• Petrit Halilaj: Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing
Petrit Halilaj: Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing
Petrit Halilaj: Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing

5/6/2017 - 5/10/2017

Address: Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Zija Prishtina Street, 10000 Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo



Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is pleased to present the exhibition “Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing” by Petrit Halilaj.

“Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing” consists of seemingly benign haystacks constructed in the garden of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina. After closer inspection, however, these haystacks revealed themselves as small huts with interiors just large enough for two people to lay together in solitude. The beans, planted around the base of the structure, refer not only to the ‘magic’ beans from the Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale (and all the promises of wealth and adventure they entail), but also provide a metaphor for the growth of a love, for which the hut was built.

“Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing” is the second exhibition with Petrit Halilaj which occupies the public space of the garden of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina and a continuation of the collaboration which creates new site specific environmental intervention in the given context. “Petrit Halilaj: Back to the future” (17/12/2009 - 6/2/2010) was the first collaboration with Petrit Halilaj which not only initiated the continuing collaboration with the artist but also marked the start of a number of selected exhibitions and projects which since 2010 have utilized the specific and limited garden space of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina.

For the larger context, the work still presents a rare case when contemporary art projects inhabit the public space in Prishtina. Public space doesn’t exist as definition or an expression in the Law for Spatial Planning of The Republic of Kosovo.

Born in 1986 in Kostërrc (Skenderaj-Kosovo), Petrit Halilaj lives and works between Bozzolo (Italie), Berlin (Germany) and Prishtina (Kosovo).

The story of Petrit Halilaj’s life, punctuated by uprooting and trauma is deeply entangled with that of his country, Kosovo. Having experienced war and displacement with his family during his childhood, his works often use a personal narrative as starting point for much further reaching, through his optimistic, poetic and oftentimes very humorous practice.

The exhibition “Petrit Halilaj: RU”, curated by Helga Christoffersen, will open on September 27, 2017 at the New Museum, New York, USA.

Recent solo exhibitions include HangarBicocca, Milan (2016); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2015); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2015); National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina (2014); Wiels, Brussels (2014); and Fondation d’Enterprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris (2013). His work has been presented at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2016); Museo Marino Marini, Florence (2015); S.A.L.T.S., Switzerland (2015); Punta della Dogana, Venice (2015); Museion, Bolzano (2013); New Museum, New York (2012) and the 6th Berlin Biennale (2010).

In 2013, Halilaj represented the Republic of Kosovo in the country’s first official national pavilion in the 55th Venice Biennale. He was recently awarded a special mention by the Jury at the 57th Venice Biennale, and is the winner of the Mario Merz Prize 2017.

Among other projects, in 2015 he has initiated the Hajde! Foundation, as a supporting platform for young artists from Kosovo.

 

Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing is part of the exhibitions program of Summer School as School 2017. Summer School as School 2017 is organized in cooperation with Allianz Cultural Foundation. Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing was additionally supported by The Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo.

“Astronauts Saw My Work and Started Laughing” (2011). Courtesy of the artists and Chert Lüdde, Berlin. Produced by Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina.