Medium: Live performance by Arta Selimi
Bashkim Geci born in Prishtina in 1978 is a Kosovar artist who is based in Frankfurt, Germany.
Bashkim left Kosovo due to economical reasons where he moved to Germany to pursue his artistic life.
Being away from home wasn’t easy for Bashkim as he faced obstacles digesting his new life in Germany. During his first years where he had to move from one city to another, Bashkim didn’t find peace, however, he found out that his new method of communicating is by not communicating.
He refused loads of exhibitions for unknown reasons. In 2009 he was invited to participate in the 7th international Exhibition “Muslim Mulliqi Prize”. At that time Bashkim was not allowed to travel due to his immigration status but however, the curators made it possible to install his work under Bashkim’s instructions.
Bashkim continued to refuse invitations from galleries and curators and he continues to stand very strong on the idea that professional art practise should be visible only when the artist wants to, not when the curators or the rest of the art world feels like it.
In October 2020 Paper Gallery received a phone call from Arta Selimi who is an established actress. She was part of many theatre plays, films and international theatre projects and continues to work in that field. After meeting with Arta and Bashkim, Paper Gallery decided to give a spot for Bashkim Geci’s very strange performance.
The performance ‘UNTITLED’ will be open for the public on February 5th 2021. This will be a one-day event only and registration is obligatory.
Artist: Stefano Romano
Curated by: Claudia Santeroni
19.02.2021 – 31.03.2021
Site specific, participative installation
Hosted by Paper Gallery, Prishtina.
The project starts with a reflection on the book as an object. The book is, in my view, a strange object. The moment we read it, it becomes ours, however, we struggle to physically separate from the object. It is a precious object, keeper of stories of any kind; during the lockdown in the year of the worldwide pandemic, books were one of the only ways we had left to keep travelling and meeting people.
For the realization of the project “Columns”, I asked all the people I was able to reach – also asking them to spread the word – to give me one of the books they have a home in the form of donations, maybe even the book they read during the lockdown.
All the books collected were installed in the gallery creating a physical relation with space, depicting a collective portrait of all the people who participated in the project.
At the end of the exhibition, all the books will be donated to two institutions, the library of the public jail in Prishtina and TOKA an NGO based in Prishtina that works with children’s education.
During the project implementation process, the books change their function 3 times; from the original function of being a book, they become a work of art and finally they return to their function of being books, enriched by a social function.
Kashta e Kumtrit
Artist: Artan Hajrullahu
Curated by: Paper Gallery
04.12.2020 – 04.02.2021
The Milky Way or “Kashta e Kumtrit” is the galaxy that contains our solar system.
The name derives from the appearance of the galaxy from Earth in the form of a thin line that shines and has a “milky” aspect.
The title “Kashta e Kumtrit” originates from an old traditional Albanian term, which goes with and against the topic simultaneously.
These paintings exude Albanian nostalgia and are surrounded by tradition and breaking away from it at the same time. Stars are seen as small from the earth, but full of light and beauty; just as Artan’s paintings are.
In the times of Covid-19 something we have missed is human touch and intimacy. A love language on its own along with the themes of lust, sex, nostalgia and the human body in its most real form: nude.
It’s a cultural melting pot fused with Balkan nostalgia and the contemporary themes of sexual fantasy. It’s compelling on its themes of the penis and the vagina, a shock factor that is quite daring and gives sexuality a new perspective.
These works are taken on with a very child-like approach on the medium of pencil on paper portraying colourful inanimate objects bringing a very melancholic yet beautiful feeling of human intimacy and human interaction.
The artist also takes a political approach to his art conveying a contemporary message of issues that are happening consistently in this day and age.
An Exhibition by Burim Berisha
Curator: Nora V. Weller
11.09.2020 – 11.11.2020
Concept: Root rot is a disease that attacks the roots of trees that grow in damp or wet soil. This disease shortens the life of almost any kind of tree or plant. By moving the soil from the natural outdoor environment to which it belongs, in an internal and artificial one, it limits the oxygen it needs. In this case the decay occurs slowly but surely. It starts with a strong and unpleasant smell and the indoors environment begins to suffocate the inhabitants.
Exhibition summary: Root Rot invites the visitor to reflect on the cause and effect relationship and the general insensitivity in today’s society. In the midst of poverty, daily politics, corruption, war crimes and the global pandemic, the roots of the society begin to resemble a similar sort of decay.
The heavy smell of the decay is increasingly affecting the surroundings, each and every day there is a slow but certain slow loss of patience, safety and mental health.
