How to work with art in public space in the capital of kitsch?

_ The second edition of the international festival of light SKOPJE LIGHT ART DISTRCIT took place from May 29 to June 1, 2019 in the capital of North-Macedonia. The decentral exhibition project hosted 24 artists from North-Macedonia, the Balkan and Europe, all working with light as material or medium. MAP>>

[Text and images under constrcution]

_ Site-specific works

Matej Bizovič
Former restaurant Ezero

Matej Bizovičar: Infected With Life. Architecture intervention. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

Since 1993, Matej Bizovičar is working as an artist and a designer, contributing to radio programs and theater pieces. He cares for interior design for private homes as well as for hospitality and tourism services. He creates custom unique furniture and is generally dedicated to woodworking. Apart from painting, in the visual arts, he’s also involved in sculpture, spatial installations and mosaics. For SKLAD, he realized a site-specific work based on the graffiti he found on the remains of the former restaurant. Using construction foam and fluorescent colors, furthered the drawings by adding a third dimension to the murals.

Goran Kazankovski.nmk
Parc de la Francophonie

Goran Kazankovski: Into The Night. Landscape intervention. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

Goran Kazankovski is a product and interior design designer with a focus on innovative technologies. For SKLAD, he developed luminous objects which he integrated a kind of walk-in-painting in the park. His drawing material were LED tubes which were colourfully animated.

Emil Petro.nmk
National Balett and Opera House // Facade

Emil Petro: Game, Play and Dance. Architecture projection. Photos: SLKAD 2019.

Emil Petro is a graphic designer, a motion and stage designer, living and working in Skopje. Since 2001, he realizes spatial designs found on stage or in public space, all based on clear graphic and color concepts. For Skopje Light Art District, he developed a site- and context specific projection inspired by dance as a collective form to move in space.

_ Site-adapted works

Three sites around the old town // 2 inside, 1 outside

Bertrand Gadenne. The Rat // The Goldfish // The Owl. Video projections. Photo: SKLAD 2019

Since the 1970s, Bertrand Gadenne is working with still and moving images; since the end of the 1980s, he utilizes them as part of spatial installations. In 1988, he realized a two-channel slide-projector installation of two butterflies which render visible when the visitor stretches his hand into the projection beam. Since 2001, he is working with moving projected images in site-adapted interventions. He has been staging “The Rat”, “The Fish” and “The Owl” in countless environments around Europe, in art institutions and museums as well as in public space. “The work is different every time”, he said. The videos are his tool to create space of transition between the here and there, the inside and the outside, the real and the imagined. They spark the interaction of perception and imagination and develop best their magic when accidentally found in the streets.

Janez Grošelj and Sabina Černič.sl
City Park

Janez Grošelj and Sabina Černič: Tree Heartbeat. Reactive intervention. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

Janez Grošelj and Sabina Černič are both architects and work together since 2015 on freelanced projects. For SKLAD, they built an intervention that symbolizes the human heart. The center point was a balloon in the shape of the heart muscle, attached were many tentacles covered with LEDs in the shape and luminous color of veins. The structure was embedded in an old Gingko tree. Visitors could find an interface attached to the trunk that measured their heartbeat and transformed it into the animation rhythm of the structure.

_ Kinetic Installations

Kurshumli An

Paul Friedlander: Kinetic installation. Photos: Bettina Pelz, SKLAD 2019.

In 1989, Paul Friedlander showed his first installation of spinning strings and chromastrobic lighting in the Slaughterhouse Gallery in London. For thirty years, he has been experimenting with the interplay of vision and motion. He builds waves with small hand-held devices as well as permanent installations of up to 8 meters. In Skopje, he installed a multi-wave installation in the courtyard of a former caravansary in the old part of town.

_ Sculptures

Park along the river Vardar

Andre Banha: Guarding The Sunset. Radiant sculpture. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

In 2006, André Banha finished his studies at the School of Arts and Design in Caldas da In his artistic practice, he focuses on sculptures and installations build from waste wood. The installation seen in Skopje was built for SVETLOBNA GVERILA 2016, an international light art project in Countless pieces of wood enclose a sphere of warm light. Small space between the wooden parts allow the light to radiate and the visitors to get a glimpse of the inside.

