Practicing art as political action, even when the subject that is being represented has no direct link with politics, is the direction in which Luan Bajraktari has taken his work, seeking to give new semantic significance to known objects. Much of the young Albanian artist’s work consists of terracotta sculptures: by reviving tradition with the intent of renovating familiar forms of expression, one can revitalize the present.
The artist conveys lightness, thus suggesting a certain irony that underlies his works, which further highlights a desire to find commonalities between contrasting essences, rather than emphasizing what makes them different. The cultural clash occurs by chance, through hidden similitude or sometimes by playful design, as in the work entitled Topi (2010): a ceramic soccer ball is primed for an impossible match, yet nevertheless anticipating a beautiful game. A window of standard dimensions is also a terracotta sculpture lying on the floor, a surreal look that offers the unexpected perspective of new foundations for a house and the right for everyone to have a home. One might ask what a hero is today, and the answer could be a pedestal on which there remains only two broken legs – souvenir of a fallen regime, warning of a continuously changing present that waxes and wanes unexpectedly, a reminder of the many news images that have passed before our eyes in the last few decades.
Bajraktari’s artwork, which in addition to sculptures includes installations and drawings, is characterized by simple symbolic structures that communicated with immediacy. One project, a look back at childhood, is comprised of a number of drawings. Light as a piece of paper, they represent another appeal to turn our attention to open questions, such as the right to childhood and to play.
Born 1979, Klina, Kosovo.
He lives and works in Perugia, Italy.
2009: Panten, freezer, Pristina, Kosovo
2008: Art is a Hammer, is not a mirror, Rizoma Gallery, Pristina, Kosovo
2007: Presentation of works, Gallery of San Tubaldo, Gubbio, Italy
2010: Edgardo Mannucci Sculpture Prize, Arcevia (Ancona), Italy
2009: Ex Vuoto, Exhibition of ceramics, Deruta (PG), Italy
2008: Spauracchio, workshop with the artist Sislej Xhafa, “Muslim Mulliqi Prize,” National Gallery Pristina, Kosovo
2004: Kunst Modern art, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, Austria