The Republic of Kosovo is taking part for the fifth time in the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with a major solo exhibition of Jakup Ferri, opening on 23 April 2022 and running through to 27 November 2022.
The Kosovo Pavilion will be curated by Inke Arns, director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, Germany (www.hmkv.de), and the presentation will take place in the Arsenale.
Jakup Ferri presents paintings, embroideries and carpets at the Biennale Arte 2022 – in an exhibition entitled The Monumentality of the Everyday. Ferri’s drawings are mostly depicting everyday scenes involving animals, children, acrobats, musicians, and sports activities (like swimming, snorkeling, bicycling). And then there is this aspect of the vernacular turning into the surreal, or magic, like animals speaking or making music, people turning into birds, people making music for animals or even becoming animals or hybrid creatures. Very often, there’s poetic interactions between people, animals, and objects, looking at each other, thus creating lines of sight – like silent dialogues.
Ferri’s works are inspired by children’s drawings, folk art, and so-called outsider art. We see intimate scenes from everyday life, with joyous protagonists, mostly in bright colors. Recently, Ferri also became interested in topics like mobility and in utopian architecture from the 1960s, like Archigram’s Walking City.
Originally working with drawings, about ten years ago the artist started turning these drawings into various media: paintings, embroideries and carpets. For the textile works, he has found amazing collaborators: Women from Albania, Kosovo, Burkina Faso, and Suriname, with whom the artist realized carpets and embroideries in traditional techniques like cross work, tentene, hand embroidery, goblen, etc.
The hand-woven carpets from the series “Tintirinti” (2021) result from a close collaboration between the artist and his son Jip. Very much unlike the detailed paintings and the embroideries, they show large-scale graphical patterns. Inspired by computer games and 8-bit aesthetic, they consist of extensive contrasting color fields. In fact, they are based on Jip’s avatar designs – heads or t-shirts – in the game Animal Crossing.
The Kosovo Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2022 is commissioned by Alisa Gojani Berisha, Curator at the National Museum of Kosovo