Thorough research and studying historical references are the key processes for both Hristina Ivanoska’s and Yane Calovski’s working methodology. Their artistic practice covers diverse works that range from drawings, objects and photographs, to moving images, site-specific installations and performances. They both process the findings and missing links in an archive of any kind; sometimes the work is embodied in personal archives and narratives, and sometimes the work is set up in the public realm. Calovski’s research resonates between these acts of concealing and revealing; thus, his work enchants with the alchemy of turning lapses of memory and missing links into ephemeral sequences of events, situations, feelings and objects. Ivanovska manifests a view on question-based historical analysis by producing as an artistic reaction and reflecting on the findings by unfolding a feminist approach. Their collective working process becomes even deeper, complex and layered, since both artists re-contextualize and address the function of ideas in responsive forms of presentation, production, research and analysis. During the developmental stages of We are all in this alone, our collaboration followed a metabolic pathway, which was structured as modules of co-expressed individual research findings, thoughts, writings and drawings that co-accumulated over a wide range of experimental production phases. Therefore, the real challenge for us was to represent the outcome as a compact space that contains an expanded set of art production without any compromise or incomplete links.
The church, as the point of departure and inspiration, has a perfect rectangular shape that is filled with exceptional fresco paintings following a sense of symmetry and order. When the project was enriched and shaped with the writings of Simone Weil; an article by Luce Irigaray; personal notes by Paul Thek; personal narratives and art production by the artists, it was first translated and applied to the 45m2 gallery space of Kunsthalle Baden Baden. With the continual expansion of the project, the challenge this time was to translate and locate the project to a bigger space at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, while being loyal to the former stages of the project. The utmost important aspect of the spatial design was to communicate the capacity of the project to achieve metabolic inter-conversions of its segments to the audience in a compact way.
Therefore, an exact-sized room was located at the centre of the gallery space, allowing the audience to walk around and discover the physicality of this mathematical process. Hence, it is also important to acknowledge that the gallery space welcomes the audience with the film Detail (1999-2015) as a prelude to the project, which was a revisiting and reprocessing of Calovski’s first work on Paul Thek. Presenting this specific work is a humble gesture, to keep things open, suspended in the way of closure as in form and content in the context of this collective work of the artists. Furthermore, the backside of the room was designed to function as a library to contain the books of the project. The spines of the books, which extract white and gold texture from the installation, form new fresco-like sceneries in the space. The foreword and backward looping scene in the video support and stimulate the circular and linear body movements of the audience in the gallery space.