Art | April 14, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Robert Jankuloski

Inter spem et metum: pavilion of the Republic of North Macedonia at the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
Venice, Italy
April 20 – November 24, 2024

At the 60th International Art ExhibitionLa Biennale di Venezia, the Republic of North Macedonia will be represented by the project INTER SPEM ET METUM (Between hope and fear), conceived by artist Slavica Janešlieva. The commissioner of the project is Dr. Dita Starova Qerimi, director of the National Gallery of the Republic of North Macedonia, and the curator is Dr. Ana Frangovska, curator advisor at the National Gallery of Macedonia. “It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.” – Hans Christian Andersen. Can we substitute the word ‘beauty’ with the words ‘respect’, ‘freedom’, ‘love’, ‘tolerance’, ‘approval’? Can we accept someone for all that he/she/it is and because we know their essence?

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The transmedial and transnarrative project INTER SPEM ET METUM by Slavica Janešlieva represents a visually cleansed and conceptually envisaged spatial installation, which casts us into the civilizational debris in a rather sensitive and imaginative manner. Through multidimensional, media platforms and materials, such as feathers, led-neon signs, projections, and mirrors, Janešlieva launches us into several conceptually-narrative matrices, where she urges us to face the feeling of being a stranger, the one present everywhere: in me, in you, in them, in us… Namely, she challenges us with acceptance or non-acceptance of the distinct labels from the ones familiar and ordinary to the masses; encompassing differences based on gender, sexual orientation, appearance, demeanour, attitude, illness, nationality, religion, language, political orientation… She tickles our feelings of self-stigma, auto censorship, and self-criticism, due to the imposed expectations.

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Image courtesy of Robert Jankuloski

However, being different carries the potential for transformation. Just as in the natural selection processes, the mutation increases the likelihood of either a failure in the adaptation or the emergence of a new variant, much superior to its predecessor. Alternatively, the transformational power of ‘the other’ can be understood to derive from psychological pain and suffering, as alternative sources of inspiration and motivation to rise above the criticism and denunciation, of common societal effects of ‘being different‘. It is up to each of us to find the swan within.


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Image courtesy of Robert Jankuloski

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