We carry soil in our pockets - solo exhibition of Nevena Aleksovski

Nevena Aleksovski, will exhibit for the Macedonian audience for the first time at the tenth jubilee edition of the festival Firstborn girl. She is very active on the Slovenian independent cultural scene, having exhibited in numerous galleries independently and as part of group shows. In the PrivatePrint gallery, she will present a solo exhibition titled We carry soil in our pockets. Simultaneously with the exhibition, we will promote her new book Melancholy of the abandoned lands, published and edited by PrivatePrint.

Nevena’s work is based on the research and explorations of family migration, attitudes towards the land, and belonging. Arising from her own and her family’s migratory experience, she brings forward the complexities and coexistence of history, gender, and personal geographies, adding diverse socio-political layers. In addition to the exhibition, PrivatePrint published her book Melancholy of the abandoned lands, which allows us to look into her ancestral paths and personal dynamics.

Both the exhibition and book are communication with her ancestors, with whom the bond was somehow broken, both due to migration and premature death (e.g., grandparents). In the exhibition, with the use of materials such as earth, stones, pieces of concrete, old clothes and another textile, she explores the relationship with the earth, territory, space, limitation, appropriation, and exclusion. Through the artistic, visual articulation of her personal migrant experience and her relationship with her ancestors and family background, she tries to address what is universal in these experiences, especially in the sense of intimate, emotional, and irrational experiencing of the mentioned states and circumstances.

Her minimalistic artistic sensibility offers soft impressions of land and movement. She does this through carefully arranging objects that carry familiar stories and exemplifying a bridge between her family memories and our own. This project documents the unique research through Nevena Aleksovski’s past that is being done for the first time. Through that process, moving through the imposed boundaries that humans create, she makes room for new memories, building them gently on the lives that her ancestors have lived before her. 

The exhibition is curated by Jana Stardelova, and organized by Tiiiit! Inc. The book is published and edited by PrivatePrint. The exhibition and book promotion are financially supported by: Sweden and The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Partners and collaborators of FIRSTBORN GIRL feminist festival: Meduza, Youth Cultural Centre, Coalition Margins/Skopje Pride Weekend, Kontrapunkt/CRIC festival for critical culture, Helsinki Citizens'; Assembly of Banja Luka (HCA), Private Print and CINIK - Centre for Research of Nationalism and Culture.