April 30, 2011 - Macedonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Pavilion of the Republic of Macedonia at the 54th Venice Biennale
April 30, 2011

Pavilion of the Republic of Macedonia at the 54th Venice Biennale

“Zarko Baseski in his workshop.”
Photo by Tristan JEANNE-VALES.
Copyright © 2010.

Pavilion of the Republic of Macedonia
54th International Art Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia 2011
4 June–27 November 2011

Pavilion Opening:
2 June 2011, 16.00

Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice
Toni Čatleski
Emil Aleksiev
Nikola Uzunovski
Žarko Bašeski


Republic of Macedonia is represented by two projects at the 54. International Art Exhibition in Venice– La Biennale di Venezia. One of them is the installation LEAP, which should take place in Palazzo Pesaro Papafava in Venice.

LEAP is a story based on the ideas of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche about man’s struggle to surpass himself, the possibility to grow beyond himself, to leap beyond the limits of reality he himself creates. It can also be understood as a metaphor of the current conditions in Macedonia and the world.

The installation consists of three complex, hyper-realistic and larger than life size sculptures of the same man in three situations. The connection between the sculptures—a man carrying himself, a man leaping over himself and a man rising above himself—is man’s eternal strife to transcend himself. The author of these sculptures is Žarko Bašeski.

Žarko Bašeski (1957) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje in 1988. He got his M.A. at the same institution in 1998. In 2000, he was appointed assistant professor of sculpting, sculpting techniques and drawing and in 2005 he became associate professor, while currently he works as a full professor at the same Faculty.

Bašeski is a sculptor whose monumental bronze sculptures stand on several city squares in his country, such as the statue of Alexander the Great (Prilep) and the horseman sculptures of the Macedonian national heroes Goce Delčev and Dame Gruev, in the capital city centre (Skopje).

In his project LEAP, Bašeski’s turns towards the ordinary man. By returning to the man and man’s body as the main subject of his sculptures, Bašeski is trying to pose the question of the meaning of human existence. Bašeski’s man, like Nietzsche’s, is in a constant struggle to go beyond himself—he is an acrobat, juggling his own body, walking the tight rope across the universe.

Sculptures of men as the highest expression of the power of a civilization have always represented gods and heroes, but Bašeski’s sculptures portray a common everyday man who takes the role of a superhuman in his efforts to surpass himself. The three sculptures are an attempt to comment the possibility of man to excel at this very moment when the world is at a turning point and he stands at the edge of an abyss, among the ruins of History, Religion and Art, in the “desert of the real” (Baudrillard) he himself has created.

For more information:

Supported by:
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia
Cultural Center “Marko Cepenkov” – Prilep

Macedonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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