Delocalisation is a proposal to be in the present of the present without the imagination of what we will feel within an encounter or what we will experience. To be in the present of the encountered is possible through allowing the experience to take its position in a way in which it is undefined or unanalyzed. Since, also according to Maurice Merlau-Ponty, defining and analyzing is an act of stocking the experience but not experiencing the encounter.
Leaving the phenomenological investigation aside, structurally delocalisation is not a counter movement but a position taken in response to the streams of localising and globalising values, let them be the human relations or addressed to objects, places surrounding us. In that sense, to delocalise is not a cleansed way of being in an encounter with a particular context, it is a proposal to allow a flux, a continuous change in framing things rather than generalising a specific encounter into an overall claim, or allowing an encounter to stand for the whole picture (if there can be a whole picture at all).
Delocalisation sprung from an investigation of a potentiality, thus the potential of realising a project without experiencing the particularities, singularities, generalities of the space / place / geography that the project would take place. It is at first a self-referential concept and then a question and a proposal to trigger responses. For the exhibition I have invited seven artists who have not worked with the specificity of Skopje, and asked them to come up with a proposal for a work or a work that would be re-embodied in Skopje. Before I start visiting each work in the exhibition and elaborating their presences, I want to underline the significance of movement for the whole project. Movement, for this project, does not only stand for changing location or travelling from one place to another but also stands for the ides, feelings, objects and materials being in a continuous change of positions. In other words, the project’s core point is the embodiment of movement in its pragmatic and abstract realities.
This project is homage to Lucy Lippard’s suitcase exhibitions that she has started in the late 60’s, with which she has enabled the visibility of art works in various other geographies than USA, such as Latin America and Europe. Lippard’s concept was packing the art works in a suitcase and unfolding the suitcase in her destination points in various art spaces. The suitcase exhibitions did not only allow the transportation of works but also grounded a possibility of sharing tendencies, ideas, and attitudes about and on art. The suitcase exhibitions were part of the era of dematerialisation of art (1966 - 1972), which grasps my interest in many ways. I wanted to investigate the possibility of realising a project akin to Lippard’s thus asked the artists to post me their works or proposals for their works. My main idea was not only to travel with ideas on an exhibition but also with the content of the exhibition that I would unfold when I reach the actual place of the show. My aim in this project is in a way enabling my curatorial practice to posit somewhere beyond than making a selection of art works and putting them on display or making them public. Hence, I have offered artists my presence in case they would favour to involve for the realisation of their works. In a way, I wanted to negotiate the space between the curator, artist and the artwork through shifting positions and labour. Laura Kuch and Marjolijn Dijkman decided to involve me directly in the realisation of their works, whereas other participating artists chose to involve me in the post-production stage. Additionally, unlike Lippard’s exhibitions, the artists in the project live and work in various countries of Europe and they did not only use postal mailing but also internet mailing. I only received three envelopes and the rest was delivered via e-mail. The physicality of movement consisted of sending works from Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Sao Paolo to London and me bringing them from London to Skopje. Moreover, translation plays an important part, literally and phenomenologically. Most of the works are either compiled in Macedonian or made available to access for the Macedonian audience. Additionally, I have chosen artists considering their artistic practices and the diversity that they can bring in the project not through illustrating the concept but through opening up various discussions and grounds of investigation in relation to the concept.
The exhibition Delocalisation is composed of various viewpoints and statements with a variety of influences. The concept is brought in front of the audience in Macedonia through a multitude of positioning, where the audience is asked to formulate their own relating. The exhibition is not a presentation of ideas, it is a gathering of stances to enable production of other stances. I want to revisit Laclau’s positioning of truth, where he says: There is no truth or value independent of a context. With delocalisation, I ask you dear reader: But how to determine a context?
Laclau concludes with the very fact that particular must be performative. Drawing lines of parallelism, I propose that Delocalisation as a verb and a noun (an act and a state of mind) shall be open, continuously redefining itself, its relation (complemantarity/ tension/ mutual exclusion,...) to the local and the global in order to fully realise itself, when we bear in mind that delocalisation is not an undoing but a re-approach to attributions, tendencies of categorisation, mystification, unification.
I would like end by giving my special thanks to Karen Mirza who has enabled my double presence in London and in Skopje; to Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska who have been the causes of this project to take place in Skopje and who have been of great support in the realisation of the exhibition and the publication with their unending energy and enthusiasm; to Ruse Arsov for his unlimited energy and brilliant design capabilities; to Philip Nikolovski for his support in the production of the exhibition; to all the participating artists for their persona and input in the project and to you dear reader who has read till the last word of this pretty long foreword.