Sislej Xhafa

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Edited by: Marla Hurov, Adrienne Drake Foreword: Cecilia Tirelli, Andi Tepelena Texts by: Luk Lamprecht, Shkëlzen Maliqi, Guido Molinari, Edi Muka, Giancinto di Pietrantonio English, Italian, Albanian 2005, 112 Pages, 75 Ills. Hardcover 247mm x 176mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-1685-7

This volume, which was published in conjunction with the exhibition in the Albanian pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale, features the oeuvre of Sislej Xhafa, whose subversive actions cast a new light on the way Europeans see themselves. In Pleasure Our Flowers (2000), the artist decorated the uncomfortable atmosphere of a police station in Ghent with gilt-framed mirrors, bookshelves, Biedermeier chairs, and Persian carpets, turning it into a deceptively cultivated, upper-middle-class environment. In Benvenuto (2000), an enormous word mowed into the grass on a hillside in Tuscany, he questioned European immigration policy. Born in Kosovo, Xhafa also makes use of common prejudices about his fellow countrymen, presenting himself as a clever pickpocket in the photograph Piazza della Signoria (1998) or, in Sweet Invasion (2000), as a young member of the Mafia, smartly clad in black, with sunglasses and a leather jacket. Exhibition schedule: Albanian Pavilion, Venice Biennale, June 12-November 6, 2005