Nada Prlja was born in Sarajevo and lived in Skopje between 1981 and 1998, when she moved to London. Between 2013-2017, she lived between London and Skopje, whereas since 2018, she lives between Copenhagen and Skopje. Prlja gained an MPhil Master of Philosophy of Arts Diploma at the Royal College of Art, London in 2002, with a practice-based research thesis entitled ‘‘Blurring the Boundaries between the Artist and the Viewer, as Conditioned by the Changing Concept of Art Space’. She had previously graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Skopje (1997) and from the National High School of Fine Art in Skopje, Macedonia. (1989).
Nada Prlja represented The Republic of North Macedonia at the 58th La Biennale di Venezia in 2019 with her solo exhibition, a project entitled Subversion to Red. In 2020 Prlja, took part in the Innsbruck International Biennial. She has previously participated in several other Biennales, including the 7th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Manifesta 8, Murcia, 5th Moscow Biennale, (Film Program), Moscow; IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo de Arte Contemporáneo, Chile and Argentina; 28th International Printmaking Biennale, Ljubljana and the 9th International Biennale of Miniature Work, Gornji Milanovac, Serbia.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje; FUTURA, Praha; Lakeside Kunstraum, Klagenfurt; MC Gallery, Zagreb; The City Museum, Vzigalica, Ljubljana; National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje, etc. Selected group exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Krems, Krems; White Cube, London; Calvert 22 Foundation, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Szuki Museum, Lodz; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Hong-Gah National Museum, Taipei; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; etc.
Selected public presentations include: Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham; ICA, INIVA Institute of International Art, Tate Britain; University College of London (UCL) all in London. Lecturer: Prlja has been a senior lecturer and visiting lecturer at various London universities (including Istituto Marangoni, London Metropolitan University, CASS School of Art, Architecture and Design; etc.) between 2004 to 2013; she occasionally still teaches as a visiting lecturer and often gives talks on both her own work and that of others.
Prlja co-initiated the independent project space SIA gallery with Daniel Serafimovski (architect and educator) in 2013 in Skopje, with the intention of engaging with and internationally supporting the North Macedonia cultural scene, as well as promoting cultural exchanges with neighbouring countries. SIA has collaborated with numerous cultural workers, including established artists such as Yane Calovski, Nikola Uzunovski, Hristina Ivanovska, Gjorgje Jovanovik, Alban Muja, etc.; architects and theorists Minas Bakalcev, Martin Gulevski, Jovan Ivanovski, Vladimir Deskov, Slobodan Velevski (curators of the Macedonian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018); curators Ivana Vaseva, Curatorial Platform, Zoran Petrevski, etc.
Prlja is an artist whose work deals with the complex situations of inequality and injustice in societies, ranging from political to economic issues. Using different media, her projects are multi-layered, site or condition-specific. She works mainly in installation, video installation, live art and public art.
Prlja’s main aim is to affect society in the most direct of ways; her work challenges critical discourse around issues of current politics, nationalism, human rights, migration, the transition of ex-socialist countries, etc. At the same time, her work maintains a conceptual and aesthetic authenticity. Prlja’s work adopts a site or context-specific quality, invariably engaging with certain kinds of social conditions, while it may vary in the choice of media from project to project.
The Republic of North Macedonia at 58th Venice Biennale