May 28, 2005 - The Republic of Kosovo Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Sislej Xhafa
May 28, 2005

Sislej Xhafa

Cuisine, 2005 (detail)

Sislej Xhafa
12 June-6 November 2005
Vernissage: 9-11 June 2005

area esterna ai Giardini
venice2005 [​at​]
377 44 116 896
381 38 544 472

Kosova Pavillion Party: Saturday, June 11th, from 10 pm on…
at Campo Bandiera e Moro
All are welcome!

Commissioners: Andi Tepelena, Cecilia Tirelli

One of Kosova’s most exciting artists, Sislej Xhafa, will represent Kosova at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

The exhibition in the Kosovar Pavilion will be a personal investigation of themes at the heart of Xhafa’s art.

While understanding that contemporary art is in a permanent state of rebellion against deceiving concepts and ideologies, Sislej Xhafa builds up a special strategy to rebel and challenge the modern age society which is attempting to corrupt art by embroiling it under the trail of consumerism and pleasure, and under the control of the god of all godsprofit.

Starting even from his early works, Xhafa uses the prejudiced image of the other the bad one and the weak one, the denizen and wanderer, the foreigner who is perceived as a danger to the safety and wellbeing of westerners. Just like the feminist theoreticians and activists, or other groups fighting for the rights of marginalized ethnic and interest groups, who had used the strategy of twisted concepts to raise awareness on the dominating prejudices in their respective societies, even in countries that are considered more democratic and advanced (the prejudices of the machoism, racism, etc), so has the image of the Albanian immigrant (and also Arab and African) in Italy and wider in Europe, been prejudiced as a creature with criminal predispositionsa bad person, a thief, a rapist, backward, perturbing etc. Xhafa uses these prejudiced images to challenge and aggravate racist conceptsconcepts for which the majority is not so conscious about.

The heroes in Sislis works are negative individualsthieves, huligans, criminalswhom he praises and for whom he raises statues for. He addresses these monumental images to those with an impure consciousness on both sides of the isleto the impervious and arrogant western culture, as well as to the frustrated and indifferent cultures of the east.

In the last decade, Kosovar art was marked by interesting and surprising developments in both of its scenesscenes separated and isolated from the world for a long period of time. In Kosova, a new generation of artists has emerged that strongly challenges not only the local art scene but the international one as well. These proletarians of contemporary art, as the critic Edi Muka dubs them, are truly a phenomenon in themselvesa phenomenon of rebels with a cause.

Xhafa and his generation hammer the audiences with images and concepts of a vitality long forgotten or repressed by western conscience.

Thirty five year old Xhafa has shown in Haifa Second International Installation, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa; Seven Sins, MUSEION – Museo darte moderna e contemporanea, Bozen (2004); Hardcore – vers un nouvel activisme / towards a new activism Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003); Guida, MUSEION – Museo darte moderna e contemporanea, Bozen; Exposition collective , Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002); CASINO 2001: 1st Quadrennial, S.M.A.K. – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent; Beautiful Strangers – Albanische Kunst, ifa-Galerie Berlin, Berlin (2001); Over The Edges, S.M.A.K. – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent (2000); 48th Venice Biennale, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (1999). A monograph has recently been published by Thames & Hudson.

The Republic of Kosovo Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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