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Exhibition of Memorial Concepts

Artist(s): Igor Josifov, United States

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Proposal Title: Manumission, 03/15/2009, Video/Film

Proposal Synopsis: 
Manumission, a performance by Igor Josifov, executed in computer-simulated space, can be regarded as a miniature video essay on the inexorable human alienation in the immenseness of this world. The action takes place in a single fixed scene: right from the beginning two identical masks/faces are shown in a frozen frontal fashion. This presentation associated with the body as a “form of identity” takes its time, putting us in a somewhat uneasy state of expectation. Soon, however, the masks/faces are set in motion, each gradually moving in different directions. Little by little the silence is disturbed by soft noises, which portend a face-to-face encounter, but the masks/faces never meet each other, as there is a dark line between them, dividing the scene into two sections. Movements are sped up in a somewhat mechanical manner, accompanied by stronger sounds of motion, which give the space of action an intimate quality. The “final act” acquires a grim intonation with the masks’ dramatic removal. The act of transformation/metamorphosis is brought to a close by the expressive unmasking with an uncertain ending and outcome. The central motif is the act of transformation and liberation of the human “captive mind” and soul.

Artist's Biography: Igor Josifov is a Macedonian performance artist who attended the School of Applied Arts in Skopje, Macedonia and started his secondary education and career in San Francisco, California. In his performances, the body is a medium that translates his personal and cultural experience into a broader context. Josifov’s work is based on psychoanalytic perception and the cultural and moral realties of contemporary living. The subject of his work deals with identity, death, loss, and social commentary. He uses concept as the first and most crucial part of the process and then uses the medium and its symbolic function to

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