“The self is not a project or an object but a mask.” With this assertion, Natasha Nedelkova embarks upon a poetic-philosophical reflection on transitional identity and subjectivity – and the many layers of masks that seem to form them. The masks she depicts in her video essay are sometimes thin and reptilian, sometimes clinical or beast-like.
They don’t seem to fit or adhere well to the face that lies beneath them. Whether the face is that of the speaker – a person born into a post-Yugoslavian transitional society – or that of her hometown Skopje – a once modernist city now masked by neo-classical façades with nationalist aspirations – the sentiment is the same.
An identity built upon cumbersome distortions and clumsy concealments is inevitably fraught – however necessary masks might sometimes be, and however much transformative potential they might appear to offer.
Natasha Nedelkova (1993, MK) is a visual artist and researcher. Her research and artistic practice explore how contemporary visual culture shapes self-image.
Nedelkova’s work is often collaborative and audio-visual. She prefers for her work to be available online and easy to follow. Her work is often repetitive and melodic, using sound and voice to question the repositioning of figures and discourse. Nedelkova aims to grasp and reconfigure social and political transitions. She often uses narration as a tool to reframe ideas.
Nedelkova’s projects contrast the digital allure of realism, resemblance, immateriality, totality and converge with the pleasures and complexities of computational, algorithmic and ludic digital culture.
Natasha Nedelkova (born 1993 in Skopje, lives in Skopje and Paris)
Video, colour, sound, 12.32 min.
Courtesy of the artist