Artists: Nevena Aleksovski, Elena Čemerska, Ana Čvorović, Andrea Knezović, Ivana Mirčevska, Ilija Prokopiev, Lenka Đorojević
Curator: Jana Stardelova
15. 12. at 6 pm: viewing of the exhibition with the artists and the curator
16. 12. at 5:30 pm: artist talk with the participating artists
22. 12. at 6 pm: viewing of the exhibition with the artists and the curator
11. 1. at 6 pm: viewing of the exhibition with the artists and the curator
Who can decide to move and who is forced to stay? Or is it the other way around? As bell hooks writes in Belonging: A Culture of Place: “thinking about place, where we belong, is a constant subject for many of us”. This is particularly true for the artists in Here, but somewhere else, whom I invited to explore the universal human experiences of mobility, movement and belonging through personal stories.
Taking a decentralised approach, the exhibition features the works of seven artists whose practices combine local and regional perspectives. The works of Nevena Aleksovski, Elena Čemerska and Ivana Mirčevska, Ana Čvorović, Andrea Knezović, Ilija Prokopiev and Lenka Đorojević weave together the dynamics of displacement, transnational identities, collectiveness and the ever-shifting belonging of those who traverse borders. Their works explore intimate cartographies of belonging – whether voluntary, forced or imagined, across time. Using eclectic artistic approaches and varied media, the artists took a cue from Aimee Carrillo Rowe’s notion of “differential belonging”, a movement between dissimilar types of belonging that keeps us on our toes and prompts us to deal with the ways in which we are oppressed and privileged. They embarked on a search for belonging that instead of identity politics explores different forms of (co)existence with the intention of being transformed.
The artworks explore the complexities of feeling at home in more than one location. Transnational narratives echo throughout the works, sharing ideas of belonging that transcend borders and connect individuals to multiple spaces and communities. Rather than romanticising the notion of home, they study liminality and “finding a way to make space for our true selves”. Inevitably, vulnerability is woven into personal stories: embracing oneself in the process of adapting to new environments is a journey of its own.
The diversity of diasporic cultures is visible in many of the artworks. Using different strategies, such as auto-ethnography, psychogeography, personal genealogies, the works tell a story of universality that goes beyond the world of binaries. Nevena Aleksovski uses the past as a raw material, converting it into a source of exploration of critical thinking. The personal and the communal intersect in Aleksovski’s work, stories and practices of the past connect to create a more nuanced understanding of the artists’ as well as our shared history.
Resonating with the universal rites of passage, Ilija Prokopiev’s portal reminds us of the potentials that arise when we are subjected to change. Reflecting on the function of comets as realms where diverse beliefs intermingle, the site-specific installation communicates temporality and the possibility of change over time. In the past, comets were among the most feared celestial objects, they were the signifiers of change – whether destructive or transformative. The artist encourages us to think about how we comprehend and mould the world we inhabit.
As one of the most direct symbols of bordering and differentiation, Lenka Đorojević re-uses the flag in an atypical space. At a moment in time when certain flags are forbidden from display, the artist invites us to rethink the flag. Combining it with a deformed trellis, the artist explores the relation between image and object in the context of personal memory and how it can distort. The deformed image of a frozen gymnastic pose is there to question the relationship between personal memory and memory imprinted in corporeal-cultural objects.
A body on the move is an exhausted one. Elena Čemerska and Ivana Mirčevska explore the consequences of bodily exhaustion at the intersection of environmental degradation and the impact of neoliberal capitalism. Through the refusal to perform according to pregiven orientations, their protagonists, sounds, text, sculptural objects and video work aim to reshape care not as an individualistic anthropocentric approach, but as a pathway of vibrant interdependency.
Gloria Anzaldúa observed that “a borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is a constant state of transition.” Ana Čvorović’s installations consider the role of borders and boundaries, and communicate the psychological effects of war and migration. Reflecting the plight of displaced people, discarded objects are recontextualised to show sudden shifts in the lives of those forced to leave their homes. They push us to consider what navigating the space inside and outside of borders and walls means.
Andrea Knezović’s constellation is an invitation to explore what lies within us and how it interacts with the reality outside. Building on an auto-ethnographic approach, the work helps us to explore ontologies of intergenerational trauma and alternative systems of care. The constellation is imbued with game-like elements which one can browse, examine and interact with.
Envisioned as a long-term initiative, Here, but somewhere else challenges us to think of humans instead of geographies, to replace hate and fear with solidarity. Rather than aiming to present a fixed perspective or to prove a particular point, it raises the case for change, how it unfolds, and how it affects us and our communities.
Nevena Aleksovski is active in the fields of drawing, painting and illustration. She also works as a pedagogue of contemporary art and is Head of the ŠKUC Association pedagogical programme. Lives and works in Ljubljana.
Elena Čemerska is a visual artist and a researcher whose art practice explores the relationships between aesthetics, materiality and politics. In 2021, she was awarded the Prince Claus Seed Award and the Denes Young Visual Artist Award. Lives and works in Skopje.
Ana Čvorović’s work focuses on migration and displacement. Her installations are an exploration of the psychodynamics of place, specifically in the context of war, migration, socio-economic impoverishment and processes of globalisation. Čvorović has received numerous awards including the Shelagh Cluett Award (2021) and the a-n Artist Travel Bursary Award (2018). Lives and works in London.
Andrea Knezović is a conceptual visual artist and researcher whose research interests centre around the politics of care, its institutional implications and mythological aspects. She is part of the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice. Lives and works in Amsterdam.
Ivana Mirčevska is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher working across moving images, text and installation. Ivana is the recipient of the Denes Young Visual Artist Award (2022). Lives and works in Skopje.
Lenka Đorojević critically examines and interprets the ambivalence of the position of the (artistic) subject in the context of production, representative, ideological and symbolic narratives, and the strategies of late capitalism. In collaboration with Matej Stupica, she received the OHO Award in 2015. Lives and works in Ljubljana.
Ilija Prokopiev is a visual artist, graphic designer, curator and publisher, based in Skopje and Ljubljana. He is the co-founder of PrivatePrint. In 2011, he received the Denes Young Visual Artist Award for the work “Studies for Very Large Drawings”.
 The title draws inspiration from the article: Khoshgozaran, Gelare. 2022. The Too Many and No Homes of Exile. Link: https://perpetualpostponement.org/the-too-many-and-no-homes-of-exile/
 Rowe, Aimee Carrillo. 2005. Be Longing: Toward a Feminist Politics of Relation. NWSA Journal 17, no. 2 (2005): 15–46.
 hooks, bell. 2009. Belonging: A Culture of Place. New York: Routledge.
 Here, auto-ethnography is understood as an analytical approach for self-reflection and used as a method to critically examine our experiences within the context of larger social and cultural structures.
 Psychogeography is situated as an exploration of the landscape, its characteristics and the ways in which it displays different human psychic states.
 Exploring personal genealogies not only provides a deeper understanding of one’s own family journey but also offers insights into societal events and changes that shaped their family’s migration patterns.
 Gloria Anzaldúa. “Borderlands: the new mestiza = La Frontera”. San Francisco, 1987. Aunt Lute.
English proofreading: Arven Šakti Kralj
Slovenian translation: Irena Duša Draž
Slovenian proofreading: Inge Pangos
Design and cover image: Lea Jelenko
Photos from the opening: Simao Bessa
Exhibition view: Matic Pandel
Acknowledgments: Zavod Ibe Pali, Zala Velkavrh
Co-production: Tiiiit! Inc. and Škuc Gallery
The Škuc Gallery programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana.