective identity, as well as the limitations of the local, symbolized by the artist’s attempt to get into a traditional Macedonian dress. The title is “Here”, in the sense that the individual is always already present in his or her own culture.

The costume is one that the artist's grandmother made herself when she was just a little girl, 70 years ago, as part of her dowry for her groom to be - Poposki's grandfather who lived in five different countries without ever leaving his home (borders are a pretty fluid thing in the Balkans).

The background music is a loop of the opening beats of a famous Macedonian folk dance (in fact, it is the folk dance, the ur-dance of all Macedonian dances, or "oro" as it's called in Macedonia). Called "Teshkoto" ("the heavy one"), it's a slow folk dance that gradually picks up the pace, danced exclusively by men.

The Border - a multimedia project at Tocka

Zoran Poposki’s multimedia project entitled “The Border” will be presented at the Cultural Center Tocka in Skopje on 30 May 2007, at 9 pm. Through video, performance, digital prints and objects created in the last year, Poposki explores the personal experiencing of borders (psychological, geographic, political…) and their (im)permeability and arbitrariness in a globalising world. Also, a joint performance with Marko Petrushevski entitled “One-hour visa” will be performed at the opening.

“Zoran Poposki is placing his lived experience right into the center of his artistic research and evincing a broad array of strategies and procedures that both reveal and subvert notions of selfhood/nationhood. The crushing banalities of an inflexible social system becomes fodder as he deconstructs it by revealing and recontextualizing his actual experience… Instead of capitulating to the deadening weight of this bureaucratic machinery, or biding his time and simply weathering his way through it, he takes it on and finds material drivers for the production of a critical, participatory creative process”, writes performance artist Lynn Book.

May 30, 2007

Travels (2007)

In Zoran Poposki's participatory project Travels, a life-size cutout of the artist is mailed to people in several countries for them to "show" it around the country and send back photographs of it with some recognizable landmark in the background. All cut-outs go through customs controls etc., probing most of the institutional aspects and agents related to borders. The image is intentionally pixelated, to underscore the virtual nature of the endeavor. The artist’s double/s goes on tour around the world, “visiting” Sydney, Los Angeles/Hollywood, Oxford, Paris, Copenhagen, etc., bringing in more than 100 photographs by various contributors.

Fortress Europe

Fortress Europe (2007) is a 79x47 inches print of a digitally edited 1960s found photograph of the Berlin Wall, in which the artist Zoran Poposki places himself in the right corner.
On the photograph, people from the Western part of Berlin are peeking over the wall built by the Russians and into the Eastern part. The fall of the Berlin Wall, which had been the symbol of divided Europe for 30 years, signaled the start of the unification of Europe. However, nowadays the perception in the Balkans is that now Europe is once again divided, and a new wall is set in place only this time by the EU itself, with countries and nations being left out (the "other" of Europe), allowed only to take a peek at the life on the other side while denied to take part in it.

Exhibition Abroad (2007)

Exhibition Abroad (2007) the strict visa requirements for citizens of non-EU countries in the Balkans and the difficulties involved in obtaining a Schengen visa.
In the project, the artist Zoran Poposki documents the 1.5 long process of getting a visa for his exhibition in Napoli, Italy, in the form of digital prints composed of portraits (that he would usually use as one of the components of his digital paintings, the other being randomly chosen text from works of pulp fiction and digitally edited parts of his acrylic paintings) and his correspondence with the embassy and the gallery manager.
The correspondence ranges from cordial invitation and extension of hospitality to initial disbelief at the rigid procedure and the amount of documents required for a visa application and ultimately to suspicion that maybe his case is an exception and not a rule.

In a sense, this part of the project is a meta-exhibition since several of the portraits were turned into digital paintings that were exhibited in Italy.
The final product consists of five 35x28 inch digital prints mounted on forex, entitled “Exhibition abroad”, composed of a black-and-white digital photograph and text in chronological order.

May 19, 2007

Best of 123Soho 2007 Art Show

Zoran Poposki has been chosen among the 30 artists in "The Best of 123Soho 2007 Art Show" exhibit. His works have been selected from over 1,730 works of art by international artists.

The panel responsible for the selection was composed of Chin Chin Yang (artist and chief curator of 123Soho), Heidi Jain (photographer), and Younghee Choi Martin (artist).