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22 Dec 2009

Muslim Mulliqi Prize 2009 - Calling All The Stations

Vanessa Billy, Learning Body, video still, 2009
Courtesy: BolteLang, Zurich

Calling All The Stations


15 December - 31 January 2009


+381 38 225627
+381 38 227833


Rr. Agim Ramadani nr 60
10000 Prishtina Kosovo

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National Gallery of Prishtina, Kosovo

16 December 2009 – 31 January 2010

Curated by Michele Robecchi and Gazmend Ejupi

Nir Alon, Antigona Selmani+Loreta Ukshini+Malsor Bejta, Shqipe Ajeti, Gazmend Avdiu, Becky Beasley, Vanessa Billy, Tobias Collier, Radu Comsa, Bashkin Geci, Helidon Gjergji, Jeton Gusia, Fitore Isufi-Koja, Ismet Jonuzi, Venera Kastrati, Gani Llalloshi, Luljeta Leci, Alessandra Mancini, Lala Meredith-Vula, Jeton Muja, Grace Ndiritu, Uriel Orlow, Aghim Salihu, Driton Selmani, Artan Shabani, Valdeta Veliu-Vuciterna


Albert Heta - Director, Stacion Centre for Contemporary Art, Prishtina
Zake Prevlukaj - Professor, Academy of Fine Arts, Prishtina

Antigona Selmani, Loreta Ukshini, Malsore Bejta

The Muslim Mulliqi Prize 2009, aims to take on the discourse built through the previous six editions, from Nadja Zgonik’s “Identity Kit” (2003), where many international artists were invited to participate, through Gëzim Qëndro’s “Glocal” (2004), who further elaborated on this theme, up to Mehmet Behluli’s “Conquering New Spaces” (2005) and the most local art-oriented exhibitions curated by Mustafa Ferizi, Suzana Varvarica Kuka and D.N.K. Filoart.

The goal of this year’s exhibition is to take a step forward and suggest that we have now officially entered a “post-globalization” era. Whilst globalization undoubtedly had beneficial effects for the art world, with the possibility of traveling and experiencing first-hand the proliferation of international exhibitions, fairs, and artists’ residencies, it seems that the tendency of exoticizing art had to a certain extent never faded away.

The introduction of art from peripheral realities to a Western-centric platform had indeed followed a predictable pattern, which can be synthesized in the discovery of a vibrant new generation of artists, followed by the establishment of a scene, and the subsequent arrival of a new generation openly critical towards this new system and willing to leave its mark in a different way. Truly international movements, such as Fluxus in the 1950s or The New Tendencies in the 1960s, in which the Balkans played a major role, were largely based on artists sharing similar concerns, with geography playing a significant but unquestionable secondary role.

The concept of a “National/International”, or for wanting of a better term, “Global/Local” art, has seriously exposed its weakness in big exhibitions inspired by the 1930s model of the Universal Pavilion such as the Venice Biennale, with the past few editions featuring complex scenarios such as Jason Rhoades (an American representing Denmark), Carlos Amorales (a Mexican representing the Netherlands), or most recently Liam Gillick (a British based in New York representing Germany). It is evident from this picture that the notion of nationalism or internationalism has significantly changed and that debating on it in the terms currently in use is getting a sterile mechanism. Has the train already left the station? Possibly yes.

Hence the necessity to set up an exhibition that mainly focuses on the artists and their work – an invitation to look at art by taking a different route, calling all the stations and use every single stop as an element to compose a long journey.

A catalogue documenting the exhibition will be published in February 2010.

MUSLIM MULLIQI (1934-1998)

Muslim Mulliqi was born in Gjakova in 1934. He attended the Academy of Arts in Belgrade in 1959 where he also obtained a PHD in 1961. His first exhibition was held in Gjakova in 1952. His work was featured in over 30 solo exhibitions and 100 international group exhibitions. Many journal articles, essays, and reviews have been dedicated to his work, including a substantial monograph edited by Hivzi Muharremi in 2000. Mulliqi had a great impact on Kosovar visual art, helping with the foundation of local cultural and educational institutions and been awarded many international prizes. As a tribute to Mulliqi's outstanding contribution to visual arts in the Balkans, the Ministry of Culture of Kosova established a prize for visual art named after him to be held every year at the National Gallery of Prishtina. The first edition opened in 2003.