Biennial1 The Symbiosis – A Challenge for Young Artists at the Biennial of the Mediterranean

Author: Marija Hristova

An interview with Ilija Prokopiev, artist from Macedonia, participant at the Biennial of the Mediterranean. What is this event all about? What’s special about it? What does it mean for the young artists? Let’s find out!

The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM – began its journey through the cities of this region in 1984 in Barcelona. Its main purpose consisted in promoting the creativity of young artists, both enabling and encouraging international exchange beyond the political and geographical boundaries, as well as creating a place for dialogue between the different cultures around the Mediterranean. And all this – through the art of young authors, which at the time (but isn’t it still!?), put at the margins of the artistic and cultural life.

This year, The 15th Biennial of the Mediterranean launches a new format. It will not be just one event in one city, but a long journey across the Mediterranean area; with activities in two main cities, Thessaloniki and Rome, and many other events in the surrounding area. Thessaloniki, from October 7 till November 6, 2011, is the host city of visual and applied arts exhibitions, live shows and performances, seminars and conferences, and a food festival. Rome, on the other hand, on November 18 and 19, 2011, will host the young literates, film makers and musicians. At the end of the journey, more than 400 artists aged between 18 -30, from over 30 countries, will have taken part in the activities of this traditional event.

Among them, 26 year-old Ilija Prokopiev, an artist from Macedonia, is promoting his drawings in Thessaloniki. Through our conversation you will find out more about this interesting event, its purpose, concept and the opportunities it gives for young artists.

Ilija has graduated Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje, he is now a postgraduate student on the interdisciplinary culture studies at the Institute of Macedonian Literature. Three solo exhibitions (installation, photographs and drawings) and several group exhibitions in Macedonia and abroad, as well as published essays on art topics are all part of his professional CV. Just recently he received the Award for Best Macedonian Young Artist “Denes”, which brings him a six-week residence in New York. He is one of the five Macedonian artists taking part in this Biennial (only one in Thessaloniki while the other four are representing their works in Rome).

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