Artist: Dardan Zhegrova

Venue: Hangar 2

Dardan Zhegrova’s large-scale sculptures derive from the artist’s childhood—a period after Yugoslavia had fallen and Kosovo was on the brink of war. The Serbian regime expelled all Kosovar Albanians from state jobs, and to secure livelihood, Zhegrova’s mother started working as a seamstress. Being surrounded by textiles and attending the Dodona Puppet Theater form the historical basis for Zhegrova’s amorphous works. The Dodona Puppet Theater in Prishtina was an important institution for Kosovar Albanians in the late 1980s and early 1990; it was as a safe space for both performance and anti-regime activist gatherings. Informed by cultural survival, the Hybrids guide viewers and the artist between past and present and to new temporal and cultural realities. In the puppet theater-like world created by Zhegrova, the artist conjures his early interest with theater, role play, and the potential of slipping into different characters. The beings communicate relational experiences of the past, alternating between leading, helping, and controlling the viewer. The phantom-like puppets wish to transgress time—fixed boundaries of the self and the other—by emphasizing simple forms of relating and centering memories of sadness, love, and play. The hybrids invite traditional shadow play, leaving room for drama and imagination as powerful tools in the process of self-constitution.

Dardan Zhegrova (1991) was born in Prishtina and lives and works in Prishtina.

Text by Hampus Bergander

Photo credits Tuğhan Anıt

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