Michał Siarek

2013 - Ongoing


The very first thing that I saw in Skopje was the construction of a 25-meter tall figure of a warrior on horseback which, from what I later found out, was the statue of Alexander the Great.

In 2010 the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia started an extensive project to revamp first the capital and then the entire country into the sense of connection with its alleged ancient roots. Alexander the Great, one of the most recognised and powerful rulers in the history was acclaimed the father of present Macedonian nation. However, modern Macedonia is a young post-Yugoslav, poorly developed country.

Dream of the lost nobility was the spark that ignited minds on the both sides of the border. Over 2000 years after the collapse of the empire two countries started the dispute of origins and history as distant as illusory. But generations already been born as Macedonians, within two countries and three geographical Macedonias.

Greece was strongly opposing any claims of the piece of history that, they believe, is exclusively Greek heritage. In order to protect its cultural consistence the government blocked foreign policy of the neighbour affecting isolation of the Republic of Macedonia.

What was supposed to elevate the rising nation to its dignity broke its spine while the elected authority radicalised and began to rise concerns about the rule of the law within the country. Macedonian government engaged considerable public funds and serious propaganda apparatus to reinvent the tradition and stimulate national consciousness.

Would it be even possible to create the hybrid identity and the establishing myth to give the nation its pride, by erecting monuments made of bronze or plaster? That leads to crucial questions such as what do constitute modern nations or who owns the antiquity - which is also the foundation of the western society. However the Macedonian question remains unanswered.

Although we know the tragic destiny of the hero and the futility of his actions, surrounded by the monumental decorations made of plaster, we keep waiting for the catharsis.

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  • Solunska Glava

    30.10.2015, Jakupica. The cliff in Jakupica mountain range in central Macedonia; legend says the men could see the city of Thesalloniki (Solun) in Aegean Macedonia from the peak (Solunska Glava).

  • Prilep - Sivec

    30.04.2015, Prilep. Marble excavated in Sivec quarry near by Prilep is recognised as equal in quality to famous Carrara but substance was not used in neoclassical constructions and replaced with cheaper materials.

  • Skopje

    02.12.2015, Skopje. The project of revamp in the country, called Skopje 2015 consists mainly of the construction of museums and government buildings, as well as the erection of monuments depicting historical figures from the region presumably related to Macedonia.

  • Warrior on the horse

    9.12.2015, Skopje. Mockups of monuments ordered by the state, including infamous "Warrior on the horse" in the workshop of sculptor Valentina Stefanovska.

  • Roger Pijano

    June 2015, Kumanovo. Although “Skopje 2014” was led by VMRO-DPMNE ruling party and financed by the state, many citizens supported and alluded to the neoclassical concept and ideology.

  • National Opera

    December 2015, Skopje. Teenagers from the reconstruction group before the annual performance.

  • Warrior on the horse

    13.02.2013, Skopje. The most significant statue in the centre, unofficial symbol of pursuit for new Macedonian identity is the monument “Warrior on the horse”. Because of its intentional reminiscence to Alexander the Great, reignited the debate with Greece over identity.

  • Vardar

    02.12.2015, Skopje. One of three artificial boats on Vardar, part of project “Skopje 2014”.

  • Pasko Kuzman

    April 2015, Ohrid. Prof. Pasko Kuzman, archeologist and historian, considered as one of the ideologists (he denies). Former head of the National Museum, advisor to Prime Minister Gruevski. After political campaign agains him, he was accused of trafficking artefacts, removed from the office.

  • Archeological Museum of Macedonia

    13.02.2013, Skopje. The construction site of the future Archeological Museum of Macedonia. Presently equipped with artefacts proving the heritage, i.e. replica of the tomb of Alexander the Great.

  • National Theatre

    26.08.2013. Skopje was partly ruined by the disastrous earthquake in '60s. One of the major investment within "Skopje 2014" work frame was to reconstruct the building of National Theatre. Here, construction site of the stage lift.

  • Props Workshop

    23.04.2014, Skopje. Props workshop in the National Opera and Ballet in Skopje.

  • Philip II

    27.08.2013, Skopje. Within 2 years of "Skopje 2014" execution in the capital, over 100 monuments and sculptures representing meritorious citizens, national heroes and pop stars were erected.

  • Phalanx

    Model workshop, here Macedonian Phalanx.

  • Church St. Constantine and Elena

    4.02.2015, Skopje. The construction site of the Church St. Constantine and Elena. Recently incrusted with gold, planned as the new main orthodox church in the capital.

  • Supreme court

    28.08.2013, Man showering after work on the construction site of the Supreme Court in Skopje. Facades of new constructions in Skopje are made of hollow block casted form concrete.

  • Bitola

    26.03.2015 Bitola, Macedonia. Local craftsman from Bitola cast figures and decorative elements from concrete and steel in his workshop.

  • Heraclea Lyncestis

    20.04.2014, Percentage of genuine to artificial remaining is uncertain due to controversial practice of falsifying artefacts. Heraclea Lyncestis, archeological site of ancient town established by Philip II.

  • Bucephalus

    6.12.2015, Tetovo, Macedonia. The sculpture of Alexander's legendary horse - Bucephalus - carved in wood by craftsmen Budimir Apostolski.

  • Alexander

    20.06.2013, Skopje, Macedonia. Every year in the summer period The Museum of Macedonian Struggle hires young people to entertain tourists in the city centre.