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  • Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation. http://www.theshowroom.org/ http://www.whw.hr/

Artists

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Erzen Shkololli

The works of Erzen Shkololli address the traumata of the Kosovo war as well as the fate that many of his fellow citizens have had to cope with since the 1990s. Though many inhabitants of former Eastern Europe believed in the long-anticipated process of liberation that began in 1989, Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević revoked Kosovo’s status as an independent province of Serbia during the same year and crushed the people’s hope. The repression of Albanians, that province’s largest ethnic group, led to the formation of the Kosovo Liberation Army and an insurgency which Milošević beat down in 1998, forcing 800,000 ethnic Albanians to leave their homes. A three-month NATO bombing campaign in 1999 compelled Milošević to back down. Even today, Serbia still does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, which was first claimed in 1991.

In his photo and video works, Shkololli works with traditional folkloristic and ethnic tools and rituals that people still carry out, albeit always with a (post-)war metaphor in mind. Shkololli’s backdrops are often sites affected by the Kosovo war, and these produce a distancing effect in the beholder. Dilapidated or destroyed houses, ruins, and the remnants of a past life are juxtaposed with moments of extreme beauty under extraordinary conditions, giving rise to an overall impression of collages of the unreal. 

Beginning in 1999, the war zone was controlled by the UN Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK), which was stationed in the country until 2005. This transitional phase brought to the fore the shattered dreams of an entire decade, but also a longing for a brighter future, both of which lie at the core of Shkololli’s artistic reflections. Various realities of the past, the present and the future intermingle so as to comment on the state of a nation whose independence as a republic has been recognized by over 85 countries since 2008. Shkololli poetically recounts stories about dreams, desires, and the belief in a country where questions of belonging have been among the most prevalent issues for more than a decade and, today, continue to be so.

W.S.

 

Born in Peje, Kosovo, 1976.

Shkololli is an artist and curator. Furthermore is he co-founder of EXIT Contemporary Art Institute in Peje (Kosovo). Shkololli studied at the Faculty of Arts in Prishtina (Kosovo). In 2001 he was awarded the “Premio Michetti Prize of the Fondazion Michetti di Francavilla al Mare” (Italy).

Lives and works in Prishtina, Kosovo.


Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2009     “Wreath”, daadgalerie, Berlin, Germany


Group Exhibitions (selected):

2011     “MULTIPLIZIEREN IST MENSCHLICH“, Edition Block, Berlin, Germany

2010     “Gender Check - Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas“, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland

2009     “Neuerwerbungen 2009“, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany

2008     “No Place - like Home. Perspectives on Migration in Europe” argos, Brussels, Belgium

2006     “New Video, New Europe”, The Kitchen, New York City, USA

2005     “We Are What We Are”, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2004     “Further Passages”, Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA

2003     “Blut & Honig - Zukunft ist am Balkan“, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria

2002     “In search of Balkania”, Neue Galerie Graz, Graz, Austria

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library
Media File
List of Works
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Exhibitions