Kosovo has selected artist Alban Muja to represent it at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which runs from May 11 to November 24. To oversee the pavilion, Kosovo has enlisted Vincent Honoré, the director of exhibitions at Montpellier Contemporary in France. (Arta Agani, the director of the National Gallery of Kosovo in Prishtina and the curator of the country’s 2017 pavilion at the biennale, is serving as its commissioner.)
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Kosovo War, which lasted from 1998 to 1999, Muja will create for the pavilion a new video installation that meditates on the conflict. The work will explore the ways the war was represented in the media, both in Kosovo and beyond, and is based on photographs of child refugees that were taken during the war. The project will then go on to explore the lives of the pictured refugees in contemporary times.
A release announcing the pavilion says, “Given that 20 years on, the world faces new and ever-growing hotspots of conflict and an acute refugee crisis, whose experience and reality are contingent on the proliferation and dissemination of accompanying documentary images, Muja’s project for the Kosovo Pavilion opens up a wider field of questioning about the relationship between aesthetics and politics, between subject and narrator.”
Correction 3/29/19, 3:05 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated details about the work Muja is creating for the pavilion. The work does not include any photographs, but is based on pictures of refugees. The post has been updated to reflect this.