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Kosovo’s contribution at 14th Venice Architecture Biennale plays with the idea of visibility and erasure. As the curator Gezim Pacarizi states, “Kosovo can be a case study of erasure of the rich regional urban culture in the name of Modernity. In the beginning of the XX century, self-regulated democratic urban order has been replaced with government urban control, foreign to local customs and culture, producing 100 years of disorder.Under programs unknown to the indigenous people, the socialist government has destroyed neighbourhoods to make way for new buildings, enlarged streets and straightened the rivers. Organic cities, close to nature, built on a human scale and with natural materials, were transformed. That’s why Kosovo has never absorbed modernity. Modernity has been a synonym of destruction and foreign aesthetics.”
First part will be a circular tower build by 720 “shkëmbi” traditional chairs. “Shkembi” in Albanian is a very old word meaning chair and rock at the same time. The traditional chair itself is the oldest part of furniture which have passed centuries almost unchanged until the present day. This tower, made of anonymous old chairs, will be a bridge between the present and the past.
Second part of the exhibition will be “postcard wall”. 720 images printed in postcard size will show Kosovo and particularly Prizren, the most typical kosovar city in two states, before modernity and after, showing slow but absolute erasure of regional identity.Visibility aims to recognise the values hidden by the successive layers of changes. Postcards will be in apparent disorder and constantly changing since the visitors can take them away. Each new layer of cards will reveal new images, old and new, presenting confusion and mixture of the kosovar cities today. The old parts of the cities are disappearing every day and this exhibition is a cry to help preserve what is left.
Commissioner: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Curator: Gezim Pacarizi
Open:Saturday, 07 June 2014
Close:Sunday, 23 November 2014
Address: Arsenale, Castello, 30122 Venezia