• Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017
Exhibition of AoT Finalists 2017

Artist of Tomorrow Award 2017
Meriton Maloku, Jetullah Sylejmani, Enesa Xheladini

Curated by Vala Osmani and Albert Heta
Architecture of the exhibtion by Vala Osmani

03/11/2017 - 04/12/2017
Opening: 03/11/2017, ora 20:00

Venue: Boxing Club, Mark Isaku 8, 10000 Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo

Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is pleased to announce the exhibition of the finalists of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017.

The Artists of Tomorrow Award is part of the Young Visual Artists Awards program - a network of ten similar awards organized throughout Central and Eastern Europe with the intention of supporting the emergence and development of contemporary art and civil society.

The Jury of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017, comprising Charles Esche, the director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Erëmirë Krasniqi, researcher and director of Oral History Kosovo, Nataša Petrešin Bachelez, art critic and independent curator, Adrian Deva, artist and art educator and Renaud Proch, Executive Director of ICI (Independent Curators International) New York, selected three finalists based on the criteria of innovative, strong and also interdisciplinary practices, the merit of their artistic portfolio, prior accomplishments and exhibitions, and demonstrated potential.

The first finalist of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017 is Meriton Maloku who surprised the Jury with his engaged vision about most compelling topics of our current everyday.

Meriton Maloku (*1989, Kosovo) lives and works between Antwerp and Pristina. He studied fine arts in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and has a master degree in printmaking. His research is mainly focused in politics, philosophy and art history itself. Usually he works with repetitiveness, play and a glimpse of humor from time to time.

He works within different disciplines, his main concern always being the space between the viewer and the work. Recent exhibitions include Guanlan Print Biennal Frist selection/ publication, Guanlan, China, 2015; Gjon Mili International Price for Photography, National Gallery of Kosovo, 2015; Split Graphics, Split, Croatia, 2015; KOMASK Bachelor Price, KASKA, Antwerp, 2015; De Sokkel Van Teniers, Performance, KASKA, Antwerp, 2016; Onderbrokenstad, intervention, City hall, Antwerp, 2016; Friday’s death announcer as a contributor to “Friday on your mind” by DDV,Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp, 2016 Annihilation Event, Lethaby Gallery, London, 2017; “RAFA”, ASP, Katowice, Poland, 2017; Boogie Woogie Wonderland, De Lange Zaal, Antwerp, 2017; Every day eggs, Performance, KASKA, Antwerp, 2017; RAFA- Printmaking department, Belgrade, 2017; Silk Road Exhibition, Xi’an, China, 2017.

The work of Meriton Maloku titled ‘Closure’, exhibited at the exhibition of finalists of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017, is an installation that contains two different parts, the inside and the outside, the ‘rooms’ and the ‘portraits’. ‘Rooms’ consists of prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures and video. It is an installation set up into an installation.
Maloku worked to create a closed, small and claustrophobic space which at some point becomes a room, filled with works which mostly are rooms. This ‘room’ is his exhibition space, the house walls as gallery with nailed works; works which repeat themselves in the wall, and create the vicious circle and express the atmosphere of a space from which one cannot escape.

The second finalist is Enesa Xheladini, whose pronounced visual practice, that takes form in notebooks and sketches for sculptures and public installations, comes out of her architectural practice.

Enesa Xhelaidni (*1982, Kosovo) has completed her MA in Urban and Landscape Design at Polis University in Tirana. She was assistant curator and co-ordinator for the Pavilion of Republic of Kosovo - 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Rem Koolhaas - Venice Biennale (2014). Participated in “SESAM” (Small European Students of Architecture Meeting) held in Rome, Italy (2009); gaining the 2nd place in designing the Lounge Chair with recycled materials.

Her project titled ‘.. line, poin, crack!’, started in 2014, includes 162 drawings with pigment liner 0.05 mm, in notebooks with dimensiones 12x9 cm. Curatorial solution and the architecture of the exhibition of finalists of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017, developed during the process and in collaboration with the artists, includes in displaying selected drawings, 4 additional notebooks with everyday information, sound isolated from video documentation of the drawings 09’08”, displayed in vitrine designed for the installation with dim. 198x98x100 cm.

In the end of the short description of the work and process of creating of drawings, Xheladini has written: The concepts are multi-dimensional (therefore are called concepts and not drawings) and has a complexity of expressions, such as: a) Sculptures with monumental scales; b) Object of Culture in egg form; c) Logo Designs (i.e. concept “KOPSHTI” -GARDEN) d) Designs for Book Cover; e) Jewelery Designs; f) Textile Designs g) Tattoos, h) Product Designs –Lightnings (i.e. concepts made out of dots) …
In core, not only that they helped me to know myself but through them I finally understand the monumentality of Alvaro Siza, sense of Peter Zumthor, words of Juhani Pallasma, hands and soul of Constantin Brancusi, strength (symbolic) of Louis Kahn, details of Carlo Scarpa, carefulness of Isamu Noguchi, colors of Luis Barragan, taste of Giro Dorfles, feminism of Lina Bo Bardi, elegance of Oscar Niemayer, pureness of Mies Van DerRohe, easiness of Toyo Ito (weightless volumes).. the poetic rhythm of Peter Zumthor, sincere intelligence of Christopher Alexander, courage of Zaha Hadid, perseverance of Ludwig Van Bethoven, genius loci of Christian Norberg Schultz, touch of Lucio Fontana, emotions of Pina Bausch and love of Gottfried Bohm.

