Yane Calovski (North Macedonia, 1973) is the third artist to produce his exhibition at Kohta during a bespoke residency in Helsinki, after Astrid Svangren in 2018 and Trevor Yeung in 2019.
Educated in the US, Japan and the Netherlands, Calovski has been active in the Macedonian capital Skopje since the mid-2000s and is often seen on the international exhibition circuit. He represented his country at the Venice Biennale in 2015 together with his partner Hristina Ivanoska.
Drawing is a crucial component of Calovski’s practice, much like building is to an architect: a sign of achievement and proof of the unbroken connection between thought, image, object, physical environment and lived reality. Architecture was part of Calovski’s education and he has done extensive projects around his parents’ self-designed house in Skopje, the new ‘metabolic’ master plan for the city after the 1963 earthquake or Polish post-war architect Oskar Hansen’s ‘principles of open form’.
Calovski’s exhibition – his first in Finland – contains selected drawings from the last 20 years (displayed on wall-mounted plywood panels as part of the work Closet, 2020) and a new version of Personal Object (2017–18). The work that names the exhibition comprises cosmetics that belonged to his late mother, Biljana Calovska. She showed scholarly and artistic promise but discontinued her studies in 1972, dedicating herself to becoming the trusted collaborator of her prominent husband, the late poet and radio journalist Todor Calovski, and to raising and home-schooling their two children. (Her life choices were not uncommon in 1970s Yugoslavia, although they didn’t conform to the socialist norm of women in the workplace.)
Why include such personal biographic information here? Because it adds to the understanding of the work on display. The dominant presence is Embroidery (2020): a construction of wooden sticks and plates and at the same time a drawing in space, the prototype for an architectural folly, an invitation to linger and sit down – and a reinterpretation of a small embroidery of abstract triangular and rectangular shapes made by Biljana Calovska in the early 1970s. Bed and Toy (both 2020) are sculptural compositions in foam and wood that evoke her educational practice of doing and making things while lying on the floor.
As its title indicates, ‘Personal Object’ is an exhibition about the personal and about objecthood. But it is also about how the exhibition, as a format of experimental articulation, embodies the three kinds of images outlined by philosopher Gilles Deleuze in his two books on cinema: the visible image, the readable image, the thinking image. The last one is supremely intriguing, but hardly explicated at all by Deleuze (nor indeed explicable in terms that don’t leave common sense behind). Should we understand images as having the agency we usually ascribe to ourselves as viewers? What, then, happens the author’s agency over the work he produces, using himself (or at least his own subjectivity) as material?
Read the full text here http://www.kohta.fi/exhibition/yane-calovski/
Image credit: Yane Calovski, Personal Object, 2017–18. Courtesy the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje. Photographer: Vase Amanito
Teurastamo inner yard,
Työpajankatu 2 B, building 7, 3rd floor
00580 Helsinki, Finland
Entrance through Teurastamon portti