Permanent Exhibition: Solidarity - An Incompleted Project?


22.02.2014 - 22.02.2016

„Skopje is not a film, not a thriller where we guess the chief event. It is a concentration of man’s struggle for freedom, with a result which inspires further struggles and no acceptance of defeat.“

Jean-Paul Sartre, 1963


When Skopje was destroyed by a strong earthquake fifty years ago, the tragedy that struck the city was not only the day’s top headline (to be substituted the following day by a newer, even more traumatic top story) but an event that mobilized an enormous wave of sympathy and solidarity. This potential carried within itself a utopian aspect: the aspiration was not only for Skopje to be rebuilt but for it to become a modern city. The plan of the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange for a new Skopje was conceived as the start of a new future, while the creation of the Museum of Contemporary Art was a type of symbolic passage into the future intended to serve as a promise, as an expectation of a projected, utopian fervour.

The exhibition Solidarity – an incomplete project? is conceived as a symbolic repetition of the act of the Museum’s creation through a re-enactment of that act of giving, as well as the purchasing policies of the museum’s team of experts. This re-enactment in a way reconstructs the formation of the Museum’s collection from the period of its establishment in 1964 to the present. However, repeating the creation of the Museum does not denote a return to nostalgia for the past but stands as an attempt to emphasize the importance of this event not just in the context of the past but, more importantly, in the context of the present. Here the reference to the past is not а historical overview made for the sake of history itself; rather it addresses the importance of past events for our present and future. It also highlights the importance of asking ourselves if it is still possible to believe that somewhere within us lies a utopian spark worth preserving: a spark necessary not only for great changes but sometimes needed in order to persevere and to continue to defend the abandoned or forgotten idea of solidarity.


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