Simon Shemov

Museum of Contemporary Art

Simon Shemov is a Macedonian artist—not a Greek Macedonian, but, in official U.N. terms, a citizen of the former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia. This is an imperiled part of the world, with Serbs to the north, Albanians to the west, Bulgarians to the east, and Greeks to the south, all countries with designs on Macedonia’s borders. By the same token, Macedonia is at a crossroads: in order to get from one part of the Balkans to another you’re likely to have to pass through Skopje. Shemov’s work seems to reflect the instability of his native land and its hybrid culture in his mixing of conspicuously different visual languages.

This large retrospective exhibition, curated by Sonia Abadzievá, covered more than thirty years of Shemov’s work. It revealed a remarkably varied and rounded array of what have come to be known as self-consciously post-Modernist motifs: internal contradictions, stylistic

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