Marija Koneska is a Macedonian artist, graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, in the department of graphic art. In 2016 she graduated from the second cycle of studies at the same faculty, in the department of painting.
She has realized several solo exhibitions “Emptied Nest” (Macedonia, 2018) "I am fine!" (Macedonia, 2016), To persist! (Germany, 2015) and actively participates in group exhibitions and festivals in the country and abroad. Her works were exhibited on "Paratissima" (Skopje, 2016), "Das ist Walter" (Germany, 2013), "Fist International Print Biennial" (Serbia, 2011), etc.
Koneska is recognizable by the figurative visual language. She creates works inspired by the questions and topics that occupy the mind not just her mind and the people around her, but the society and the time she lives in.
Dive into My Portfolio
I Am Fine!
The face is a natural mechanism that speaks for our emotional life and all for us. Under the skin there are 46 muscles whose movements or positions enable us to express more than 10,000 expressions… Anger, fear, disgust, surprise, joy and sorrow are the six basic human emotions and mostly they are easily recognizable, but how does our face look like when we laugh when something is not funny, when we pretend to be happy, or hide our true thoughts, say things they don’t think?
Avoiding to tell the truth, by definition, is a lie! So, the real question is how does our face look like when we lie?
The average person tells 4 lies a day or 1 460 a year; a total of 87 600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is : I AM FINE!!!
The project was created in 2016-2018, the years when Macedonia was faced with serious social and political turbulence, but which on the other has eased my methodological approach. In the re-education of the issue, besides myself and the people I know better, I also included random people.
I've photographed, sometimes I’ve drew, but not in order to make a portrait of a confidant personality at a fixed moment. My ultimate goal was to make a picture for all of us.
The works are painted with textile color on canvas, A4 format, placed in space without any restrictions and without frames that allows the expression to be dominant.
We live in an endless space and time, put by chance in a surrounding and a present governed by certain rules, not just social and political, but also rules we make, that very often result in limitations to our actions and our thought. Surrounded by so many barriers, each and every one of us is trying to find our own path,which brings about struggles with reality, but also that most difficult struggle of them all, with ourselves.
The characters presented in each of the graphics are the faces every one of us carries. The works are prints of carefully drawn faces with a rare application of few free-form brush strokes. Metal zippers are an intervention that introduces the stylized look of the works and entails limitation in the choice of base. In order to follow the continuity and logic in the workmanship, industrial materials with fabric-like texture were used.
I come from Prilep, a town where emigration has been particularly pronounced in the last few years. Even though everyone is talking loudly about this, official data on what is really happening does not exist.
Therefore, when I started this project, I turned to my fellow citizens for more specific information.
First with people I know, and then with many strangers, wondering how many members of their family have moved away and why they did so.
Going to different places, I was not at all surprised to meet many parents whose children no longer live here, employers who can not find workers, that I saw schools with half-empty classrooms and empty houses. For me, the real confrontation with the magnitude of the problem was the discovery of completely abandoned streets.
That is the reason why I constantly return to this topic and raise the issue not about migration, but about the dying of one town.
I am working on this project I am working more than two years and continuing to do so. During the process of researching I am constantly finding new questions. At the begging I was only interested to emphasize the size of the problem, than to present the reasons, the feelings of the people and now what makes better the new environment where they have moved.
Part of my research I presented as a photo installation, print on plastic. The silhouettes were laser. They stand in front of the base and give 3D look to the works. The second part was presented as a public installation. I set up silhouettes (print on forex) in front of several building in the centre of the city. The silhouettes look like they are coming out of the wall with which I wanted symbolically to emphasize not only the problem of migration, that the town is facing, but also the emptiness created by the people absence.
Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)