The third finalist is Jetullah Sylejmani who deals with the civilization questions of resources, war and democracy in a visually ambitious way.

Jetullah Sylejmani (*1985, Kosovo) graduated in Philosophy and Painting in University of Prishtina, where he also finished his MA in Painting. Sylejmani’s artistic activity is a reflective continuous view and attempt to oppose the current situation and essential problems of society. In 2017 Jetullah Sylejmani was invited for a contemporary art residency at Cittadelarte / Fondacioni Pistoletto - Biella in Italy and Art House in Shkodër, with the mentorship of Adrian Paci.

Recent exhibitions include: “Artistët e rinj”, National Gallery of Kosovo – GKK, 2017; Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, 2017; “Artistët e rinj”, National Gallery of Kosovo – GKK, 2017; Artists of Tomorrow Award 2014, National Gallery of Kosovo – GKK; Exhibition at Gallery Art-Villamagna – Ville-la-Grand, France, 2014; La Galleria Arte Maggiore - Associazione Culturale “ICREATTIVI”. RioneMonti, Rome, Italy, 2014; Albanska Udruga Šibenske-Kninske, Croatia, 2013; Mother Theresa, Biblioteka Editrice Vaticana, Rome, Italy, 2012.

For the exhibition of finalists of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017, Sylejmani has created new work. Socexpressionism, collage, parts of socrealist paintings, printed with UV print on canvas, 2 x 200 x 160 cm, 2017, is created with parts from Albanian socrealist pantings, placed in a digital postproduction process, interveneing in time and extracting ‘by force’ that which the Albanian socrealist pantings did not have. Modern Art of XX century, in the given social and political circumstances, was considered decadent and a threat to the society and political order, as was the freedom of expression, freedom of research outside frames of ideological power using it’s Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism.

The Artists of Tomorrow Award is a pivotal independent award, organized in cooperation with Residency Unlimited in New York, supported by The Trust for Mutual Understanding in New York and main sponsors of the Artists of Tomorrow Award in Kosovo Raiffeisen Bank in Kosovo and U.S. Embassy in Kosovo.

The Artists of Tomorrow Award is a unique project which provides young visual artists under the age of 35 the opportunity to produce new art work, be part of a tailored education process, have meetings and presentations for an international jury of highly acclaimed professionals, have a joint exhibition with the finalists, curated by the curatorial team of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, and become part of an artist in residency program in United States to experience New York’s dynamic art scene for a two month residency at Residency Unlimited.

The winners of the Artists of Tomorrow Award, upon their return form US, have a solo exhibition at Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, as part of the exhibitions program of the institution and the Artists of Tomorrow Award program.

The Artists of Tomorrow Award is part of the Young Visual Artists Awards program - a network of ten similar awards organized throughout Central and Eastern Europe founded in 1989 in Czechoslovakia by President Vaclav Havel and dissident artists with the intention of supporting the emergence and development of contemporary art and civil society.

The intention of President Havel, Wendy W. Luers, the US organizers and funders was to award young artists with a US residency - that is to expose them to the outside world - and to underscore the role of culture in democratization and civil society. They established an open and transparent annual competition judged by an independent and changing jury without the nepotism and favoritism. This founding mission and programmatic framework - to promote contemporary art, recognize and award artistic excellence, foster cultural exchange, and build capacity of local art NGO’s and civil society – is also a guide for Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina to implement The Artists of Tomorrow Award in Kosovo.

In 2015 Residency Unlimited (RU) became the new host of the Young Visual Artists Awards (YVAA) program in US. In September 2015, Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina has been tasked to assume leadership of the Artist of Tomorrow Award (AOT) in Kosovo starting with the first cycle in 2016 and with building upon and carrying forward the legacy of the Award.

In 2017 the Board of the Trust for Mutual Understanding approved the request of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina to orgsnise the Artists of Tomorrow Award in Kosovo in annual basis. In 2014, the organisers of YVAA had decided to turn the the Artists of Tomorrow Award in a biannual program.

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina aims to enhance the potential and influence of The Artists of Tomorrow Award in the general developments in contemporary art in the whole territory of Kosovo.

The winner of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017 will be announced by the Jury on December 4, 2017.

The main sponsors for the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017 are Raiffeisen Bank in Kosovo and U.S. Embassy in Kosovo. The Artists of Tomorrow Award 2017 is sponsored additionally by the Municipality of Prishtina and DZG.