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Ivana Mirchevska

Elena Chemerska

Elena’s interest draws from the ways in which we create a basis for the future in relation to memory and the way we attempt to grasp history in its image.

Ivana’s work draws on the way images inhabit our bodies and how our bodies are subjected to the economy of vision.

Ivana Mirchevska (b.1992, Skopje) is a visual artist and a researcher whose practice is rooted in time-based media, visual anthropology, memory studies and painting. Through experimenting in the hybridizing genre of the documentary, she investigates how technologies of vision work to create subjects and subjectivity. In particular, she looks at the ambivalence of the image in re/presenting the realities of labor, gender, media, surveillance, while searching for the aesthetic potential of the individual and collective body to generate viable propositions and strategies. Using the essayistic as a frame, her practice spans between moving images, archives and installations. Ivana holds a BFA in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje (2015) and MFA in visual arts from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy (2018/2019).
She is the co-author of the exhibition Thresholds of no-body in particular, in collaboration with Elena Chemerska, in YCC Gallery-Skopje, for the FIRSTBORN GIRL Festival, (2020). She had participated in Fuori Visioni Festival 6| Tra muro e confine-Atto I e II, Piacenza, Italy (2020-2021); The Biennial of Young Artists, MOCA- Skopje (2021) AIR program of The Hub of Ephemeral — hidden in sight, Galerija Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, Croatia; AIR program The Voids- Culture Hub Croatia, Split (2020); ENGAGE- Public school for Social Engagement in Artistic Research, curated by Viafarini, DOCVA Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, Italy (2017). Her video-essay SHE has been published at PHROOM - a Milan based international research platform for contemporary photography and video art (2019) and exhibited at the Utopic Method, International exhibition for Video narration in Granada (2019), Spain and ‘Zapping the archive’ Odesa Photo Days Festival 2020, Odessa, Ukraine (2020).
Ivana is part of the curatorial team of the festival Underground is easier to Breathe organized by Kula Collective.

Elena Chemerska (1991) is a visual artist and researcher from Skopje, North Macedonia whose work explores the relationships between aesthetics, materiality and politics. Her main interest lies in thinking through artistic means about the ways in which humans create the basis for the future in relation to memory and the attempt to grasp history in its image. Within her practice, she uses and combines different media and strategies to accentuate and stratify narratives woven into cultural structures where the particular and the universal converge. Her work materializes through painting, drawings, objects, video and interventions in the public sphere.
She holds a Master in Art and Design in Fine Arts from the Master Institute of Visual Cultures, AKV St. Joost Academy of Art and Design, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
Her work has been presented in North Macedonia and internationally. Exhibitions include: “Thresholds of No-body in Particular” in collaboration with Ivana Mirchevska, YCC, Skopje (2020); Fuori Visioni Festival 6 | Il confine-Atto II, Piacenza, Italy (2021); The Biennial of Young Artists, MOCA- Skopje (2021); AIR program of The Hub of Ephemeral — hidden in sight, Galerija Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, Croatia; “Monumental Fluxus”, Expoplu, Nijmegen (2019); “Monument to Freedom- Conversations”, Private Print Studio, Skopje (2019); “Transition” video screening program, Eye Museum, Amsterdam (2018) etc. In 2021 she received the Denes Award for Young Visual Artist up to 35 in North Macedonia.
She is currently based between Skopje, North Macedonia and Berlin, Germany.

Thresholds of No-Body in Particular; 8’30”

Imagine a mutable architecture operating as open source software, whose materiality and virtuality remains available for perpetual modification and enhancement following the navigational impulse of the body. This is an impetus of the body in which affect is expressed spatially, as existing across and among people, not limited only within them. We enter this threshold (space) via prosthetic means. Generating image-bodies – avatars, we ask: what does it mean to inhabit such a body in such a reality? What are we seeing when we see not only images, but the image of ourselves, and not only that image, but that image seeing and interacting with all the other images of that realm? What are we feeling when we feel these images interact when we feel our avatar interacts with other images? Is it even possible to feel something in these instances? What is the virtual affect? How does virtual affect me? This work is an attempt to join the xenofeminist call for deployment of reason, in which reason stands for the right of everyone to speak as no one in particular.

Interview

What is the language in common for the young people today?

Although we cannot say that we speak on behalf of all young people today, we feel that maybe what connects us is an understanding of the multiple locations we inhabit. A common understanding of the impossibility of achievement, of grasping the multitude of perspectives that we are trying to navigate.

What does the process of making one of your pieces look like?

Constant questioning and testing ideas and their interconnectedness. Then working through the material, putting it in relation, trying to build the multiple layers that make up the work. Learning constantly about how the material feeds the concept and vice versa.

Which challenges have you faced while making art as you know it?

Sociopolitical structures that sustain existing power relations and precarious status of the artist not only within society, but also through cultural actors and institutions which shape the dominant paradigm.

Do you consider yourself an artist, and what does that word mean to you?

It is a profession we chose in order to explore through visual means diverse subjectivities. We are interested in how they relate to the visual experience, how images mediate in our daily lives.

What is your escape from reality? Do you even have a need to escape from something?

Escapism runs the risk of passivity, which is not a direction we would undergo.
Rather, we tend towards facing situations which need working through in order to generate new perspectives.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

It’s a catch phrase we don’t feel close to. Our word of choice would be creativity or making as it constantly brings something new from within.

Do you have a plan for the future? Where can your artistic practice take you?

It is hard to say. For now we propose to stay in the present :)

What made the biggest influence on you to become what you are today and do what you do now?

Friends and family.

How would you describe Serbian (Balkan or European-depends on where you live and work) contemporary cultural scene?

Fragmented and contingent. But it has its moving moments of community and friendship.

In which way does your creative process shape you or changes you as a person, if it does at all?

In the present conditions it is virtually impossible to make a clear cut between personal and creative processes. It is very difficult to set a certain slot of hours in which “work” happens and isolate this from our private lives. Consequently, the subjects that we engage with often coincide with subjects that occupy us in our daily lives.