Fifty or Fifty (2006)

In the second half of the 1980s the Macedonian sculptural scene had already established a recognizable plastic language, thanks to the influx of fresh ideas and materials, especially with the young Gligor Stefanov and Petre Nikoloski. They started the trend of following situations where the sculptures were realized as spatial installations, although the status of the individual artwork was still respected. The working principle with these two artists was concentrated on the actual events in this field, so the layers of their accomplishments could be identified with the international "style" of the so called new sculpture (British, Spanish or former Yugoslavian). This occurrence had its continuation in the 1990s and in the years of the beginning of the new millennium, but only as a reflection, more precisely, as a revitalization of the sculpture that has characteristics of the local, which was here focused on the topical motif related to geometric forms, logically proceeding from the widely accepted pluralism of the postmodern practices. They also legitimate the eclecticism, which is meant to give priority to the retro occurrences related to segments of the premises of the modernism. This spirit of plastic expression was most explicitly adopted by Stanko Pavlevski, Tome Adzievski, Ismet Ramicevic, occasionally by Violeta Blazeska and Bogdan Grabuloski, etc., while the series of sculptural compositions of Goce Nanevski, made in the past ten years, is a kind of a continuation of the tendencies adopted in that way. The group of the mentioned artists tackles the inherited kinds of constructivism and in their rational "constructing" approach incorporates the experiences of the minimalism (already applied by the older Jordan Grabul and Petar Hadzi Boskov), especially the primary structures which concurrently include speculative and conceptual components, crucial for the final determination of the norms of the sculptural aspect (reminding of the broadened art scene of the 1960s and 1970s). The modalities of the mentioned "isms" bring us closer to the pluralism that allows for revision of the considerations related to the spheres of the plastically devised projects whose codes, conditioned by the introduction of semantic components, define the meanings and the rhetoric of the offered art object. At the very beginning, when he had his first solo exhibition in the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje in 1998 Nanevski insisted on strict principles and on ,  the clarity of his thought. The sculptural concept was then devised as forcing of forms that were carefully constructed in the very course of the process of manual  technical procedure. His  idea was to retain the tough and pure formula of modeling , while the existence of the form devised in this way was related to the correspondence and his insisting on introducing innovations, compatible to the theory of the fractals.

 Gradually, he approached the typological conditions that mark the characteristics  taken from the modernistic  sculptural complex. The exhibition in the Museum of the City of Skopje showed that the concentration of the artist was directed towards conceiving forms that are pictured with the use of particular analytically contrived compositions, through structural systems that open attitudes that are in relation to the simultaneous visual impression. These established rules of the sculptural whole lead us to the results typical for the previous two decades, reflected in practicing a certain game in order to devise an outline of several forms while respecting the principles of their mobility. This condition initiated their setting into different positions which was the pivot of the project System-s, reflected as a spatial integration of different geometric metal forms.

