Doruntina Kastrati (b. 1991, Kosovo) lives and works in Prishtina, Kosovo. She was awarded the Young Visual Artist Award from the National Gallery of Kosovo in 2014, and the Hajde x 6 Award from the Hajde Foundation in 2017. She was a resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York in 2015, a resident at Art House in Shkodër in 2018 and at Initiators in Athens in 2018.
Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include: “Soft as Silk”, Belgrade Youth Center, Serbia (2021); Autostrada Biennale, curated by Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu and Joanna Warsza, Prizren, Kosovo (2021); “Bigger than Myself – Heroic Voices from ex Yugoslavia”, curated by Zdenka Badovinac at MAXXI Museum, Rome (2021); “Not Fully Human, Not Human at All” at Kadist Foundation Paris (2021); “Tirana Patience”, National Gallery of Arts in Tirana (2020); “Public Heroes and Secrets”, curated by Hana Halilaj, The National Museum of Kosovo, Prishtina, 2020; “Red Landscape”, curated by Vala Osmani, Stacion Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina (2017).
Visit the artist’s exhibition at BUNGALOW here
It Matters What Worlds World Worlds: how to tell stories otherwise
Manifesta 14, Prishtina
22 July – 30 October 2022
Curated by Catherine Nichols
Under the title it matters what worlds world worlds: how to tell stories otherwise, Manifesta 14 takes up the challenge of exploring and generating new practices and modes of collective storytelling. Revolving around an emergent Centre of Narrative Practice, the manifold participatory sites of multidisciplinary learning and artistic intervention comprising the Prishtina edition of the nomadic European biennale show that storytelling is no mere matter of historiography. Rather it is a crucial strategy of survival. Together the richly layered formats envision what new worlds we might world if, in the words of political philosopher Hannah Arendt, we actively “train” our “imagination to go visiting”.
Life without buildings
Curated by Adam Szymczyk with Elena Bally
Life, Without Buildings conceives architecture through the lens of contemporary conditions involving the issues of labor, displacement, and homelessness that are all too often cast off in architectural practice, as well as in the history and theory of architecture, an omission reflecting a larger pattern of depoliticized life in the neoliberal era. And yet, this generalized state of “unhomeliness,” a sudden realization that life is fundamentally out of joint, without fixed parameters and in danger, comes to define our present moment, indelibly marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war that involves us all—the war that lends a different meaning to the titular question of Josep Lluis Sert’s 1942 pamphlet on evolution of modern city: Can our cities survive?
Public Heroes and Secrets
The National Museum of Kosovo,
Curated by Hana Halilaj
The installation conjures up the injustice and grim reality of the workers whose needs are neglected and whose voices go unheard due to fear of retaliation. The exhibition also alludes to neoliberal policies of privatization and the role of the state institutions for creating the ground for this continued violation of the workers’ social rights. In a region with high rates of unemployment and fatal accidents at the workplace, Kastrati’s work reflects on a social system that is largely unregulated and often exploits workers. The exhibition title, “Public Heroes and Secrets” is a verse from Roberto Bolaño’s poem, “Godzilla en México.”
Not Fully Human, Not Human at All,
Kunstverein Hamburg, 2020
Public Heroes and Secrets is a series of cast resin sculptures presented on construction scaffolding. Their evocative charge relies on their uncanny reproduction of sections of human bodies which Kastrati has produced through 3D technique and organic material. The source of these forms is in-fact construction workers in Kosovo, who face inhumane working conditions for minimal payment. By showing these isolated limbs, Kastrati implies that such work comes as a cost to these workers, while the public benefits from their sacrifice without knowledge of this exchange. With the title of this piece, we are asked to reconsider these individuals at the level of heroes, suggesting that the construction of a contemporary “hero” is based on an element of human sacrifice—for instance, in national celebrations of fallen soldiers—while the truth of these mythologies remains obscured to the public.
National Gallery of Tirana
Archaeological Museum of Eleusis, Greece, 2018
A work that takes place in the archaeological site in the ancient city of Greece, Elefsina, through creating the positive imprint; the moulding of an existing and paved hole. The work underscores an element of the space while raising many questions about its history, what exists below in terms of stories, remains, and secrets.
She wanted to emphasize the strangeness of this situation and ask questions about the use of public spaces, as well as the relationship of cement with the construction of the city.
The Future of Borders – Long Walk,
Autostrada Biennale, Prizren,
STACION – Center for Contemporary Art
Prishtina, Kosovo 2017