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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 36 | volume VII | May-June, 2004



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 36May-June, 2004
Gallery Reviews

Handwriting / of / Clothes

– or, the clothes as personal hermeneutics –

p. 1
Elizabeta Šeleva

    The latest exhibition of Liljana Gjuzelova, which took place in December 2003 at the Museum of the City of Skopje, that is, the installation “Writing Oneself” is based on the very interesting, modern and intriguing procedure of conceptual self-stripping (or self-writing), which follows the shivering reflections of the personal and family history, the fragmentary memories and mosaic-like interwoven memories.
    This is more precisely an exhibition of clothes hung (with pegs), made of paper, hanging on a rope, clothes that are wordy testimonies (memorials) of the past. All of these clothes have or contain a unique, common “pattern”: the handwritten text, as if they are clothes-minutes of the rich personal and collective drama. They are “costumed” rolls of family history and archive, which contain the touching hermeneutics of the personal survival, but also the always open “horizon of questioning”, where (according to the “ethnographic” custom of the great history) there is no place for the final truths and revelations.
    We are facing a handwritten exhibition, or an exhibition of hand written, designed, two-dimensional clothes (more precisely, cuts), as metaphors, which in this way reveal the intimate, underwear of the precious, difficult to announce and discrete, quite often painful, vulnerable memories. This time, with its entire creative wave, placed in the intermeadially doubled writing – in the material (clothes), paper fabric and in the virtual (attire), of verbal fabric (in the text as waving).

    The texture of the clothes (eventually, the text as clothes of the feelings and thought), taking into consideration this creative principle, becomes a hermeneutic indicator of the existential narrative, in a time span of half a century ago. The paper clothes speak on behalf of, or instead of, the subjective hermeneutics of suffering. The proverb that “man is known by his clothes” in this case can quite referentially and metonymically be applied: the parts of the clothes themselves lightly (airily) make the collage of the narration, history, identity in constant (externally imposed) split of self-confirming and self-denial.
    The idea itself that the family archive is shown as an exhibition boutique has its deep and painful argumentation, in the real doom of this family to constantly find itself under some (ideological and political) supervision. In this way, this installation made of handwritten “loaded” clothes cuts for the first time shows publicly the “confection” of the life-long (although difficult to prove) condemnation and suffering because of the very (given fact of) origin.
    This is where

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