Artist: Petrit Halilaj
Venue: Palacio de Cristal, Madrid
Organized By: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Exhibition Title: To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown locations deliver again smells of people in love
Date: July 17, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Full gallery of photographs, press launch and hyperlink obtainable after the bounce.
Pictures courtesy of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Pictures by Miguel de Guzmán and Rocío Romero.
Petrit Halilaj (Kostërrc, Skenderaj, Republic of Kosovo, 1986) presents his first solo exhibition in Spain: To a raven and the hurricanes which deliver again smells of people in love from unknown locations. On this present, held in Palacio de Cristal, the artist makes use of all kinds of parts to discover subjects similar to dwelling, nation, love and cultural id. That is the primary exhibition inaugurated by the Museo Reina Sofía since its closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which interrupted the montage of the present.
Halilaj has turned the Palacio de Cristal into an enormous nest that connects the inside with the outside, linking guests to their environment by opening home windows, putting in constructions, and establishing feeding areas to draw the birds and different creatures inhabiting or transiting by Parque del Retiro. Birds, a recurrent characteristic of his work, symbolize the transgression of the bounds established by trendy thought between topic and object, tradition and nature. Particularly, the artist has drawn inspiration from the extraordinary courtship ritual of bowerbirds, which make elaboratestructures (‘bowers’) and beautify them with colourful objects to draw a mate.
The concept of this ritual is carefully linked to his biography. The massive flowers which beautify the nest, fabricated from a fragile metal framework and painted canvas, are the results of collaborative work along with his life accomplice, the artist Álvaro Urbano. Their alternative varieties a part of the non-public historical past that binds them collectively, and its objective is to have a good time their union: forsythia, palm seeds, cherry blossom, poppy, carnation, and lily. As Halilaj has declared: “I wished to conceive Palacio de Cristal as a spot for the celebration of affection”. Nonetheless, these references are removed from remaining mere anecdotes. In being made public, their intimacy acquires an evident social and political dimension. This name for visibility and acceptance turns into much more related after we recall the Palacio de Cristal’s colonial previous as a spot of exhibition and exclusion, along with its operate as a public house.
On this respect, it’s basic for the artist to formulate tensions and cross the bounds between public shows which might be thought of acceptable or worthy of consideration and people which then again are censured or scorned. The white raven holding a chunk of wooden in Historical past of a Hug (2020) speaks of those conventions. It particularly alludes to a specific second in Halilaj’s household historical past, being a instrument utilized by his grandfather when working within the nation, and the item he was holding when he discovered his spouse had given start to their first youngster. Unable to specific his immense pleasure in public, since this might need been interpreted as an indication of weak spot in a patriarchal society, he hugged the submit so exhausting that he thought he would possibly break it. For the artist, the motif of the white raven additionally suggests variety and resistance to vary within the bid for acceptance. On this sense it’s a metaphor of many issues, together with being a gay individual whose love isn’t totally acknowledged both by his household or by nearly all of Kosovar society, and being a Kosovar whose nation isn’t acknowledged by many different nations, amongst them Spain.
Like nests in nature, the house devised by Halilaj can’t be considered autonomous or separate from its surroundings, its guests, and their actions. Quite the opposite, it’s a continuation of them. This relationship, which could be understood as a type of interdependence, resounds all through the set up — as an example, within the two hen’s ft that make up Right here To Remind You (2020) —. Furthermore, there’s something unusual and disproportionate in regards to the measurement of this nest, the big scale of its flowers, and the consolation and centrality it provides the birds. The artist thus suspends the logocentric perspective that makes us consider we’re the middle and measure of all issues, encouraging us to acknowledge ourselves as only one extra factor amongst many. The nest is thus revealed because the setting for a ritual that lies in look ahead to encounters, alliances and unions amongst its completely different guests, altering and altering with the house.
To a raven… is the primary new short-term exhibition introduced by Museo Reina Sofía since its closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these circumstances, Halilaj’s proposal couldn’t be extra well timed. The title’s dedication to the raven and the hurricanes speaks to us of the battle that precedes acceptance. The present disaster has laid naked the weak spot of the financial system our world rests upon and the unsustainability of limitless progress with our backs turned to nature. It has confronted us with our vulnerability and interdependence and has positioned care and affection on the core of a typical subsistence that can’t be extended with out taking the remainder of the planet’s inhabitants into consideration. With this nest, Halilaj provides a refuge, and so raises hope for a attainable future completely different to the one apparently awaiting us.
The work of Petrit Halilaj (Kostërrc, Skenderaj, Republic of Kosovo, 1986) is tightly certain up along with his biography, the current historical past of his nation, and the implications of the political and cultural tensions within the area. Childhood reminiscences steeped within the drama of struggle and refugee life recur all through his artwork, which embraces themes like dwelling, nation and cultural id by quite a lot of media starting from drawing and sculpture to video, set up and even writing. Halilaj was the artist who represented Kosovo in its first pavilion on the fifty fifth Venice Biennale (2013) and he has taken half within the sixth Berlin Biennale (2010) and the fifteenth Lyon Biennale (2019). He has introduced his work in solo exhibitions at worldwide museums and artwork facilities similar to Hangar Bicocca (Milan, 2015), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn, 2015) or the New Museum (New York, 2017), amongst others.
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