Curating Exchange 3: Curating a Society and Production of Power
CURATING EXCHANGE is an annual symposium addressing local and regional need for an insightful and qualitative exchange of experience and knowledge in theoretical and artistic research, curatorial practice and education.
CURATING EXCHANGE 3: CURATING A SOCIETY AND PRODUCTION OF POWER is set to reflect on the question of how theologically, politically and economically driven discourse curates socially critical concepts today, or rather, and how the discourse of the state, theology and politics intersect in current cultural context. The program includes lectures by Prof. Gil Anidjar and Prof. Sofija Grandakovska, as well as a exhibition by artist Hristina Ivanoska and a discussion between the artist and cultural researcher Iskra Geshoska . Curator of the program is Yane Calovski.
Hristina Ivanoska, La Mystérique (the path of Grace), work in progress (2014).
Initiated in 2012, this is the third edition of the program. This edition is in part supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia, in partnership with GEM (Gragjani za Evropska Makedonija) and SIA (Serious Interest Agency).
Opening of the exhibition
Hristina Ivanoska: La Mystérique (The Path of Grace)
Location: SIA Gallery, Skopje
Opening: May 7th, at 20:00h until 21:30h.
Hristina Ivanoska and Iskra Geshoska will stage a conversation at the opening of the exhibition.
The exhibition features new works in diverse medium inspired by the written work of Simone Weil, a Jewish-born French philosopher, Christian mystic, and a political activist, and Luce Irigaray, Belgian-born French feminist, philosopher, and cultural theorist.
The works reflect on the idea of doubt and purpose when faced with ones political, social and spiritual self. Weil, a devoted Christian, questions her faith in God as she no longer believes that baptizing will confirm her sanity. The works of Luce Irigaray in a way explain the emotional and inexplicable (love) relation with God. In her text “La Mystérique” from her book Speculum de l’autre femme (1974), she reexamines the devotion that woman have toward God, asking: How does one tickle these things, even if one felt passionately about them, if there is no sense of vocation?
Time 19:00h – 21:00h
Whose Citizens Were the Jews Deported From Macedonia?
Lecture Sofija Grandakovska
Lecture in Macedonian; followed by a discussion with guests and the audience
Under the conditions of established anti-Semitic state-administrative Bulgarian apparatus ever since the first days of the occupation of Macedonia in April 1941 and the relegation of the Vardar portion of Macedonia to the Kingdom of Bulgaria – the question of the treatment of Macedonian Jews as non-Bulgarian citizens, is revealed as a distinctive example underlying the singularity of the Holocaust event in Macedonia compared with other Holocaust experiences in Europe. Macedonian Jews were excluded from Bulgarian citizenship according the 1941 Law for Protection of the Nation and at the very same time were relegated as Bulgarian citizens in the Declarations for one-time taxation from 1941; were treated as former Yugoslav citizens in Police registers from 1942, as individuals that sojourn in Macedonia, as foreigners and finally they were deported as res nullius in 1943. In that context, the question remains: Whose citizens were the Jews deported from Macedonia by the Bulgarian politic elite, with the help of the administration and police – and delivered to the German authorities at the Malkinia station wherefrom they were taken to an instant execution in the gas chambers in Treblinka II?
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Promotional speech on the work of Gil Anidjar by Sofija Grandakovska
“Race, Nation, Religion” Lecture by Gil Anidjar
“Race, Nation, Religion” — these three terms have defined collectives in ways that are strangely compatible and incompatible, acceptable or unacceptable, historical and ahistorical, relevant and irrelevant. Not so long ago, Balibar and Wallerstein told us about “Race, Nation, and Class,” for instance, and the interplay between them. By way of a genealogy of sorts, and with the help of Freud, Prof. Gil Anidjar will focus on the alleged difference between the three terms, on what they share and what they conceal. To put it another way, he will interrogate the antiquity of religion, the invention of the nation, and the making of race.
The lecture and promotion held in English; followed by a discussion with the audience.
Short narrative biographies of the participants:
Gil Anidjar teaches in the Department of Religion and the Department of Middle Easter, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University (USA). He is the author of “Our place in Al-Andalus: ”Kabbalah, Philosophy, Literature in Arab Jewish Letters” ; “The Jew, the Arab – a history of the enemy” ; “Semites: race, religion, literature”  and “Blood: Critics of Christianity“ . He is currently visiting professor at the Faculty for Media and Communication (FMK) in Belgrade.
Sofija Grandakovska, author of: “The Discourse of the Prayer” [Говорот на молитвата](2008) and “The Portrait of the Image” [Портретот на сликата](2010), is editor and co-author of the bilingual chrestomathy “The Jews from Macedonia and the Holocaust: History, Theory, Culture” [Евреите од Македонија и холокаустот: историја, теорија, култура] (2011) and coeditor of the bilingual bookzine edition DOMA [HOME](2010). She is co-curator of the multimedia exhibition “The Jews from Macedonia and the Holocaust” (Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, 2011, and Gallery of the Jewish Community Belgrade, Belgrade, 2013).
Hristina Ivansoka is a visual artist. She has graduated with a BA and MA from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje. She has exhibited in a number of individual and group exhibitions and projects in Maceodnia and abroud. She was awarded a reserach residence via Artslink at the Clivlend Institute of the Arts (2004) and was an artist in residence at IASPIS, Sweden (2008). With Yane Calovski works on collaborative projects since 2000; in 2004 they eastblished Press to Exit Project Space, a platform for artistic reserach and curatorial practices.
Iskra Geshoska is active in the independent cultural sector more then 20 years. She is a president of Kontrapunkt – association for the development of critical thought, cultural polices and activism. In the period 2002-2010 she ran the independent Cultural Center Tocka. She is interested in theories dealing with the political and esthetical interplay in the socio-cultural context. She writes and publishes essays and criticism in the sphere of performing and visual arts.
Yane Calovski is an artist, reseracher and a curator. He has realized a number of international individual and group exhibitions, as well as projects. Lives and works in Skopje where he is active in the independent cultural sector since 2004. Cofounder of press to exit project space together with Hristina Ivanoska.