Series: Subtle Subversion

Series Subtle Subversion at Venice Biennale comprised of several works – 3 sculptures The Collection: She does what She wants, Untitled 1, 2 & 3 and series of paintings entitled Department for Conservation and Restoration. Subtle Subversion researches subtle methods of converting of the todays society into a society where the society becomes collectively open and responsible to reconsider the dysfunctionalities of many of its foundations and current practices. In the Venice edition leading topic is SOLIDARITY.

The three sculptures by Nada Prlja entitled The Collection: She does what: She wants, Untitled 1, 2 & 3, exhibited at the Pavilion are inspired by selected artworks from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje. Both the museum and the art collection, containing 7150 artworks, are unique examples of international solidarity. The artworks were donated by 66 countries and numerous individual artists in an expression of support with the city of Skopje, following the devastating earthquake of 1963. Solidarity within the realm of political agendas and cultural policies is one of the key postulates of leftist thought and also a key aspiration of the exhibition Subversion to Red.

Museum of Contemporary Art, south view, photo copyright TYGRYSY
Museum of Contemporary Art, west view toward the exhibition space, photo copyright TYGRYSY


The Collection: She does what she wants, I

(Sculpture views at La Biennale di Venezia)

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 22.30.05
Palazzo Rota Ivancich lay out and the position of the artwork.

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_4_Collection I 01_ph Andrea Avezzù.jpgLR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_4_Collection I 05_ph Raul Betti detail

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_4_Collection I 02_photo Raul Betti

Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 18.04.42

The Collection: She does what she wants, I

(Studio images)

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_4_Collection I 03_ph Ana MaljanovskaLR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_4_Collection I 04_ph Ana Maljanovska_detail

67397870_650246592162830_6508598555664449536_o (1)67407484_650247485496074_9021866275999055872_o (1)

Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 11.17.41.png
Inspired by: Olga Jevric
The Vaulted Form
Bronze, iron
50x60x40 cm.
Courtesy of Museum of
Contemporary Art Skopje

Inspired by the works of Olga Jevric (from the collection of Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje), I have created the sculptureThe Collection: She does what she wants, Untitled I (2019), by incorporating a series of stone and concrete ‘lumps’, extracted from urban ruins in the city center of Skopje.

The sculpture is fragile, it hold 280kg of concrete, it bends under a wind and it is ‘outlined’ by the frame-like structure consisting of thinest industrial metal profiles, normally used in the building industry, referring to the fragility of the cultural heritage in the city of Skopje. The various concrete lumps and cast fragments that hang on, rest against or lie scattered around the metal frame of the sculpture, in a similarly somber manner as in Jevric’s work, alludes to the urban devastation caused by the earthquake of the past (1963), but also the current urban development that carelessly ‘plows’ the city in the relentless search for profit and political power, with no concern for the wellbeing of the city and its citizens.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Collection: She does what she wants, II

(Sculpture views at La Biennale di Venezia)

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 22.30.29
Palazzo Rota Ivancich lay out and the position of the artwork.

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_5_Collection II 02_ph Raul BettiLR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_5_Collection II 01_ph Raul Betti


Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 18.07.59

The Collection: She does what she wants, II

(Studio images)

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_5_Collection II 03_ph Ana Maljanovska


LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_5_Collection II 04_ph Ana Maljanovska_detail.jpg


Inspiration: Boris Nikoloski
Composition 2
Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje

Prlja’s sculpture ‘The Collection: She does what she wants, II’ (2019) questions – do we have a possibility for a ‘doubt’, as an artist today, in the art world which has its own requirements, trends and directions? How much artist can explore, experiment and question its own ways of thinking and working.

The sculpture ‘The Collection: She does what she wants, II’ by Nada Prlja is inspired by work of Macedonian artist Boris Nikoloski from 60s, in which he extrudes and protrudes geometrical forms in order to create associative and asymmetric sculptures.

Between other things, the sculpture consists of fragments of photographs of Nikoloski’s sculpture (Composition 2), as offset prints on paper. The cut out of Nikoloski’s sculpture on the offset paper shows Nikoloski’s ultimate lack of belief in modernity and his return to figurative and realistic sculpture (‘He returned to old forms that rely on pathetic gesturing or idealised portraits, which usually resulted in an illustrative quality’*). By cutting the print, Prlja referring to Nikolovski’s method of adapting and reusing his own more abstract sculptures, towards creating new more figurative works, thereby reflecting Nikolovski’s doubts in his own creative stands.

* Marika Bocvarova Plavevska ‘Moments of the Sixties: Aleksandar Jankuloski and Boris Nikoloski’, Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, 1997/98

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Collection: She does what she wants, III or History of Humankind, XX century

(Sculpture views at La Biennale di Venezia)

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 22.30.47
Palazzo Rota Ivancich lay out and the position of the artwork.

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_7_Collection III 03_photo Robert JankuloskiiLR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_7_Collection III 01_photo Raul Betti  LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_7_Collection III 02_photo Ana Lazarevska



The Collection: She does what she wants, History of Humankind, XX century

(Studio image)

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_7_Collection III 04_ph Ana Maljanovska.jpg


IMG_1671 (1).jpg
Inspired by Jordan Grabulovski 
Stone, plinth
30x40x15 cm
Courtesy of Museum of
Contemporary Art Skopje

The focal point of the sculpture The Collection: She does what she wants III, is a ready-made ball of stone, an object Prlja found displaced and neglected on the streets of Skopje, which was once used as a barrier prohibiting the parking of cars on the pedestrian sidewalks. This everyday object, still really beautiful, sculptured in strong stone from the Prilep region in Macedonia, by its indentations formed by heavy daily use, resembled to artist Prlja directly to Jordan Grabuloski’s sculpture Head (1966). This stark resemblance led Prlja to question the relative value of objects and to consider the question of over production, over consumption and human negligence.

This artwork, placed in the final room of the sequence of exhibition rooms of Palazzo Rota Ivancich, is intended as a request to all artists to recycle their works, reusing both ideas and materials in order to contribute directly against the impending global crisis.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Department for Conservation and Restoration

(Installation views at La Biennale di Venezia)

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 22.30.29
Palazzo Rota Ivancich lay out and the position of the artwork.

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_6_Departament 02_ph Andrea Avezzù

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_6_Departament 01_photo Raul Betti


Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 18.09.59.png

Department for Conservation and Restoration

Studio image (detail)

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_6_Departament 03_ph Ana Maljanovska_detail

Inspiration: Borko Lazeski
Epic for Freedom
Acrylic, 5 oval planes, 5x5m each (125m2 in total)The fresco was painted on the walls of the Telecommunication Center’s Counter Hall in Skopje, one of the most iconic brutalist buildings of the post-earthquake period of the city (by architect Janko Konstantinov); Lazevski’s five frescoes were an integral part of its enigmatic interior.
Photo borrowed from Rosica Lazeska

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 (…/). By now 7 painting (on plasterboard, each measuring 1x2m) have been completed.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _