“Department for Conservation and Restoration”
Acrylic, charcoal, plasterboard, 120x220x0.5cm
Photo © Raul Betti
Courtesy of the artist
Work as exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia
The seven exhibited paintings were realised with the intention of ‘repairing’ a section of the 125m2 mural by artist Borko Lazeski (1917-1993), entitled “Epic for Freedom” (1981), which was destroyed in a fire in 2013 within the building of Telecommunication in Skopje, for which the mural had been specially commissioned.
This work represents Prlja’s desire to recreate the lost artwork by Lazeski, a valuable work which played a significant role in the collective memory of the citizens. With the intention of highlight one of the valuable postulates of leftism – the notion of Solidarity, Prlja contributes to the notion of solidarity through an act of offering something back to the city, through artistic means.
The series of paintings by Prlja are not mere copies of Lazeski’s work, but its motifs are painted in different scales and in a free interpretation of the original works, with the intention of showing the fragility of memory in an attempt to reshape the past, an intention shared by most of the works in the exhibition Subversion to Red. With this work, Prlja also draws attention to mural painting, or political public art, one of the forms of art that directly demonstrates its link to politics. In a time of political advertising and party posters dominating the public space or our cities, it is necessary to ask ourselves – should art be a contributor to those events?
The process of the painting is ongoing and it started in 2016, as a part of an exhibition “Temporary spiritual remediation, intimate urban re-vision – Skopje Urban Stories” curated by Ana Frangovska (https://nadaprlja.com/department-for-conservation-and-rest…/). By now 7 painting (on plasterboard, each measuring 1x2m) have been completed.