Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria https://kunsthallewien.at/en/exhibition/no-feeling-is-final-the-skopje-solidarity-collection/
The comprehensive, international group exhibition No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection revolves around the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Skopje's unusual collection of modern works, as well as the historical and political context of this extraordinary project.
After the massive earthquake that hit Skopje (then Yugoslavia) in 1963, there was a huge effort to help rebuild the devastated city, as a large-scale gesture of international solidarity. The decision was made to establish a museum of contemporary art as a key cultural element of the reconstruction, and thousands of works were donated to Skopje by artists from around the world.
The collection of MoCA Skopje represents both a time capsule of international art at a moment when modernism was still in its prime and a rare artistic encounter across the Cold War divide between East and West: it includes many artworks by predominantly white and male figures who will be well recognizable to an art-loving public, but it also goes beyond the established canon of modernism and incorporates often fascinating works by artists who hail from the former Eastern bloc, as well as from the Global South.
For No Feeling Is Final, Kunsthalle Wien invited four artists and one artist duo - Brook Andrew (Melbourne), Yane Calovski & Hristina lvanoska (Skopje), Siniša Ilić (Belgrade), Iman lssa (Berlin), and Gülsün Karamustafa (Istanbul) - to select works from the collection and to add their own contemporary works, bringing their vision of MoCA's collection into intimate relation with their respective artistic practices.
Furthermore, renowned photographer Elfie Semotan (Vienna) was invited to document the cityscape of Skopje and the museum through her unique way of photographic storytelling. Writer Barbi Marković (Vienna) - known for her sharp mix of fiction and social reality -contributed a travelogue of her experience of encountering Skopje's and the museum's complex.
The exhibition also aims to connect the artworks from the collection to the place where they are housed and cared for. Therefore, the history of the city of Skopje, the 1963 earthquake, and the rebuilding are part of the exhibition's story within an extensive context section, expanded by loans from the Museum of the City of Skopje. We are especially pleased that we were able to borrow Kenzō Tange's model of the Master Plan of the City Center. This model stands alongside a variety of maps from the Institute for Town Planning and Reconstruction Skopje, which demonstrate the research and analysis done locally in rethinking what the new city could be. To highlight the quality of the structures actually built, we loaned models from a Skopje-based architectural team consisting of Ana Ivanovska, Jovan Ivanovski and Vladimir Deskov.
No Feeling ls Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection offers a present-day mirror to look at the well-rehearsed history of modern art in Western capitals, including Vienna, as well as opening a window to the cultural and architectural history of a nearby neighbor. It is an invitation to feel and reimagine solidarity with neighbors at a time when instability and aggression across Europe is tangibly present.