The UK’s biggest exhibition of contemporary video art from the Republic of Macedonia was on display in Aberdeen in November.
OPA (Obsessive Possessive Aggression), Eternal Body, 2013. Video Installation
‘Imaginarium: Contemporary Video Art from Macedonia’ ran at Gray’s School of Art from November 4 -18, featuring work from 12 artists who provided a representative cross-section of contemporary artists active in the European country.
Divided into three broad themes, the exhibition features a section on activist video art based on the work of artists who consciously adopt ironical or directly political critiques of contemporary trends in Macedonian society.
The exhibition also focusses on the documentary function of video art, which engages in the process of making or exhibiting art, as well as documenting aspects of contemporary Macedonian life and mutating Macedonian identities.
The final section features work by artists who retreat into the imagination and use video as a means to explore parallel or alternative realities.
Dr. Jon Blackwood, a lecturer of critical and contextual studies at Gray’s School of Art who is the exhibition’s curator, said
“Imaginarium engages with another reality at the other side of the European continent, showcasing contemporary trends in Macedonian society. Macedonian art is not so well known in the UK so this exhibition is important in building bridges between local and international art scenes.”
Jon Blackwood launched his book entitled ‘Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia’ at the exhibition’s opening night. Published by Mala Galerija in Skopje, the book was funded by a research incentive grant awarded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland in March 2015.
Jon Blackwood adds: “The book is the first in English written about this subject. It draws not only on my interpretation of what is going on in Macedonia, but is based on the first hand accounts of twenty three artists, writers and curators active in the scene.”
Dr Blackwood’s book will be launched at 6.30pm during the exhibition’s opening night.
Imaginarium will open on Friday, November 4 and will run until Friday, November 18 at Gray’s School of Art on Garthdee Road. It will be open to the public between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday during the period.