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Roots and Rhizomes

1. The Timetable
Roots and Rhizomes is the title of the project that was conceived in the beginning of 1999. It was incepted in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Research and Education Programme of SCCA Network. During the initial, articulating stages of Roots and Rhizomes, as if everything were revolving around the interpretation of the requirements enlisted in the Programme. The very first reaction was that there is a need for an analysis, a developmental projection and proposals for a value model that would improve relations between the processes of higher education in art history and the career of the practicing art historian of today. Further on, all of these demands were subject to subsequent restriction - in terms of regional, cultural and political particularities pertaining to the so-called societies in transition from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

On January 27. 1999, the project Roots and Rhizomes was submitted for evaluation and approval. Its originators and coordinators to become, were Bojan Ivanov, art historian from Skopje, and Branislav Sarkanjac Ph.D., philosopher, also from Skopje. The project was processed by the staff at the Macedonian SCCA office in Skopje, while the manager of the project was Melentie Pandilovski, the director of SCCA, Skopje.

By the end of March 1999, the events of wider consequences for Macedonia, as well as for the region, threatened to alter the schedule, the very nature, and even the feasibility of Roots and Rhizomes. Yet, there was a firm, and a bit foolish determination to pursuit with the project, so that, by mid-April 1999, the open competition for young attendees/participants in Roots and Rhizomes was published in several Macedonian newspapers of national circulation. It took two attempts with the open competition in order to receive sufficient number of applications - something that would be uncommon in other, less disturbed or, one would say, less disturbing circumstances.

The competition was open to all citizens of Rep. of Macedonia who comply with either of the following two conditions: high school pupils closing their final year in 1998/99, or graduate students of art history under age of 27. There were special application forms prepared, and a requirement for documents confirming the status of the candidates.

Applications were reviewed by the four-member committee composed of: Mr. Melentie Pandilovski, director of the SCCA, Skopje; Mr. Bojan Ivanov and Mr. Branislav Sarkanjac, the coordinators of the project; Ms. Aspazija Hadziste, member of the Programme committee at OSI, Skopje, and director of the TEMPUS programme.

On June 4. 1999, twenty candidates were informed about the acceptance of their applications (Mr. Borce Minovski, Ms. Marija Milcin, Mr. Novica Nakov, Ms. Ivana Jarcevska, Ms. Jana Pejoska, Ms. Vesna Kondeva, Ms. Nada Peseva, Ms. Kristina Miljanovska, Ms. Bojana Janeva, Ms. Maja Cankulovska, Ms. Ivanka Apostolova, Ms. Biljana Tanurovska, Mr. Hristijan Panev, Mr. Nikola Pisarev, all from Skopje. Ms. Gabriela Sukuroska, and Ms. Natasa Jarik, both from Prilep. Mr. Boris Kamcev from Negotino, and Ms. Elena Spasovska, Ms. Julijana Tasevska, and Ms. Magdalena Spasovska, all three from Kumanovo). A first, introductory meeting with the participants of Roots and Rhizomes was arranged for June 18. 1999.

Meanwhile, the SCCA staff transformed the CIX gallery into a reading room, and prepared a small, yet essential library on the topics to be discussed. A photocopying machine, a video system and an Internet connection were part of the set-up. There were e-mail addresses provided on the OSI server for the participants of Roots and Rhizomes. The director of MoCA, Skopje, Mr. Zoran Petrovski kindly offered the museum's premises and additional assistance to Roots and Rhizomes.

The first part of the project was accomplished in the period between June 7. and 14. 1999. The evolving was as follows:

Wednesday
07.07.1999

morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "On E. H. Gombrich" (Bojan Ivanov)
11:15-12:30 coffee-break and discussion
12:30-13:45 lecture "On J. Beys" (Zoran Petrovski)
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-19:00 social hour, library, Internet ...
19:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Thursday
08.07.1999

morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "Axiomatic system " (Ana Dimiskovska)
11:15-12:30 coffee break and discussion
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-19:00 social hour, library, Internet ...
19:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Friday
09.07.1999

morning session in CIX Gallery
10:00-11:00 social hour, library, Internet ...
11:00-12:00 consultations with the coordinators
12:00-14:00 individual work

Saturday
10.07.1999

morning session in OSI (later transferred to CIX Gallery)
10:00-11:00 lecture "Marxism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, functionalism, structuralism ... (Ferid Muhik)