                                                                             * * *

In the latest works of Nanevski we can recognize a soft deconstruction of the modernistic achievements. The three-dimensional objects are transformed into a spatial installation, but this time with a discrete suppressing of the constructive principles. The imposed defocusing of the outline is a result of the occasional deviations from the strict mathematically determined view and of the introduction of new components that are not typical for the artist - editing procedure of "arranging" gauges ("borrowed" from gas stations). We unexpectedly face a certain "narrative rhythm" that disturbs the already known sculptural relations. The act of extracting of the new element - the gauges, is only a fragment, but it is imposed as decorative and concurrently symbolic aspect which filters the attitudes on the understanding of the offered artwork as a whole. The gauges are a product of the industrial design, ready-made creations that have lost their own function (found in the junk yard, several thousand used pieces). He does not use them as a sculptural mimesis but as a certain ritual object meant for "stringing" on metal wire, thus acquiring real physical mobility (the electronic was previously replaced by a mechanical one). Thus the construction of "incidents" leads to experiencing a special kind of view that can be changed by the dynamics that is subjected to the needs like the confrontation of the black/white contrasts, accomplished by the easily performed act of putting to motion. Although Nanevski avoids radical stylization of the motif we can still feel the impulses when it is brought to the edge of the pure and self-sufficient sculptural aspect. The fantasy of the artist is here predetermined by the subjective experience, but it is in collision with the immediate recommendations of the codes applicable for his previously recognizable iconic variants. The activation of the artist's fantasy also  meant respect for the "metaphorical exactness". The exclusive methodicalness  did not bring the project concept to a one-way formal or ideal classification because he manipulates with applying either the one or the other topical domain, more precisely, one or another technical medium. The plastic world of Nanevski was placed in a position to open to the morphological domains that are close to the op-art. There he includes not only the black/white effects of the gauges or the black dyed iron constructions that "frame" them (in the former artworks they were with the existing patina on the metal), but he applies as a coincidence the mobility of the gauges and the aspect that has the role of spatial illusionism, as well. The illusionism is a direct communication with the spectator. It means that he introduced in this example a tactile element which distances us from the mentioned tendencies which follow only the programmed modalities that make impressions where the main component is the experiencing of the visual, of the autonomous feature of the offered ambiance. Now the conditions of communication with his artwork are set on a different level, not only because of the use of different materials, but also because of the included videos as an addition to the contents and the meanings. Nanevski tries to retain the pure visual perception, based upon the plastic modeling in the mentioned techniques. He also intends to establish the contact through the spectator's effort supposed to reconstruct the information with the model of methodical thinking. It means that the activated correspondence with the suggested three-dimensional solutions is broadened with opening an alternative communication that also incites the meditative com-ponent. It is aimed to avoid the dominant domains of pure ideas, concentrating on the "game" with the numbers. Several months ago, in the National Museum in Veles, Nanevski made the installation (with video) Path which includes traces of his attitudes from the project Fifty or Fifty, where he verbalized the intention: " open several questions from the domain of anticipation of the occurrences in the space-time, the conflict with the truthfulness of the everyday, the questions on the relativity and the imaginary feature of our individual times." In order to fulfill the quoted he had to use another medium - the video, which he applied only to additionally explain his attitude that "...he also analyzes the problem of paradoxical replacement of the material aspect and he tries to locate the boundaries between the rational and the intuition." The established poetic rules of the sculptural artwork are not disturbed, there is only a feeling of symptoms that require reexamination of the narrative aspect of the nine installed objects where the plastic elements are shown as signs of a coded "text" initiated by pictorial" paradigmatically solved function of the numbers. They are faced to the deliberately slowly projected frames of the video notes, a situation where the artist does not allow drastic confrontations. The selected sequences were edited so that they show us the conflict of the slow and fast, they impose the endlessness of the repetition and the monotony which is a result of certain "occurrences'. The topics he uses are the moving of vehicles or a bunch of worms, the disturbance of the water surface, the everyday ritual of drinking beer by an anonymous visitor of a cafe in Greece. The sounds of these processes are covered with trance music which by itself, with its rhythm, seems to replicate the "identical" motif. Here we see his reserved attitude towards the crossing of the borders of human experiences and knowledge. He wants to apply the transcendental in order to solve the accidental and to reach the problems that actualize the question of repetition and the “supersymmetry”. In the artist's riddles formulated in this way, where I also include the title itself that alludes to harmony, we certainly can not ultimately define the structure of the offered multi-media based project. The dilemmas are, however, surpassed with the profiling of the previously given technical coordinates that refer to his objects, that is, to his installation. Finally, it is clear that the insisting on the extremely rationalized ”formulative” procedure affects the starting alternative points which reflect the individualized position. We can discern the challenge to manifest the actual in the models that occur as universal archetypes, released of the crucial symptoms of the abstract autonomous  regulations, related to the ambientaly conceived sculptural forms. Although in the beginning Nanevski's "education" was reduced to managing the modeling techniques, and less to improving the social and intellectual profile of the personality, his affinities and interests were aggressively imposed through the application of the theory of information, of the altered urban view of the reality, of the agent that activates and dimensions the new foundations of the structures of the contemporary world, based upon the psychology of perception, upon the logic of the appearance, and the visual arts.

 And it all coincides and can be resumed with Pythagoras' statement (who is considered to be the author of the words cosmos and philosophy): "Everything is organized in the number”.


Marika Bochvarova Plavevska, curator