“We can all be like flowers,” Agnes Denes tells us. “We can grow, feed, donate to others with our wealth, turn to the sun and then reflect its warmth to all living creatures.” The first chapter of the Pristina Biennale Autostrada is built around the day’s infrastructure: a sunflower field just planted downtown by iconic feminist artist Agnes Denes and a magnificent installation of textile flowers, Forget Me Not, by Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano under domes of the National Library. Both projects are embodied in earth and flowers, which channel the need for social transformation. They relate to earth, water, light – all of these cannot be taken for granted. They combine micro and macro perspectives, personal memories with the need for liberation and transformation; they celebrate nonconformity. Flowers also respond compassionately to layers of trauma and violence with a call for diversity; for different histories, species and communities.
In close conversation, both “Sunflower Fields” and “Don’t Forget Me” make paths to shape future social, artistic and political ways of survival within the current structures and infrastructure of the city and beyond.
One of the curatorial questions of the Third Highway Biennale is how art can give desires a poetic but concrete form, and how it mediates needs for essential breathing spaces.