Marija Pavlovska, multimedia artist: The contemporary artist should be individual, her own and unique
Critics have best explained the phenomenon it deals with. They pointed out: "Her works express expressiveness with a combination of realism and interpretation of a mature, unique and strong person."
Visual artist Marija Pavlovska has been in Skopje for several months after a long stay in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that does not mean that she stopped her artistic work, but on the contrary, intensified it using digital tools.
The Covid crisis narrowed your space for movement outside the borders of the state, a movement that was characteristic of you as an artist, how did you experience and how do you survive this narrowing?
- Although the pandemic and the closed borders contributed to the stagnation of the planned projects and their realization, we adapted to the new way of presentation with virtual - online presentation and activities. In the last two years, before and after the coronavirus appeared, I had many activities in the field of art. I would like to mention just a few of those activities, such as the participation in the 58th Venice Biennale with the project "A Reaction", the solo exhibition in Manila, Philippines, the release of my first work, the monograph "The First Principle - Drawing" (doctoral thesis translated into a monographic work published in Macedonian), the solo project within the Osten Biennale of Drawing 2020, the publication of the monumental monograph "A Reaction" under the auspices of "Mana Contemporaries" from New York, USA, and the European Cultural Center. In addition to closed borders and the pandemic, I had five presentations by the Mana Contemporaries Museum, which introduced a new online series featuring the recent work of Mana-based artists in the context of their current art practices before and during pandemic - whether in the studio or elsewhere. Through personal photos, films, audio recordings and reference images, this series reflects on how they have adapted their study practices in recent months and what they have left as an ongoing process in their studio.
After the first solo presentation in New York in 2007, you live in a relationship between Skopje and New York, was it difficult to break through the New York scene and how much did you respond to the trends there with your art? What was the most difficult?
- After my first solo exhibition in New York in 2007, I continue to be active on the New York and international art scene. The complexity of that US-New York territory, which operates very, very differently from Europe, undoubtedly required tremendous concentration and focus. Many reviews, reviews and critiques of my artwork have been written in prestigious magazines, newspaper articles by eminent art historians and theorists from the United States. My expression was noticed, using the polar black and white colors to stand out with a specific expressive style, which is unique, both in the Balkan region and internationally, as well as in the United States. Between 2007 and 2011, my work was included in prestigious projects in Brooklyn, used for book covers, and I had a solo exhibition at Citibank. In 2012, I received an art residency at Mana Contemporaries, a leading New York City Center for Contemporary Art. In 2018, my works were selected for group exhibitions of women authors. In 2019, I received an invitation to collaborate with the prestigious and unique Gary Liechtenstein.
What does the artistic residence and cooperation with the Mana Contemporary Museum mean to you?
Founded in 2011, the Mana Contemporaries Museum and Art Center is one of the largest and most innovative centers of contemporary art in the United States. With campuses in New York, Chicago and Miami, its mission is to maintain and support the ever-growing and evolving constellation of creative communities. In addition to the presentation of contemporary exhibitions, part of the center's mission is to support contemporary artists with a given art residence - studio. I applied for this program and based on the results and the unique expression I came under the auspices of the center and so far I am the only one from the Balkan region that is part of his residency program.
What do you think a contemporary artist should look like today, and how should she look like a modern woman, regardless of her profession?
- In both cases it should be individual, own and unique.
An artist, but also a wife, did marriage have to be adapted to art?
- The partner is the one who respects, supports and aims at the realization of my best possible version. He is next to me and I am next to him in the same way in creativity and respect.
Opposites dominate in your works - light and dark, full and empty, black and white…?
- The critics best explained the phenomenon I am dealing with. They pointed out:
"Дела Her works express expressiveness with a combination of realism and interpretation of a mature, unique and strong person…" - Norbert Riddle, Austria / 2003.
"Јзи Her painting is like a battlefield, where light and darkness fight and the result is unpredictable. We see lightning from work ideas as they are developed. In this kind of simultaneous image - process / result - the dialectic lies frozen in space, stimulating the viewer to actively participate in creating the linearity of the drawing and further the image through examination, inviting a huge number of readings on a particular topic… "- Emil Aleksiev, Macedonia / 2001
Where do you see the contradictions in our society, especially in terms of women in society?
- I do not feel inequality. Today, the Macedonian woman is equal, independent, individual, with her own perception and is respected in society because of that.
Is there jealousy among women artists in our country, is there a lack of female solidarity, coexistence, mutual support?
- Honestly, no. I did not feel a lack of coexistence and mutual respect. I have respect from my colleagues.
What are you aiming for in 2021, what will we see from you?
- Everything that was planned, with scheduled dates for implementation in 2019 and 2020 and was not realized due to the pandemic, I expect to improve the situation globally to continue with the implementation of projects from where we left off. I hope it will be better and better, so we will be able to realize the projects, but for now I wish us to be good and safe and the situation to improve globally and be safer.
Photos: Dragan Mitreski