Sunday
11.07.1999
the day-off

Monday
12.07.1999
10:00-15:00 picnic

Tuesday
13.07.1999

morning session in CIX Gallery
10:00-11:00 social hour, library, Internet ...
11:00-12:00 consultations with the coordinators
12:00-14:00 individual work
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-19:00 social hour, library, Internet ...
19:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Wednesday
14.07.1999

morning session in CIX Gallery
10:00-12:00 seminar papers and summer reading chores

Previous Programme was very intensive in many respects. The lecturers were, by the rule, present at the evening sessions, participating the discussions and enjoying very much the stimulating company of their younger colleagues. Only one change occurred in this part of Roots and Rhizomes: since professor Muhik was not available to deliver the topic in person, the Internet teleconferencing connection was used. Actually, he delivered his lecture from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The picture of him was beamed on a screen, while he was watching the audience on his computer monitor. The communication was impeccable, so that no aspect of the lecture was impaired.

The autumn sequel of Roots and Rhizomes took place in the period between September 17. and 22.1999. The structure of work was as follows:

Friday
17.09.1999

morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "The Art today, seen through museum's window" (Sonja Abadzieva)
11:15-12:00 discussion
12:00-13:00 video-projection
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Saturday
18.09.1999

morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "On G. W. F. Hegel" (Branislav Sarkanjac)
11:15-12:00 discussion
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Sunday
09:00-17:00 picnic

Monday
20.09.1999
morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "On J.-F. Lyotar" (Nebojsa Vilik)
11:15-12:00 discussion
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Tuesday
21.09.1999

morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "On Art and Post-Colonial Critic(que)" (Thomas McEvilley)
11:15-12:00 discussion
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 individual work

Wednesday
22.09.1999
morning session in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
10:00-11:15 lecture "Hegel vs. Danto" (Ivan Dzeparoski)
11:15-12:00 discussion
evening session in CIX Gallery
18:00-20:00 consultations with the coordinators
20:00-21:00 concluding meeting

This part of the project gradually gained the momentum, which is still helping the final efforts in accomplishing Roots and Rhizomes: the book, the video, and the CD ROM. These elements of the project are a priority during the last three months of this year. The book will contain the texts related to the nine lectures (not the actual lectures). The CD ROM will contain video, photo and text documents concerning Roots and Rhizomes. The video aims to illustrate the atmosphere, to show the participants and to render, in its basic features, the idea of Roots and Rhizomes.

II. The People

Lecturers:

  • Bojan Ivanov, art historian from Skopje, really no one of consequence.
  • Branislav Sarkanjac Ph.D., philosopher from Skopje, docent at the Institute of Philosophy, author of books, studies and an inspired translator of seminal texts in art history and in philosophy.
  • Ana Dimiskovska, philosopher from Skopje, teaching assistant at the Institute of Philosophy, contributor to various periodicals and translator.
  • Zoran Petrovski, art historian from Skopje, , experienced curator and manager, member of AICA.
  • Ferid Muhik Ph.D., philosopher from Skopje, professor at the Institute of Philosophy, presently visiting professor at the Kuala Lumpur University, Malaysia. The most prolific and influential author on the Macedonian philosopher's podium.
  • Sonja Abadzieva, art historian from Skopje, formerly director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, presently the doyen of Macedonian museum curators and author of many monographs, catalogues and exhibitions, home and abroad. Member of AICA.
  • Nebojsa Vilik Ph.D., art historian from Skopje, professor at the Faculty of Drama Arts. Formerly director of SCCA, Skopje. Fertile art critic and inspired curator. Author of several books on the contemporary Macedonian art scene.
  • Thomas McEvilley, art critic and author from New York, reader in history of contemporary art. Probably the most prominent art critic of today and no less impressive as a theorist.
  • Ivica Dzeparoski Ph.D., philosopher from Skopje, professor at the Institute of Philosophy, holding the chair of the Aesthetics Laboratory. Author of books on topics and problems of art, and a successful translator.


Ms. Anita Ivkovic – program coordinator

Ms. Kalina Bunevska – Visual Arts Program Coordinator

Mr. Goran Slakeski – System engineer

Mr. Nikola Pisarev – Technical Assistant

Ms. Lara Taskovska – Designer

Mr. Blaze Dulev - Video Editor

Mr. Kire Trajkovski - CDROM Chief Technician

Ms. Ratka Ilievska – Director of ED WOOD Television

Mr. Vladimir Andonovic - Cameraman

Mr. Antonio Kitanovski – Music