Sašo Stanojkoviḱ: Transfer of Responsibility

Sašo Stanojkovi: Transfer of Responsibility                                                                                           

11.22 – 11.30. 2021,

Gallery MC,

549 West 52nd St., New York, NY, 10019

 

Transfer of Responsibility is Sašo Stanojkovi’s first exhibition in New York City. It presents the outcomes of the long-term research and participatory art project through which the artist addresses the recent critical calls for challenging and rethinking the prevalent and conservative definitions of monuments and the usual assumption that they belong to cultural heritage – as an unquestionable phenomenon of an everlasting patrimony. To the contrary, artist Sašo Stanojkovi emphasizes the urgent need for deliberative and participatory conceptualizations of cultural heritage. His long-term research looks at this issue in the context of the ongoing critical debates about the commoning of cultural resources. Accordingly, he highlights the need to support and amplify various voices and agencies of political action and activist dissent surrounding monuments by means of direct democracy, and opposes the uncritical and nationalist-driven celebration of cultural heritage.

Although valuable, most monuments are often contentious objects erected by ruling regimes of the past, or are objects that have been created and declared cultural heritage in recent times, primarily as a result of conflicting interests and disrespectful hegemonic cultural policies, such as was the case of the governmental urbanist project, Skopje 2014, which was erected in North Macedonia (2010-2016). Stanojkoviḱ’s exhibition at Gallery MC maps the various trajectories of dereliction of duty and “transfer of responsibility” between the relevant cultural institutions in connection with Skopje 2014, and the intersection between institutional failures and the protests against monuments, in opposition to the nationalist-oriented government that ruled the country at the time of the project’s completion. According to the artist, this resulted in neglecting and undermining the interests of the citizens, in favor of the contentious objects that became rapidly dilapidated.

Transfer of Responsibility consists of the colorful and discursive archives of the fading remnants of the 2016 civil protests in North Macedonia, dubbed Colorful Revolution. It includes a psycho-geographic map of the visible traces and invisible memories of the paintball interventions on the newly erected buildings and monuments that were recently singlehandedly proclaimed monuments of cultural heritage by the local cultural institutions. It also includes two videos that recorded the sounds of the protests and the last multicolored remnants of the protests, as well as ten statements of participants of the protests, who were invited to respond to the question: What’s Left of the Colorful Revolution? Finally, an important part of the project is an official Petition.

 While the recorded statements of the protestors and activists resonate with disenchantment, resignation, disobedience, and critique the work, Petition is an official circular letter in which the artist requested the relevant institutions to proclaim the last traces of the Colorful Revolution as monuments of cultural heritage.

The exhibition catalogue includes texts by Alenka Gregorič, Curator and Director of the City Gallery Ljubljana, CC Tobačna 001, and Cukrarna, and Dr. Suzana Milevska, independent curator based in Skopje, North Macedonia, and curator of Transfer of Responsibility. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Sašo Stanojkovi was born in 1962 in Skopje, North Macedonia, where he lives and works as an independent artist. In 2011, he received an MA from the Faculty of Fine Art in Skopje. His instruction and participatory performance, To Whom It May Concern, was part of David Medalla’s 2005 exhibition, curated by Guy Brett at the ICA – London. Justice in the Focus (2004-2007), Space for Protest (2007-2012), and Transfer of Responsibility (2018) are projects dedicated to various protests in Washington, D.C. and Skopje. Stanojkoviḱ participated in the exhibitions, Always Already Apocalypse (1999), and in…and… at the Military Museum (2003), parallel to the International Istanbul Biennale. He is a member of the artist’s collective London Biennale Artists, and DLUM –The Association of Macedonian Artists. His work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions in Skopje, Istanbul, Belgrade, Stockholm, Madrid, London, Berlin, Miami, Boston, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Braunschweig, Bucharest, Sarajevo, Athens, Thessaloniki, Montevideo, New York, Guangzhou, Graz, and Melbourne, among others. (sasostanojkovik@yahoo.com)

List of works

 

  1. Sašo Stanojkoviḱ: An Archive of the Colorful Civil Disobedience, 2018, installation: vitrine, photo-collage on map (50 x 80 cm), collage on a PVC ball;
  2. Sašo Stanojkoviḱ: What’s Left of the Colorful Revolution?, 2018, video I, DVD, 19’, edition 2 of 5;
  3. Sašo Stanojkoviḱ: What’s Left of the Colorful Revolution?, 2018, video II, DVD, 3’ loop;
  4. Sašo Stanojkoviḱ: Petition, 2016-2018, letter (ink-jet print, A4 paper).