Thursday, April 12, 2012

I.S.T.Y.O: A brief exploration of the project, part 2

Photo, text,
and digital augmentation
by K.K.W
I.S.T.Y.O: A brief exploration of the project- part 2. By K.K.W

"An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision." (1) "The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spiders web." (2)
Korea-town sector,
NYC. Photos and digital
augmentation by K.K.W
Some have and still wonder why an architecture based project, and why choose to include or work with artists from Skopje, Macedonia? The fact is my association with, and friendship with those from Macedonia came about through the meeting of one of them, here in New York.

One of the 'elders',
20 exchange place.
Photo by K.K.W
Wall street sector.
Photo by K.K.W
There's no exact starting point, I didn't wake up one day an decided to create the project, or get to know people in Skopje. little by little it came to me. In 2011, sometime in late Feb- early March I started walking two small dogs(Buddy & Bella) for a young couple in the Wall street sector. I was already developing my skills in photography since late 2009(film, self-taught), and started carrying a small digital camera with me(a canon IXY). Looking closely at the architecture and cramped nature of the area, I started taking photographing some of the buildings.

Frankly I really like the area, the way its laid-out. And yet like all the other areas of NYC it has a...strange feeling to it, a vibe that is both positive and negative at the same time. The height of most of the buildings is such that you can't help but look up at them, and the distance between them is such that it makes for amazingly dramatic images. Also in some cases creates amazing shapes. The smaller size lens of the Canon IXY really heightens the effect and power of theses structures, giving them an added zing that is in a way exploring an aspect of their nature.

Suddenly every where I went these "young ones" and their "elders" cast some strange effect on me, so much so that photographing them became a pleasure. Soon after this point I met Ana Piponska, who had recently arrived from Skopje Macedonia. She had a allure to her, power all her own that was very charming to me. At the time I knew little of her country, past or present, only that its was the birth place of Alexander The Great (like certain other men I had come to hold him in high regard, not unlike Malcolm X, and other great individuals). As we began spending time together I became more and more interested in her people, especially since they were ethnically different from the original inhabitants of the country, but no less interesting. I've always had a strong love of history and the cultures of other, as much as my own.

Within a week of meeting her I came up with the name of the project, although I can't remember the exact moment or where I was. I do know that she was on my mind. The name can be looked at literally and figuratively, a verbal expression of an aspect of architecture in general. In a way most buildings and structures feed off of those who create them, come to know them (which is in a way love), and hate them as well. 

Buildings old or young, past or present absorb much of who we are and in the modern world, with the advent of electricity, consume energy, thus living much longer then most of us. Some are worn down by time, weather, and in many cases, human nature (violence, vandalism, etc). A select few go on age after age, others only for so long.

From late July 2011 to the present day I slowly came to know many people(most of them artist & musicians) from Skopje and elsewhere in Macedonia, through Facebook and by attending art-shows, exhibitions, and events at GalleryMC. Many of them are friends or associates of Ana. It didn't take long to see that I had much in common with most if not all of them: art, music, food, movies, and ways of looking at the world. I eventually started writing about and interviewing some of them for my art-blog, really trying to understand them.

The project was still in the back of my mind, but I had not really thought of implementing it in a realistic way. About two months ago I decided to ask a few of them (artists from Skopje) to take part in the project. I had come to understand how many of them felt about the recent architecture erected, in the modern style, and that which is a part of "Skopje 2014". So looking at the situation in both cities I realized how much there was in common, although for those in Macedonia its even more complicated and dangerous for them to voice any complaints.

Despite the differences between New York and Skopje, I believe that there is much we have in common, and therefore this should be explored through art, personal exchange about the subject, and all things connected to it. It is my hope that both sides can address the matter at hand concerning their cities, and come to a greater understand that may help to alleviate,  some of problems of this growing concern. "Art is the reason, art is the way"  If you would like to know more, go Quote #1- James Macneill Whistler, #2 Pablo Picasso. 
Wall street sector NYC.
Photo by K.K.W
Skopje Macedonia.
Original photos by
Matej Bogdanovski,
digitally augmented by K.K.W
Skopje Macedonia, original photo
and digital augmentation by Matej Bogdanovski 

1 comment:

A Stand Alone Product said...

good article. Some of the photos are excellent.