The pilot issue illustrates the creation of the super hero/heroine AdaN, who is Nada Prlja’s alter ego. The pilot issue is directly inspired by the way in which artworks are created for the Venice Biennial, as witnessed by the artist Nada Prlja, who was herself representing the Pavilion of North Macedonia for the Venice Biennial 2019, with her project entitled Subversion to Red. Witnessing the amount of surplus materials, expensive packaging and transport costs, together with the escalation of production, installation and promotion costs related to the representation of various National Pavilions at the Biennale reaching unexpectedly high costs (especially in the final days of the exhibition preparations), made Prlja want to ‘scream’ out to her fellow artists: “Artists!… When are you going to change the mode of production of your artworks?”.
This is how the figure of AdaN was created, as a reflection of Nada Prlja’ urge to redirect her own practice in a new direction and another mode of production, towards the adoption of more suitable methods of working today as an artist in these ‘almost end times’.
AdaN, a call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify (Pilot)
About full project:
‘AdaN, a Call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify’
Influenced by the global crisis, which implies that the possible end may not be only imaginary, Nada Prlja poses a series of questions reflecting on our situation in the world today, while questioning what it means to be an artist today, through the form of a graphic novel.
The graphic novel is situated in the present (2020), but the novel occupies an imaginary time and represents conditions which are ‘fast forwarded’ to pre-apocalyptic times. In this scenario, people live underground, as pollution and deadly viruses have made living above ground a near impossibility. There are no longer any common rules that govern the world, where the values of camaraderie or coexistence have been amputated from human feelings and behaviour; instead, a sense of self preservation dominates the population. In these desperate times, Nada Prlja creates Adan, her own alter ego who, as the superhero or heroine of this graphic novel, is forced to find appropriate alternative ways of working as an artist in an era of pre-apocalyptic conditions.
The project ‘AdaN, a Call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify’ portrays a world in which alienation, paranoia, isolation and greed dominate the future-possible environment. The project sets itself against such a potential future. The four episodes of the graphic novel provides a set of ‘instructions’ geared towards the creation of a better common future and one in which superheroes will not be needed, as we conclude that camaraderie and solidarity is the only viable option for the future.
The project ‘AdaN, a Call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify’ consists of more than 200 drawings, presented in the form of the four episodes of the graphic novel, accompanied by a narration written by Nada Prlja’s brother and acclaimed fiction writer, Branko Prlja.
The following is a short description of the pilot issue (‘AdaN, a Call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify’) and the three subsequent episodes ‘AdaN, a Call to Borrow’, ‘AdaN, a Call to Reuse’ and ‘AdaN, a Call to DeArtify’.
The graphic novel ‘AdaN, a call to Borrow, Reuse and to DeArtify’ is published in conjunction with the exhibition ‘AdaN, in the City of Fire’ (27.12.2019-21.02.2020), a solo exhibition by Nada Prlja at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje www.msu.mk.
Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje
Director: Mira Gakina
Curator: Zoran Petrovski