The specific case study is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje (MSU), founded on account of an extraordinary worldwide nonaligned solidarity with earthquake-stricken Skopje. The focus of research was put on works from the collection donated by artists from the nonaligned countries and the “global south”. In this approach, the museum is positioned as part of a global cartography of art solidarity initiated and inspired by anti-imperialist and liberation struggles. The project argues that the biggest potential of the nonaligned art solidarity expressed with Skopje is the formation of a highly diverse collection that stands above any divisions. Moreover, it asserts that the specific heterogeneity of its collection allows, on one hand, the production of an art historiography outside of the Western hegemonic canon, and on the other, the creation of a platform for “peripheral” artistic alliances, collaborations and exchanges.
The artwork is organised around three parts: The Archive illuminates the rather unknown aspect of MSU – that it holds a large, and largely ignored and neglected, collection from nonaligned countries, especially those of Latin America. Informed by the MSU collection as well as pertinent cultural collaborations and exchanges between socialist Yugoslavia and the nonaligned countries, the Map presents a complex web of art solidarity relations. Highlighting the prospect of the museum model for future decolonial discourses and cultural practices, three international art exhibitions – expressing solidarity with – are envisaged and presented as Projections in the form of posters.
The project was presented as part of the international exhibition ‘Whose Side Are You On? On the non-aligned decolonial constellation’, curated by Ivana Vaseva and Bojana Piskur, as part of the 17th Akto Festival organised by FRU (Faculty of Things that can’t be Learned).
Link to the event: https://akto-fru.org/en/1943-2/