Conversation with multimedia artist Elizabeta Kostadinovska Lindner: Constant movement in the sensory system
In addition to the promotion of the book "Sensory System", Elizabeta Kostadinovska Lindner, who has been living and working in Berlin for almost 20 years, presented the activities of "SlovoKult" at three locations in Skopje these days.
The online magazine "SlovoKult" has a multimedia, interdisciplinary, experimental and multilingual character. Its founder and editor is Elizabeta Kostadinovska Lindner, who is a bilingual author (writes in Macedonian and German), multilingual poet, interdisciplinary artist, multimedia performer of poetic and experimental performances, but also translator, curator, art director and publisher. He lives and works in Berlin.
These days, your book "Sensory System" was launched in "Anthology" edition. What "senses" are we talking about and in which "system"?
- It is a collection of short stories with different sensibility, themes and style, and the time in which they were written, from 1995 onwards, and the language of the originals is also different: the older ones are in Macedonian, the newer ones are in German in Macedonian translation, and some were changed during translation and received a new final version in the other language. This variety led me to the title, which was intuitively appropriate, but lacked a more concrete explanation, so I wrote the last short story in Macedonian immediately before the publication of the book, as an attempt to find an explanation for the senses and their system.
"System" is an expression that is used scientifically and in many areas, but of course also politically, and the human organism is also a perfect system - which I connected with something very "human" - the sensitivity inside: mental and spiritual, and outside: with the senses , which are all part of one system, which is individual for each individual, but which functions on the same principle. In this system, thoughts and memories have a very important role, because they are the result of these senses and mediate the understanding of things and ourselves, and at the same time they stimulate senses themselves - so we have a constant movement in the system of senses, which also constitutes itself life of man.
It is known that you have been living and working in Berlin for almost two decades. What kind of artistic core did he create around himself there?
- I have been in Germany for almost 23 years, 17 of which in Berlin. Since it is very difficult to find financial stability in art and culture – after I got my master's degree in German literature, my path started with what was most accessible and appreciated, literary translation. In parallel, I completed a course in cultural management and volunteered in the background since 2008, founded and built "Slovokult", which has undergone several changes: from a portal for Macedonian literature in German (slovokult.de), to a bilingual online magazine for poetry and art ( slovokult.eu, slovokult-literatur.de), all the way to an interdisciplinary festival ("Slovokult :: literatur") with the subtitle "text/vision/sound". This concept is also connected with my interdisciplinary and multimedia art, which, in parallel with other activities (translation, selection of authors and works, paid engagements outside of culture) I developed and presented together with colleagues in Berlin. That's how I met wonderful artists with whom I collaborate - and the same thing happened in Skopje, where, unfortunately, I only stay for a short time.
The core today is a kind of Macedonian, German - and European avant-garde circle, which interdisciplinary and multimedia presents contemporary and experimental literary, fine and sound art - the focus is on bilingual or trilingual polyphony of translated texts - poetry and short prose, which are understandable for the audience , but still create a different "trip", different from the usual poetry reading. The texts can be read, they are published in our special publications or on the online magazines, where the artists and their works are presented.
What was the purpose of founding the "SlovoKult :: Slovoteka" edition?
- The joint festival presentation does not allow us to devote ourselves more to one author and one artist, therefore this edition offers a specially made selection of songs by one author and a selection of works of art by one artist, including original language, so far German, with Macedonian and preferably English translation . The presentation of the book offers a deeper acquaintance with the works: with an exhibition and a multimedia poetic performance, where we also have musical support. This concept offers the possibility of presentation in at least two countries, and with English throughout Europe. The editions are in collaboration with "Art Equilibrium" and include Macedonian authors with German translations, but it is very difficult to find support for this venture - however, it is worth trying further, because this international presentation is of great importance: through smaller events connect and introduce the independent scene of at least two cities - Skopje and Berlin, but of course others (Gevgelija, Vienna, Riga...).
More activities of "SlovoKult :: Berlin" with several multimedia events were also presented in Skopje. How was the selection of the presented works of art and artists made?
– We were lucky to perform in three of the "hottest" locations in the city: the "Bukva" cafe-bookstore, in the KIC and in the MCC of the "Zdravo mvodi" festival, and the participants were unknown until recently, because we did not have enough funds for the travel expenses for visiting. The selection is related to the publications and editions, but above all to the cooperation of "SlovoKult" with artists in Berlin and Skopje, which revolves around the quality, style, diversity, that is, the originality of the artistic expression itself - criteria that are very important to us. and we want to maintain them. Perhaps that was also the reason that we received support from the German Embassy in Skopje and the literary network for Southeast Europe - "Traduki" for the visit of the artists, and for the Macedonian artists from the KIC and the City of Skopje.
Multimedia, interdisciplinarity, multilingualism are characteristics of the presented works. In what setting were the works created?
- The works for the events of "SlovoKult" are created independently of each other and come together sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally and improvised, and the ambience is practically created then, and it is unique. My works have their own composition, they originate mostly from analog collages that also contain experimental text, and then together in a video of the work and a presentation of the text in multilingual polyphony, they are connected to music in a multimedia performance.
What does reciprocal communication on the axis Berlin - Skopje mean to you personally?
- It means a lot to me, because I have been home in Berlin for a long time, without Skopje losing that same status as home, and this "crucifixion" between two "homes" is, it seems to me, one of the most complicated situations in a person. Art and bilingualism help me make this "duality" something special. Returning here is always intense, especially emotional and I want to interact with the city and the people - and the opportunity to participate with artists and friends from Berlin at events in Skopje and vice versa, brings me an inexpressible and immeasurable joy - which motivates and encourages the struggle to realize the projects.
(The interview was published in "Cultural Press" number 198, in the printed edition of the newspaper "Sloboden Pechat" on 30.09-01.10.2023)