Marko Kovačič.sl
Alley in the park along the river Vardar

Marko Kovačič: Hybaria. Radiant sculptures. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

Since 1988 and since finishing his studies, sculpturist Marko Kovačič prefers to work with found materials and ready-made objects. In Skopje, he showed parts of the series of masks “Hybaria” which he started in 2016 for the exhibition project SVETLOBNA GVERILA in Ljubljana. He associates them with mythological figures that could be home in the memories of the trees along the river.

Macedonia Square

Circus Lumineszenz: Oumua. Radiant sculpture. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

Leo Bettinelli is the driving force of the transdisciplinary project “Circus Lumineszenz”. He is a musician and performer, a composer and improviser of experimental, contemporary and electro-acoustic music. Since 2006, he is organising different music cycles in Argentina and Europe. Nowadays he directs the European branch of Niños Consentidos Festival. In 2012, he started a new exploration in the fields of multimedia and interactive art and founded in Austria the project Circus Lumineszenz. Since 2018 the Light Festival “Blockhei de Leuchtet” is produced under his direction and execution. In Skopje, he showed a metal sculpture with an animated radiance.

_ Performances

Ema Popivoda.nmk and Kurt Laurenz
Daut Pascha Hamam

Ema Popivoda and Kurt Laurenz Theinert: Visual Piano. Audio-visual performance. Photos: SKLAD 2019

Since 2003, Kurt Laurenz Theinert is improvising with musicians around the world. He explores the human interplay of a musician playing as a sound instrument and himself playing the visual piano. And always, the third partner is the space as an echo chamber for the sound as well as a responsive framework for the visuals. In Skopje _ and as in most festivals of light he played _ the performance was an audience’s highlight.

Ema Popivoda and Kurt Laurenz Theinert: Visual Piano. Audio-visual performance. Video: Kurt Laurenz Theinert.

_ Mappings

Between the Stonebridge and the monument of Justinian I.

Radu Ignat: Faceless Man. Mapping on a mask. Photos: SKLAD 2019.

”Faceless Men” is a large-scale mask on stilts. The features of the mask are altered by a series of animations for projection mapping. Radu Ignat developed the mask about 2 years ago and continues to developed new animations for each opportunity of display.

SKLAD Video Mapping Contest
MCM Building

Photos: Video Mapping Contest. Photos: Temporary Spaces.

FriedLAB/Goran Balaban: INFEASIBLE
Milosh Luczinsky: A-PHIAN
Leandro Mendes: FUGA
Multiscalar: Transcendence I: Intersectionem
Katarzyna Najmajer: Human In The System, System In The Human.
Gligor Postolovski: OBLIVION
Jeremy Oury: PRISM

Awardees of the competition are Milosh Luczinksi and Jeremy Oury. All jury members agreed on both works as the outstanding ones.

The members of the jury were Aymen Gharbi from Tunisia, who is trained as an architect and works as a curator. Boban Manov from Skopje, who works as video mapping designer and mapping technician, Bettina Pelz from Germany who is a curator, writer and researcher on light in fine arts and local Milco Uzunov who is a video mapping designer and instructor.

Great Diversity in Age

The invited artists were in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s to take part in the 2019’s edition.

Skopje, the Balkan and Europe

29,17% of the artists were local from North-Macedonia, 25,00% from the Yugoosphere and 45,83% mainly from Europe. No greek artist was participating in the exhibition or the competition program.

Women Working With Light

Checking back on the curatorial concept, it is a surprise that there is only a share of 8,33% of women artists contributing to the exhibition, 20,83% of the works are presented by collectives and 70,83% by male artists.

SKLAD Conference




André Banha
Leo Bettinelli
Paul Friedlander
Bertrand Gadenne
Marko Kovacic
Emil Petro
Kurt Laurenz Theinert



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