"Skopje Walkie Talkie"
Susanne Hefti & Damjan Kokalevski
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje
Date: Friday, 13 December 2019
Introduction by: Susanne Hefti, Damjan Kokalevski & Ivana Kostovska
Guest: Suzana Milevska
Skopje Walkie Talkie focuses on how public spaces are being transformed to legitimize and reinforce populist, nationalist power structures. Using Skopje as an example, it points out how the newly created, extravagant identity for the city centre has made an impact – as numerous new buildings have sprung up between 2008 and 2018 at an estimated cost of approximately 680 million euros. But the architectural expertise from the 1960s and 70s, gained after the disastrous earthquake from 1963, thanks to a large reconstruction project led by the United Nations, has been obscured and neglected while it’s archives have been partially destroyed. This book is an artistic, political exploration of the urban space. It is the result of long-term collaboration between Susanne Hefti and Damjan Kokalevski.
SUSANNE HEFTI is an artist who lives and works in Zurich. She is currently a fellow at the doctoral program at the Institute for History and Theory in Architecture
gta/ETH Zurich, where she researches the impact of recent populist and nationalist power shifts on architecture in Europe. She studied Fine Arts, Photography and Journalism in Essen, Zurich, Winterthur and Helsinki. Hefti has exhibited and published her work internationally and has received several grants and awards, among others the Grenzgänger-Scholarship and the Wüstenrot Award for Documentary Photography. She published her book Peach at Kehrer Verlag in 2014.
DR DAMJAN KOKALEVSKI is an architect and curator based in Zurich and educated in Skopje, Vienna and Tokyo. In 2018 he completed his doctoral dissertation titled “Performing the Archive: Skopje. From the Ruins of the City of the Future” mentored by Professor Philip Ursprung, gta/ETH Zurich and Prof. Felicity Scott GSAPP Columbia University New York. He contributed to the exhibition “Metabolism: The City of the Future” at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012) and curated the exhibition “Performative Archive: Skopje, Discussing Urban Reconstruction” with gta Exhibitions, Zurich (2014). He co-founded City Creative Network, a research centre based in Skopje. His projects are situated at the cusp between academic research and political action.