OLIVER MUSOVIK (Macedonia)
The first graffiti on the building appeared some years ago. It was a single word in Macedonian – ЗОШТО? (WHY?) – written in red with the usual graffiti style letters. Don’t know who wrote it, or what it actually meant. Couple of years afterwards, during the spring clean up of the yard, when the neighbours whitewashed the tree trunks for protection from insects and sunscald they painted white paint over that graffiti. Not long after that, on the same spot a new graffiti appeared. This one, a little longer, is a phrase – ПОТРЕБНА Е ПРОМЕНА… (A CHANGE IS NEEDED…). I imagine that the author is the same as the one of the previous graffiti, as it is sprayed on the same spot and seams somewhat dialogical, argumentative. Centrally, in front of the graffiti, from a crack in the pavement an apple tree sprouted. It grew almost 2 meters high, before finally this spring during the cleaning of the yard it was cut down (the chopped tree trunk lays at the left). Yet, the graffiti was not painted over this time, although the trees were whitewashed again.
The third part of the Neighbours series shows images from the yard of the apartment building where the artist lives, a space shared and shaped for and by the tenants. Eight years after the second part of the Neighbours series, he recorded the changes that occurred since, only this time more focusing on the natural processes of ageing and decay. In the first part of the Neighbours series he was observing his neighbours and getting acquainted with their habits and he revealed the unwritten affairs and written house rules, the rituals of people who shared the paradigm of housing, every day for many years. The communal spaces – staircases, vestibules, front doors – and the people who inhabit them, become mutually constitutive because of the reflexive process that continually changes them, both materially and mentally. Such mutations and exchanges of energies between people and places are of permanent and continual interest to the artist who transforms and presents his findings with humour, warmth, and curiosity, appreciating the ordinariness and boredom of the small stories about common people, not excluding himself from this series. In the third part of the Neighbours series Oliver Musovik also captures nature interacting with the post-socialistic urban landscape through his development of a highly appropriate visual way of presenting of such a concept, using low-tech, gray scale photography.
Oliver Musovik, born 1971 in Skopje, is an artist working in the field of artistic research into social relations. He lives and works in Skopje.