September 30, 2006 - Leonhardi Kulturprojekte - Kosovo: Indefinite Rituals
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September 30, 2006

Kosovo: Indefinite Rituals

Picture by Adrian Williams. The library in Prishtina
 

Kosovo: Indefinite Rituals
25 September – 29 October 2006

Sunday, 24th September 2006: Opening of “Kosovo: Indefinite Rituals” with Florian Agalliu, Alban Muja, Driton Hajredini, Iliros, Zake Prelvukaj, Adrian Williams und Sislej Xhafa

Programme:
3 pm lecture by Beqe Cufaj
4 pm Live debate with Sislej Xhafa
music ILIROS

radio and dicussionforum on www.leonhardikulturprojekte.org

Leonhardi Kulturprojekte e.V.
Burgräfenröderstr- 2, 61184 Karben
fon 0049/176/62006867
open wed 2-6 pm an on request
info [​at​] leonhardikulturprojekte.org

Indefinite rituals are visible through a neo-Oriental style and neo-Ottomanism in the public sphere, and in new facades built by individuals.

These rituals are recognized by artists when people are praying at a library. This library stands opposite an Orthodox church which was built by Milosevic during the occupation. Albanian artists such as Florian Agalliu are addressing these issues in their work. In his video work Rituals, Agalliu depicts a neo-Ottoman reaction: men gathering to pray at the library in Pristina, opposite the Orthodox church whose construction was ordered by Milosevic but never completed. It stands next to the Faculty of Arts, a concrete monument which not only destroys the unity of the area but also makes it impossible to build on the rest of this otherwise unbuilt-on area of the city centre.

From 24 September to 29 October 2006, Leonhardi Culture Projects will be presenting, under the title Indefinite Rituals, works by Florian Agalliu, Alban Muja, Driton Hajredini, Ilirios, Zake Prelvukaj, Adrian Williams, and Sislej Xhafa (Live debate).

These young artists have been profoundly affected by the experience of being driven out and forced to flee their homes. They deal with this experience in their works. One example of this is Alban Muja, who has drawn up a plan for a Museum for Contemporary History in his divided hometown because he is no longer allowed to visit the place where he lived as a child. Driton Hajredini lives in Germany, but he paints blackbirds on suitcases because Kosovo means field of blackbirds. His picture The guardians makes this clear in a striking way with its depiction of two birds sitting on a suitcase, ready to depart. Adrian Williams has set up a Contemporary Arts Library in Prishtina together with Shannon Bool, and has now developed a collection of photographs in order to promote this project. Zake Prelvukaj is not only an artist who portrays the ambivalent attitude to democracy in Kosovo in her pictures and through her own body; she also teaches in the Faculty of Arts in Pristina, and will present recent works by her students.

The indeterminacy of this toponym Kosovo, belonging to the blackbirds (and was it not the defeated Serbs who left the notorious battlefield as blackbirds?) determines the ability of the Kosovo-Albanian art and culture scene to express itself.

Indeterminacy can be seen in the works of these artists, just as the status of Kosovo is indeterminate. This absence of statehood affects forms of cultural expression in Kosovo, and is captured in a precise way in the artworks.

During the opening of the exhibition on 24 September, Sislej Xhafa will lead a live debate with the artists exhibiting their works. This debate will start with a radioshow on the 8 September on Radio x in Frankfurt. Beqe Cufaj will give an introductory lecture on his most recent visit to Prishtina, entitled What does it mean to live two doors down from the president? Cufajs work has become known to a German audience through his books Kosova Rückkehr and Der Glanz der Fremde. Adrian Williams will introduce the work of the Contemporary Arts Library.

Florian Agalliu * 1970 in Tirana, curator, Mediaartist.
Alban Muja, *1980 in Mitrovica, Kosovo, lives in Prishtina, Video- Performanceartist
Driton Hajredini, * 1970 in Prishtina, painter, Videoartist
Zake Prelvukaj, *1961 in Martinaj, Montenegro, lives in Prishtina, Faculty of fine arts
Iliros, Ilir Osmani, *1971 in Prishtina, HipHop Producer, curator
Adrian Williams,*1979 in Portland, Oregon, USA, artist, lives in Frankfurt /M.
Sislej Xhafa, * 1970 Peja / Kosovo, artist, lives in New York

Leonhardi Culture Projects

Leonhardi Culture Projects organizes exhibitions which provide the public with insights into current positions being taken by artists from crisis regions, and tries by means of cultural exchange to stimulate democratization processes in countries such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iran. We want to contribute to an improved understanding of these societies rather than just to look at them from the perspective of conflicts and crises. For this reason, we speak of countries like Afghanistan and Kosovo as wounded societies. The exhibitions also give vistors an opportunity to familiarize themselves with positions currently being taken in contemporary art. In the two selected cases of Afghanistan and Kosovo, these are as different as they could possibly be.

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