Root rot invites the visitor to reflect on the cause and effect relationship through a seemingly simplistic example of transformation that is found in earth decay. The artist opted to bring the process of decay closer to the viewer and displaced the soil from its natural environment to an artificial one indoors. With the limited levels of oxygen and the dump environment, the decay occurs gradually and surely. The process of decay as such remains unseen, but after a while its effects are felt through a strong and unpleasant smell which eventually suffocates the space. The distinctive unpleasant smell travels in a persistent manner and seeps everywhere. The setting created by the artist invites us to consider how do we question the causes of
decay and how do we live with its effects? If we become aware that the earth rots in a gradual form, should we intervene, act and prevent, or simply become accustomed to the effects? Exploring life mediations, Decartes asks a relevant question: “Where could the effect get the reality from, apart from its cause? Root Rot leaves us with the effects in a form of a smell which can not be caught, controlled or suspended with ease, but they are also no longer possible to live with. The artist chose to accompany the silent earth exhibited here with a visual representation of the daily process of decay. It is an invitation for the viewer not to sit comfortably. In the midst of a chaotic social order where poverty is constantly on the rising, corruption is a norm, temper is lost, mental health is not a subject matter, causes and effects are not thoroughly questioned. Human behaviour is absorbed by the superficial normalcy which in turn is met with a general sense of apathy. The artist here extends an invitation to reflect on the roots of our society resembling a similar sort of decay that takes place silently beneath the earth.
Mosquito Vapor Trails
An Exhibition by Fatmir Mustafa – Karllo
Curated by: Artrit Bytyçi
03.07.2020 – 03.09.2020
Imagine a warm June night when you feel a mosquito on your arm. And instinctually you slap it, only to find out that it has already escaped, and left you with an itch that you keep itching, and an invisible trail of vapor where once its flightpath used to be. Those are the words by which Fatmir Mustafa – Karllo explains the role an artwork should play for the audience.
This site-specific exhibition explores those very moments, like the spaces between two layers. These kinds of interstitial spaces — like the layers of asphalt from the roads we walk and drive on daily, or a glass wall that separates the public from the newly imagined picnic, or the trauma experienced during the creation process as we transition from the old to the new — evoke feelings from the artist’s “personal memories as nightmares, as well as from our innocent natures.”
Dead Dogs Walking
An Exhibition by Gazmend Ejupi
Curated by: Penesta Dika
25.02.2020 – 25.06.2020
Paper Gallery Prishtina
“Dead Dog Walking” exhibition presents the works of artist Gazmend Ejupi in the different media. From the one hand we see works made in traditional mediums like painting and sculpture, on the other hand we see a video performance that includes a live performance of a choir (“Siparantum Choir “).
The exhibition mainly focuses on presenting the stray dog and it’s fight for survival, in their dramatic momentary state. The dog is often treated in traditional art and is usually presented as a symbol of loyalty. This is how the Roman scholar Gaius Plinius Secundus Maior (23/24 – 79) described them in his earliest times; saying that beside the horse, the dog is man’s most faithful companion.
Then in mythology dogs also appear as a symbol of hunting gods, while in the Middle Ages we also find them as a symbol of loyalty by presenting it on a woman’s lap.
In this exhibition “Dead Dog Walking” since it is a topic that artist Gazmend Ejupi has been tackling for years now, the approach is different. Dogs in the paintings appear as very beautiful and magnificent creatures, attentive, or ready for action, occupying the entire surface of the canvas. They are in different positions-creating moving but balanced compositions in both mass distribution and in the scattering of scarce colors used here and there.
However, since the artist in these performances uses a technique which is reminiscent of the glitch-art recognized by digital works, the beauty and the magnificence of these creatures is extinguished, dissolved, erased.
In this way the artist emphasizes not beauty, goodness or greatness but their suffering for survival.
Thus, deforming their shapes and contours, we are presented with dogs in critical life conditions. Through these appearances the artist gives us a glimpse of how loved and valuable these creatures are and how happy it makes us to look at them with precision in how they behave and look.
On the other hand he wants to engage the viewer to help, by presenting the dogs in a dramatic manner with any hopes of life lost thus visualizing an unfortunate reality that is current for stray dogs.
A part of this exhibition is also a video performance of Dead Dogs Walking, which was performed on collaboration with the Siparantum Choir which is an emotional piece that outlines suffering, grief as well as the alarming condition that stray dogs live in from their birth to their demise.
The chanting sounds and voices performed by the choir in question are attached to the video, which treats another point of view: the life of stray dogs in shelters. As if these creatures didn’t suffer enough, when they are sent to the shelters an even more difficult life awaits than the one on the streets.
The suffering, the pain, the grief, the weeping of the dogs, but also their protest against such treatment are very clearly reflected from this work in a strict, uncompromising tone and with great creative sensitivity. The war of animals for survival as well as inhumane practices are put to the fore. Dead Dog Walking expresses revolt and seeks support, describes suffering and expects awareness of the people.
With an understanding of visual, acoustic and haptic language, which is very sophisticated, artist Gazmend Ejupi presents us with a theme that most of the time requires artist mobilization.