Sat. Jan 27, 3-4pm
To conclude the exhibition “Titoism: Amid Nostalgia and Desire” by Zoran Shekerov, you are warmly invited on January 27th from 3-4 PM at ARC Gallery for a lecture given by the artist. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Departing from the work presented at the gallery, during the afternoon, Shekerov through his lecture will aim to open up the space proposed in the title of his exhibition. Bringing us closer to his process of working, his relation to the people he photographs and decisions made when photographing, the artist will concentrate on unveiling the feeling that we encounter which is located amid nostalgia and desire. Where this notion can be located within the narratives that we witness in the photographs and how important is the presence of their lived environment for one to experience the movement between nostalgia and desire.
Zoran Shekerov ( Skopje, 1992) practice focuses on long-term documentary research that explores the human situation in certain socio-political contexts, as well as issues of identity, in particular, re-examining terms such as patriotism and nostalgia by considering the connection between lived history and sentimentality. Mainly articulating his works through a documentary approach, experimenting with the opportunity of converting them to site-specific installations, Shekerov’s interest also lies in the research of the value of the photographic medium.
About the exhibition
Unfolding ten narratives that occur at different geographical locations throughout Macedonia, “Titoism: Amid Nostalgia and Desire”, attests for a generation of people whose inclination towards Yugoslavia, can still be felt after twenty-six years of independence.
Capturing their habitual surroundings where enveloped by objects with which decorating their homes the people articulate the lingering feelings they still have towards Yugoslavia, Shekerov gradually opens up dialogue and invites us to think along with him, wondering if a keepsake can be more than just a reminder of a past. More precisely, if such objects can hold both sentimental longings and prospects.
Born in 1992, for Shekerov, Yugoslavia and the image of Josip Broz Tito is something he got acquainted with through his grandfather’s stories and photographs found in an old family album. Family albums allow one to become familiar with one’s past, and sometimes that of our own. In the exhibition, Shekerov uses his old family album conceived throughout the years by his grandfather, in a subtle manner as a way to connect with the people he photographs. The accumulated knowledge in Shekerov’s case is the support for an immediate connection between them.
Attesting for a lived past time, the photographs carry in them traces of nostalgia, while simultaneously reminding us that this gestures of giving space to objects and collecting portraits and symbols of Yugoslavia are also a way to hold onto and continue the values that they associate with their past. Capturing the particular way in which the objects are kept in their environment and how they are taken care for, Shekerov foregrounds that their meaning is more than just a sentimental value. Holding onto a map of a country that does not exist anymore, or declaring as Yugoslavian, is perhaps a way for them to say that a belief in shared values is still possible and conceivable necessary. Thus, in those moments, the documentary photographs, intimately showing people’s belongings gains a socio-political significance.
The willingness of the people we encounter in the photographs to open the doors of their homes is a sign that they do not want their story to end with them, but to continue through the visitors, evoking curiosity for a specific time. Not as a history but as a way of living.
This can also be read through the gesture of presenting a forget me not token. A small present, given to Shekerov during their conversation. A sign of a recognition between two people who regardless the age difference have interest towards the same subject…