Jonas Staal: Propaganda Station


Exhibiting artist: Jonas Staal
Curator: Ivana Vaseva

The first solo presentation by the Dutch artist Jonas Staal in North Macedonia will open on March 1st in the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje from 20h. 

Propaganda Station is a new complex installation and live program by Dutch artist Jonas Staal, exploring the involvement of art and culture in the dominant forms of contemporary propaganda and the tools and possibilities of (counter)propaganda—forms that emerge from emancipatory grassroots and liberation movements.

The project is organized by the Faculty of Things That Can’t Be Learned – FRU in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje within the scope of the international project Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions.

Propaganda Station aims to make visible the various contemporary propagandas that actively shape our world today. The central installation is designed as an inverse panopticon. Instead of surveilling the visitor, it provides the viewer a position of counter-surveillance over the work of propagandists who influence our everyday lives.

The term “station” in the Propaganda Station, can be read in multiple ways. The exhibition project operates as a place where different propaganda models are “stationed” such as Ultranationalist Propaganda, Alt-Right Propaganda, Liberal Propaganda, Financialization Propaganda, Empire Propaganda, Climate Propaganda, and Geological Propaganda. It is based on more than a decade of artistic research conducted by Staal on propaganda and counterpropaganda.

At the center of the installation is a Propaganda School, where different artists, academics, journalists, theorists, campaigners and activists give lectures, workshops and trainings in the field of propaganda analysis, and (counter)propaganda work.

The Propaganda School in Skopje is titled Antiquization Propaganda: From Skopje 2014 to Skopje Capital of Culture 2028. The school intends to create a temporary discursive platform deconstructing the complexity of the antiquization propaganda mirrored in the project Skopje 2014. Through presentations of several theoreticians, activists, artists and journalists from North Macedonia, this program will offer interventionist contributions in the legal, media, semiotic, social and artistic aspects of the project erected in the “captured state” and try to ponder of its future existence, facing the preparations and production of the capital project Skopje – European Capital of Culture 2028.

Project team: Jonas Staal (artist); Ivana Vaseva (curator); Filip Jovanovski (collaborator of the Propaganda School, Faculty of things that can’ be learned – FRU); Nadine Gouders (coordinator Studio Jonas Staal); Ivana Samandova, Dimitar Milev, Tamara Djerkov (production Faculty of things that can’t be learned – FRU, Skopje); Iliana Petrushevska (graphic design – poster, Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje); Paul Kuipers (architect); Remco van Bladel (graphic design); Ruben Hamelink (camera and video editing); Ivana Samandova(subtitles), Nevenka Nikolikj (translation and proofreading).

In partnership with: Jindřich Chalupecký Society, Prague (Karina Kottová) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (Zdenka Badovinac).

The exhibition is organized within the international project  Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions, co-funded by the European Union, supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, Netherlands.